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No contract for CMU $701m building, says project manager

PROJECT MANAGER at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), Elaine Hayden, told a parliamentary oversight committee on Tuesday that her reputation would “take a beating” after admitting that she had no evidence to substantiate that there was a contract between the institution and Business Supply Source (BSS), or Logistics Company 1.

The project manager was responding to queries from committee member Lisa Hanna, who raised questions about her involvement as project manager in the nearly US$1-million arrangement to procure material for a J$701-million, three-storey student block at the CMU main’s campus in east Kingston.

In an education ministry response to issues raised in the auditor general’s report, the CMU said it accepted that an error was made when the full payment of US$621,000 was made to Logistics Company 1 two days after the procurement committee gave its approval.

“They now are aware that this project should have been submitted through the necessary stages up to the offices of the Cabinet for the necessary approval and, upon approval, a contract as specified in the procurement guidelines 2015, as well as the securing of a bank guarantee/letter of credit to secure the university’s interest, should have been undertaken,” the CMU said.

“There is an invoice that went to Treasury and the amounts were paid two days after the procurement committee had approved, so we have not been able to put our hands on a contract that would have guided the process with Logistics Company 1,” she said.

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