Tuesday, April 13, 2004

DR: Contract, contract, who gets the contract?

Marino’s Taller Grafico Digital, a shop located at Jose Cabrera No. 77, Ens. Ozama, has received a Central Electoral Board (JCE) contract for US$594,000 to provide 330,000 auto-adhesive sheets to impede tampering with the contents registered in the voting certificate for each polling station prior to their being sent to the municipal boards and the Central Electoral Board (JCE), says Hoy newspaper. The article points out that the JCE declined to purchase the security sheets from 3M Dominicana, preferring to negotiate through a distributor recommended by a JCE judge, despite this company not being able to guarantee the quality of the sheets. According to the newspaper, it was Judge Rafael Diaz Vasquez of the Administrative Chamber who recommended the purchase to Marino Esteban Ramirez. President Hipolito Mejia has described the judge as his man in the JCE.

Diario Libre, also reporting on the deal, says that if Marino’s does not produce the order on time, it would be penalized with a fine of US$2,000 per day. The Diario Libre says that the JCE has not identified the company that Marino’s would source the plastics from. The JCE agreed to advance 75% of the total amount, with the remaining 25% to be paid on delivery. The Diario Libre says that when they contacted Ramirez, he refused to give details on who would supply the material, alleging this was due to security reasons.
Is somebody on the receiving end of a kickback?


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