Posted: Monday, September 21, 2020. 4:10 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Today, the Ministry of Education (MOE) addressed allegations made by the online media site NBZLive regarding the procurement of tablets for students, stressing that the site was spreading false information.
The Ministry referenced a post on social media made by NBZLive yesterday, which showed a quotation purported from Cellular World, the company that has the government contract to purchase the tablets, and makes the assertion that there were irregularities with the purchase price of the items with respect to the resale price to the government of Belize, and also questioned the procedure in which the funds were sourced to pay for the items.
“The Ministry of Education notes the publication of a social media post created by NBZLive containing grossly false and misleading information including a fabricated quotation,” the MOE said. ”
The Ministry went on to say that the funding support for the procurement of the tablets is expected to come primarily through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), by modifying the existing Education Quality Improvement Program II (EQIP II) loan program.
The MOE underscored that the urgency of procuring the tablets, given the current school situation in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the Government fo Belize to identify funds that can be used to commence the procurement of the tablets until the IDB funds become available later this year.
“The procurement process must satisfy both the GOB procurement requirements as set out in the Finance & Audit (Reform) Act as well as the IDB’s rigorous rules and regulations as the first tier of approval,” the MOE said. “In addition, the contract must be reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Finance and the Contractor General prior to execution. No contract has been issued to date and therefore there is no truth to the claim that BZ$$7 million dollars have been paid by the Central Bank.”
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