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Aug 2, 2019

FinSec Joe Waight Addresses Central Medical Stores Issue

Joseph Waight

Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has weighed in on the Ministry of Health issue involving the awarding of a contract for the building of the Central Medical Stores in Belmopan.  The contract is for a sum of one point six million dollars which was to have been financed via a grant from the National Health Insurance Reserve Fund managed by the Social Security Board.  Today, the FinSec clarified several points, including the bidding process.

 

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“The Ministry of Health approached the Ministry of Finance for approval to enter a contract for the construction of a warehouse.  The letter stated that they were identified funds from the NHI reserve fund which is under the management of the Social Security Board.  Our response was, we had no objection to the issuance of the contract, the tender was in order, I mean there was value for money and we did what we were supposed to do and we also then said that we understand that money is being sourced from the Social Security Board.  It was never our, or it shouldn’t be construed or intended, it’s not our place to give or to decide on the use of Social Security money.  The prime minister, or I think he basically said pretty much the same thing and then chipped in that in his view it should not be, the ministry should not approach the Social Security Board.  So that should put an end to that story.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“We understand that the bidder, the contract holder in this case, is the brother of Minister Rene Montero.  Did this raise any kind of concerns in terms of the tendering process?”

 

Joseph Waight

“I don’t think so.  Relatives of people in government are free to make or are not excluded from getting or doing business with the government.  As I said, there was a call for tenders, four or five responses, one of which was, I can’t remember the name, but it turned out to be the lowest, best qualified bid.  When you look for a bid it has to be qualified to be able to do the work, the history of the work or previous similar work and also a bid or price and that bid turned out to be the lowest, qualified bid and therefore  it was accepted.”


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