MP Lewis: Fully Investigate the EBook Scandal Before Re-Engaging Fortuna Pix

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
Richard LEWIS

MP Lewis: Fully Investigate the EBook Scandal Before Re-Engaging Fortuna Pix

I call on Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Minister of Education, Daryll Matthew, to fully investigate the unresolved EBook Scandal before giving any consideration to re-engaging Fortuna Pix, or to hiring any other provider.

The last time the Indian IT firm Fortuna Pix was engaged by this government, we ended up with the EBook tablets being dumped at Cooks Landfill.

Despite the revelations of overspending, mass wastage, gross incompetence and blatant violations of our tendering procedures, no meaningful investigations were conducted.

Consequently, there were no published findings or recommendations for improvement, and no Minister was ever held accountable.

Inking a second deal with Fortuna Pix, without fully investigating what went wrong during their last contract, would be a slap in the faces of the tax-payers of this country.

The results of an investigation would inform corrective measures that could prevent a second EBook Scandal.

I also call for the full publication of all new EBook contracts.

In 2017, the Government signatories to the contract failed to read the fine print, and unknowingly committed the tax payers of this country to a $13 million annual user fee.

Full ventilation of future contracts will ensure that our people, and our students in particular, are getting value for money this time around.

I further call on the Government to declare whether or not the new EBook contract will be going to tender, unlike the last time. And if not, what is the justification for that?

Finally, I recommend that a pilot EBook project be conducted to ensure that all challenges are addressed before a full rollout.

Richard S. Lewis MP

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