GOB must pay for 4 million for ‘Walkie Talkie’ Print E-mail
( 0 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 30 November 2018 00:00

Back in 2002, Ralph Fonseca signed on to a lease agreement with Intelco to provide a telephone system to connect all government offices. It was a sweetheart deal that saw Government paying 24 million dollars for the initial set up to Intelco and its Chairman at the time, Glen Godfrey. The agreement then continued with the Government continuing to make payments for the use of the system.

But the problem was that the system never really worked; in fact, it can best be described as a ‘Walkie Talkie’ operation. To this day, the sets adorn the desks of many offices in Government but they are as useless as tits on a bull.

The whole deal was hatched up and implemented by the Musa Administration and saw Godfrey collecting for a less than substandard service. The Government of Belize dutifully paid during the Musa days but that sweetheart operation came to a halt when the Barrow Administration came to office. A few months after taking office, the Barrow administration simply stopped paying for the non-existent service. By March of 2012, a company called GDG acquisitions sued the Government for 10.3 million dollars for the non payment. While the Government has won some decisions on this matter, it has now decided to settle.

At a House Meeting held on Friday November 23, the Government passed a bill to pay Godfrey 5 million dollars in compensation for the telephone service. Prime Minister Barrow noted, “that master lease agreement, signed between Glenn Godfrey and the then administration, in fact by Ralf Henry Fonseca, was so absolutely and outrageously one-sided that, although initially we had won on some sort of a technicality, our lawyers are saying that on the merits, you can’t escape. Our lawyers said we are going to suggest that this stinks to high heaven. But the fact is that Ralph Henry Fonseca, being, as we all thought at the time, at least legally, of sound mind and judgment, on behalf of the administration, presumably with the authority of the Cabinet, signed this one-sided lease. And Government is bound by the terms.”

Notably there was not a peep from the opposition in Government’s decision to pay Godfrey.