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Sep 20, 2013

SIF scandal; contract between SIF and Kenard Smart allows for appointment of adjudicator

Daniel Cano

The former Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund, Daniel Cano, came forward on Thursday to speak about a one week old scandal of corruption that has rocked the SIF. Cano was required to resign and four others were fired following claims of extortion by contractor, Kenard Smart.   On Tuesday, the Corozal-based contractor, who has remained well below the radar in the wake of a major corruption scandal, responded to a termination letter presented to him by officials from the SIF concerning the failed Dangriga Market Project.  Smart’s contract to renovate the market under the Belize Municipal Development Project was formally cancelled on September sixth, effectively entangling the investments of Lyndon Bailey, as well as Gush and Emy, in the fix.  The letter, written to project manager, Ernest Raymond, and forwarded to the World Bank, refers to a clause in a contract signed by SIF and Smart, on behalf of K&G Construction Limited.  That article allows for the appointment of an adjudicator by the Association of Professional Engineers in the case of a dispute between the employer and the contractor.  In a candid interview with the media on Thursday, Cano says that while he is aware of that section of the contract, he did not study in detail its meaning in the actual context of the current disagreement.

 

Daniel Cano, Former Exec. Dir., Social Investment Fund

“I am aware that there is an adjudicator identified under the contract but really it’s not possible for me to comment because I have not studied the exact circumstances and what Mr. Smart exactly is trying to put forth.  And even if I studied it I would still need to seek legal advice because I am not an expert in contracts, in and out like that, I would have to get advice from an expert and then we would present a position.  But now that is not for me to do.”

 

Reporter

“How many contracts did Mr. Smart get from SIF post or as of 2009?”

 

Daniel Cano

“I think Jules spoke to a number which sounds about right to me.  I don’t have the exact number in front of me.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Did you guys make any checks prior to then what his experience in building and all that stuff was?”

 

Daniel Cano

“Dangriga was the largest contract he had gotten and for that one we had already seen some problems presenting.  We spoke with the bank about this and again they emphasized that we have to go by what is on paper.  The only thing we can do is call all those people that he said he built for and confirm that he has actually built for them and that the amounts he said that the contracts were valued are true. That was done.”

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