Former Minister accused of violating government’s tendering process

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By Elesha George
[email protected]

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has accused the Dean Jonas, the former Minister of Agriculture and Barbuda Affairs of violating the policy that governs the tendering process for government contracts.

According to Browne, any contract which exceeds E.C $100,000 and is issued within the public sector, must firstly be approved by the Cabinet and a recommendation would then be made to the tenders board, which has the authority to determine if the contract goes to full or selective tendering or will be waivered.

He said on Saturday, January, 25th, “there were persistent violations“by the former minister that dated back to his employment as Chairman of the Transport Board.

Browne added that for several years, he has had to intervene on numerous occasions “to scuttle contracts that the Minister would have negotiated without first getting the approval of the Cabinet and the tenders board, in order to avoid any form of embarrassment for the government”.

Browne shared that the pair would have had “conflicts” as a result of numerous attempts by the Member of Parliament (MP) to violate those policies

“There were consistent warnings”, Browne said, claiming to have cautioned the former Minister privately and in the presence of his colleagues, finally resolving that “it was like speaking to a brick wall”.

As tensions heighten between these two politicians, Browne, who said he still considers Jonas to be a comrade and friend, shared that he has launched an inquiry into the former minister’s latest contract.

“I have asked the Attorney General to look at his actions in that particular transaction that took place a week ago, to determine whether or not there is any illegality.”

If the inquiry does present any wrong doing, Browne said the MP will have “no chance of returning as a minister” and will have to “suffer the consequences because law enforcement will get involved”.

The Member of Parliament (MP) has denied the allegations, calling it untrue and a bogus story meant as a distraction.

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  1. He’s not the only one. I don’t understand why this is so difficult. Treasury has to cut the checks, so maybe they need to go to someone in finance for final review. Maybe they should get that accounting system called SAP I hear those companies have to file every expense all the way to the smallest amount.

  2. Distraction from what ? While you are at it Mr PM please see to it that the people he sent home from Antigua Fusheries get their severance pay plz

  3. This would be a war the likes of the Hatfield and the McCoy families. Gaston “Big Dawg”Browne versus Dean Jonas. I would volunteer to be the referee.Are we going to see a Member of Parliament in cuffs.Do not hold your breaths.So far we have not seen anyone in cuffs.In relations to the supposedly stolen $5 million from Customs.As echoed by the Big Dawg and Lie no hel Urst.

  4. People let us remember that though the devil is the prince of this world, God NEVER SLEEPS NOR SLUMBERS. Therefore all lies, deceits and collusions must be revealed at sometime. Hence, let us persevere to be honest and truthful at all times.
    I am confused by the prime minister’s statement that it has reached a Rubicon and the spelling is the same : Rubicon – a line that when crossed permits of no return and typically results in irrevocable commitment, why then was the six months leave entered into the conversation?
    I would like to know.

  5. Well, if I were the Prime Minister, I would fire all of them, from ‘cappen to cook’. Then, I would keep all the ‘power’ for me and my wife alone. And, we would rule like ‘king and Queen’.
    Anyway, I have to say I respect and salute Dean Jonas for having the ‘testicular fortitude’ to put on his ‘Boxing Gloves’ and fight back. I am supporting your corner Dean. Like the ABLP has a New Breed of People, who are not ‘Yes Men’. Much respect Dean. Dean Jonas for next Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. Hip! Hip!! Hip!!!, Hurrah!!!!


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