Local June 7, 2013 | 3:37 pm

Odebrecht contract illegal: Dominican Republic watchdog group

Santo Domingo.- A prominent watchdog group on Friday rebuked the hiring, without a call for tenders, of the Brazilian giant Odebrecht to rebuild the Navarrete-Puerto Plata highway, at an estimated cost of several hundred million dollars.

The affirmation by the Justice and Transparency Foundation (FJT) comes one week after the Public Works Ministry canceled the contract with the company VIADOM, and proceeded to assign the work to Odebrecht.

FJT president Trajano Potentini warned Public Works to discontinue the practice he affirms violates the Purchases and Procurement Law.

He said in recent years the Brazilian contractor has built over 80% of the Dominican Government’s megaprojects, and that the company also benefits illegally from the repairs and expansion on the San Pedro-La Romana highway, formerly managed by Codacsa.

Potentini said while a rebuilt and wider Navarrete-Puerto Plata highway is essential to the north region’s development, the FJT demands transparency, respect for the law and for institutionalism.

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