Thursday, April 15, 2004

DR: It's not what you know ... it's who you know

Diario Libre reports again today on the family and political ties behind the contracting of services at the Central Bank. Through a press release, Jose Lois Malkum, the Central Bank Governor, denied that he had dispensed with transparency and awarded tenders to favor those with political or personal ties to him, following a story that appeared on 25 March in Diario Libre. To dispute the Central Bank release sent out yesterday, Diario Libre highlights that Elsa Beatriz Bobadilla Goico, the daughter of one of the Lois Malkum’s cousins, receives a RD$239,500 monthly check as a result of her company, Comercio Internacional de las Antillas, having obtained the contract for the housekeeping at the Central Bank Club. The article also mentions that Liz Anllela Dabas Dabas, who is related to Lois Malkum through family, received the contract to oversee the administration of the Central Bank cafeteria after a tender called in July 2003 was cancelled. The lease contract for the cafeteria is signed by Lois Malkum himself, instead of by Apolinar Veloz, the administrative director of the Central Bank, who would normally handle such matters. The newspaper points to a notary public’s statement that establishes the signatures were signed by those whose names appear and points out this was not true in the case of the Veloz signature. The newspaper also questions the fact that Lois Malkum’s daughter-in-law, Racel Molinari, is listed as one of his advisers in charge of the Department of Communications.

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