Payment raises protests

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Foreign owned company only supplier to receive millions of CDF payments from government

 

By Alfred Sasako

THE Ministry of Finance and Treasury has reportedly renewed the Government’s Preferred Supplier Policy, which many say is favouring foreign-owned companies, it was revealed yesterday.

The revelation comes as an Island Sun story on hundreds of millions of dollars in Constituency Development Fund (CDF) payments to a foreign-owned company went viral on social media.

The policy was adopted in 2016, denying many local companies from participating in the normal tendering process as only those in the Preferred Supplier List were eligible to put in bids.

According to figures obtained by Island Sun, JQY Enterprises Ltd received total payments of $233, 845, 967.49 in the seven years to September this year. The payments were made directly to JQY Enterprises Ltd by the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD).

It is not clear what items, if any were bought from the company. It is also unclear how many Members of Parliament sourced their orders from JQY Enterprises Ltd, which sells heavy vehicle and equipment, spare parts and so on.

Angry posters questioned why local companies were overlooked in the process by Members of Parliament, when local companies also have the knowledge and the network to source machineries and vehicles.

Meanwhile a group of contractors with the Ministry of Infrastructure Development has questioned why JQY could easily get their payments while “we have been waiting since last year to be paid.”

The Ministry owes the whole group of us between $5 million and $6 million in unpaid contracts.

“Many of us survive on the small contracts we get from the government. But since last year, we have not been paid. In some cases, our water and electricity supplies have been cut due to non-payment,” a contractor who spoke on condition of anonymity told Island Sun.

“We are also struggling to get our kids to school,” the contractor said.

The contractor said when the Financial Controller (FC) of the Ministry was approached about why other companies including JQY were getting paid, the FC reportedly told the contractors that “the payments were arranged at the higher level.”

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