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Glen Beache insists he has done nothing wrong

Glen Beache insists he has done nothing wrong

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Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism Authority Glen Beache is insisting that he has done nothing wrong, and has described as “untrue and misleading” issues raised by Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace earlier this week.{{more}}

Beache, speaking to members of the media on Wednesday, July 20, maintained that there was no conflict of interest and that neither he nor his wife profited from the company registered as Lonsdale Advertising and Marketing Communication (SVG) Ltd, and that they were not guilty of any wrong doing.

The Tourism Authority’s CEO also announced that he has instructed his Lawyer to do the necessary legal work to have Lonsdale Advertising and Marketing Communications (SVG) Ltd removed from the Companies’ Register.

“I do this not because of any wrong doing, but only to obliviate the necessity to answer those who may seek to be malicious and mischievous in the future,” Beache told members of the media.

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace on Monday, July 18, alleged that statements made by Beache in a newspaper article published in SEARCHLIGHT on April 1 about his involvement with Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi of Trinidad and Tobago were not entirely the truth.

Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi is responsible for the regional and international marketing of this country’s tourism product.

According to Eustace, on May 12, 2010, while still the Minister of Tourism, Beache as incorporator of an automobile company in 2007, amended the name of that earlier company to Lonsdale Advertising and Marketing Communication SVG Ltd. Beache’s wife Dr. Simone Keizer-Beache was listed as a director of that company.

The type of business of the company was also changed, and added to the list of directors were Trinidadian nationals Kenrick Attale and Christine James.

“What the newspapers did not report was that the two new directors Mr Ken Attale and Miss Christine James were the Executive Chairman and Financial Comptroller of Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi,” Eustace said.

He further contended that this was a major deception to the people and an absolute conflict of interest because Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi was contracted by the Tourism Authority to do advertising for St. Vincent and the Grenadines overseas, but the major principles of that company were also directors on Beache’s company.

“How can the CEO of the Tourism Authority effectively supervise the work of Londale Saatchi and Saatchi, including the awarding of future contracts when Mr Attale and Miss James are currently on the board of his company? “Eustace questioned.

Beache, however, while acknowledging that there was a name change, and that he added Attale and James as directors on his company, defended the decision saying that both persons had a wealth of knowledge and experience and that the expertise they had to offer was ideal for his business, especially since Lonsdale SVG Ltd was eventually going to be venturing into projects throughout the Eastern Caribbean.

He added that he first met Attale and James only after they bid for the contract to be the marketing agent to sell this country’s tourism package.

Furthermore Beache said that in May 2010, when his business’s name was changed, he had already made a decision not to contest the upcoming General Elections.

“By May, the election campaign had already begun. My exit from active politics was imminent,” Beache said, adding that he started the company purely as a business option and an entry into the private sector for a life after politics.

The Tourism Authority’s CEO further contended that since the formation of the company in May 2010, it has never engaged or attempted to engage in any form of trade or business.

He added that there is not a bank account that exists in the company’s name and that there had been no trading of assets or liabilities between his company and any other local, regional or international businesses.

“Therefore, it is safe to conclude that this company has only existed and continues to exist only in name and no more,” Beache said.

“It is true that I could have been advised that after taking up the position of CEO of the Tourism Authority to have the Company struck off the register. However, the mere fact that the company has never been engaged in any business or transaction of any sort and had absolutely no intention of so doing, this step was never made,” he continued.

Eustace, in his press conference on Monday, said that Beache never told the Vincentian public that the name Lonsdale Advertising and Marketing Communications SVG Ltd is derived from the type of business the company would be involved in and the name of its sister company in Trinidad.

However, Beache explained that for all intents and purposes, if his company had taken steps to engage in trade, then there would have been collaboration with the marketing company in Trinidad and Tobago.

“The reality, however, is that the St. Vincent and the Grenadines company has never been engaged in any form of trade with any company nor with Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi, hence the intent to have the Trinidad company become a “sister company” or an active partner was never materialized in any form or fashion,” he noted.

With regard to the tendering process, Beache said that the Tourism Authority’s marketing and PR plan is zoned into three geographic regions; an invitation to tender is advertised and interested companies then make presentations after which these are evaluated by the marketing team.

An invitation to tender was sent out by Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi in 2006, four years prior to his own marketing company coming into existence, Beache contended.

“It is a fact, that when I sat as Minister of Tourism and was involved in the specific tendering process which took place in 2006, for which Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi subsequently was awarded the contract, that Lonsdale Advertising and Marketing Communication (SVG) Ltd was not in existence, since Lonsdale Advertising and Marketing Communication (SVG) Ltd was established almost four years later,” he explained.

“The question by the Hon. Leader of the Opposition as to whether Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi has ever submitted a comprehensive work plan; yes they have.”

Finally the Leader of the Opposition questioned the payment of $75,000 to an artist management company in Barbados, to which Beache responded that this had to do with the sponsorship of the music video for the “Beast Let Go” performed by Gamal “Skinny Fabulous” Doyle, a project, which according to Beache was previously disclosed at the launch of that initiative.

“This video was sponsored as a push for carnival and to enhance the marketing of our destination with the assistance of a local artist, since this song – the “Beast Let Go” had gained immense popularity in the region. Really, it is the same approach used by Jamaica with the music of Bob Marley and more recently by Barbados through the use of the music of Rhianna,” Beache explained.