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Oct 13, 2016

Sports Minister Says Things Have Changed for Marion Jones

Elodio Aragon Jr.

The total amount of money already invested in the Marion Jones Sporting Complex is unknown, but it is safe to say that millions upon millions of dollars have been spent on the facility that is still incomplete. There has been little or no accountability of where the millions went. Today, the Minister of State Aragon was asked if kleptocracy has been at play and whether the funds were used elsewhere and not on the project. Here is his response.

 

Elodio Aragon Jr., Minsiter of State, Sports, Youth and Culture

“I think it is all about accountability and it is all about value for money. And I think that if we are going to get an investment, especially a donation coming from Mexico, it is imperative that we get value for money because nobody is going to give you money and not want to see something good come out of that donation. And I really think that having UNOPS on board in ensuring that we are able to build this facility with the funds that we have gotten, I think we can’t ask for anything better. And I think that I don’t have no problems with that taking place. There is always a process in whatever contract is given out and UNOPS is here to oversee all of that, which to a large extent I think will ensure that we have value for money and the best facility possible.”

 

Reporter

“However might you agree that the place where this contract is signed is almost a cathedral to loss of value for money, to loss of the public good? It is a testament to how many millions is spent—and you know this every day Minister Aragon—we do not have a functional space here despite how many millions was spent. The Taiwanese gave so many millions; they did not get value for money at Marion Jones because of this local system of graft where everybody fi get a kickback and a ten percent.”

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

“Well Jules I wasn’t here at that time and I can’t comment at that. I just took over Ministry of Sports with direct responsibility for sports youth and culture; not even a year. And I could tell you that whatever we have done and anybody can come and see what we are doing in sports. We are making great strides in sports right now. A lot of it, of course under my leadership, is always about good accountability; it is always about value for money.”

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