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Contractor General digs deeper into bookmarkers probe

Published:Friday | November 16, 2012 | 12:00 AM

A TEAM from the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) on Wednesday made an unannounced visit at the Ministry of Education to secure electronic and other documentation as it widens its probe into the procurement of bookmarkers by the Ministry of Education.

Contractor General Greg Christie confirmed on Wednesday that a senior investigator at his office led a team to secure documents at the ministry.

He told The Gleaner that senior Ministry of Education staff, including acting permanent secretary Grace McLean, cooperated with the OCG's staff.

The OCG team spent more than five hours combing through electronic and other documentation.

In August, Christie wrote to McLean requisitioning the particulars of the ministry's procurement of bookmarkers.

The bookmarkers, which had a photograph of Education Minister Ronald Thwaites superimposed over an impression of the Jamaican flag, triggered sharp criticisms from the opposition Jamaica Labour Party.

The bookmarkers bearing the image of Thwaites were later discarded by the ministry.

Christie had requested, among others things, the tender procedures which were utilised by the ministry to execute the procurement and the persons at the ministry who were involved in the development, approval and/or issue of the relevant tender and procurement instructions.

The OCG also wanted to know the identity of the contractor or contractors who were invited to tender for the award of the referenced contract.