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Opposition Seeks Info On TSTT Cyberattack

The Opposition United National Congress (UNC) has sought from Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), via a Freedom of Information Act request, copies its board minutes, correspondence to Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales and other internal documents from, during and after an October cybersecurity attack.

And the UNC is prepared to go to court to get this, MP Barry Padarath announced at a media briefing yesterday.

Padarath said in the wake of statements by fired TSTT Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lisa Agard and Chief Financial Officer Shiva Ramnarine before Parliament’s Joint Select Committee (State Enterprises) on the cyber breach issue, Gonzales must clear the air.

Noting that Gonzales had said he would await the outcome of probes before commenting on the statements, Padarath said, “Carnival may be over but the minister remains at the centre of the ‘ole mas’ playing out at TSTT. As the fiasco unfolded, we saw the tentacles of the minister’s involvement becoming more compounded … he was embroiled in the matter and is now a main feature of the duration and aftermath of the cyberbreach. You can run as long as you can but you can’t hide, as this matter won’t go away.”

Padarath said the UNC will use all opportunities—Parliament questions, committee meetings et cetera—to demand Gonzales answer questions.

He said Gonzales cannot be investigating himself and appoint a team to probe the matter.

“Therefore, we have no faith or confidence in any probe appointed by him or TSTT’s board,” Padarath added.

He supported the Communication Workers’ Union’s call for board heads to roll.

Padarath detailed the questions UNC sent to TSTT via an FOIA request.

“If TSTT fails to provide the information, we’ll see this through whether or not it requires us going to court in the public’s interest,” he added.

Padarath demanded:

• Copies of all board minutes from October 2023 to February 2024, during and post the cyberattack and the board’s decisions on its handling.

• Copies of all correspondence regarding the cyberattack from TSTT to the minister.

• Copies of all correspondence from the executive management to board.

• Whether it is true TSTT is currently providing private bodyguard protection for acting CEO Kent Western. If so, what company is providing protection and at what costs? Who decided to hire such protection—the board or executive management?

• Copies of all evaluations of Western to ascertain who was responsible for his promotion.

Padarath also questioned how TSTT Environment and Reputational manager Khamal Georges was hired and if he was the “blue-eyed boy” in a protested post at Agard and Ramnarine’s expense.

Georges did not reply to queries on Padarath’s claims yesterday.

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