GOB Clarifies Licensing Payment
Wednesday, August 25th, 2021
There are documents circulating that show a payment from the Government of Belize to Smart for Microsoft Licenses. Following an investigation, the Office of the Prime Minister can clarify that a payment of $3.37M was made to Smart Belize for the renewal of Microsoft 365 license subscriptions for the Government of Belize.
The facts are as follows:
On June 10, 2021, the Central IT Office (CITO) invited bids for the renewal of government’s Microsoft 365 licenses. The licenses were up for renewal on June 24, 2021, and bids were to be submitted no later than June 18, 2021.
Three bids were sent in – one from BTL, one from Smart and one from Inova Solutions, a regional company. The bids were password-protected by each individual bidder, to be opened only in the presence of all parties.
At 2:30 p.m. on June 18, representatives from BTL, Smart and Inova Solutions, in the presence of Ian Smith, CITO’s chief information officer, and Artemio Osorio, Ministry of Finance’s procurement director, opened the bids via password.
The Smart bid was lower than that of BTL and Inova Solutions, and the Bid Evaluation Committee recommended to the Ministry of Finance that Smart Belize be awarded the contract. The ministry accepted that recommendation.
The process was open, transparent and fair. There was and could not have been any interference, since all three bids were password protected. The entire tendering process was handled by CITO without interference.
The Government of Belize has a mandate from the people of Belize to cut costs wherever possible, and will remain true to that mandate as together, Belize’s economy can be rebuilt.
Please help support Local Journalism in Belize
For the first time in the history of the island's community newspaper, The San Pedro Sun is appealing to their thousands of readers to help support the paper during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1991 we have tirelessly provided vital local and national news. Now, more than ever, our community depends on us for trustworthy reporting, but our hard work comes with a cost. We need your support to keep delivering the news you rely on each and every day. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Please support us by making a contribution.Click to Donate