Another govt. corruption scandal brews at water utility
Santo Domingo.- Just when Dominicans thought they hadreached their limit in withstanding government corruption, a prominent investigativejournalist has reportedly uncovered graft in the contract to build the Eastern Aqueductand expand its components, one of the 10 works declared urgent by Santo Domingowater utility (CAASD).
“The CAASD is back inthe spotlight now because before the other bidders had the information, thewinning company was already quoting according to the state agency´s requirement,”acento.com.do reports.
The contract, awardedto the builder CONAMSA, whose controlling owner is Angel Rondon, founder of AAADominicana; company in charge of collections for the CAASD, and AlejandroMontas, who is the utility´s director and was a partner; was challenged byother bidders who claim they weren’t given enough time to prepare the tenders.
Now, 10 months afterthe biding, documents obtained by investigative journalist Alicia Ortega allegedlyreveal that CONAMSA´s budget calculations presented in two thick files preparedin just nine days follow the same pattern.
Among the accusersfigure Leonel Rodriguez, one of the more than 70 engineers who registered forthe tender, who says however that he was unable to bid because only twocompanies completed the process
Montas denies wrongdoingbecause he affirms that participating contractors were “I think” given 12 days tosubmit their bids.
The same three dayperiod for consultations established by the acquirers and two days later theproposals would be received.
Suspicions thatCONAMSA had the inside information needed to submit a bid before thecontracting agency informed of a change in the budget, the company alreadyrequested the new specifications.
The project includesthe construction of two glazed water storage tanks, which the CAASD initiallyrequested a capacity of eight million gallons. “On 10 December last year, asconfirmed by a publication presented by the journalist Alicia Ortega, the CAASDreported that it will reduce the storage capacity of the tanks to 7.5 milliongallons.”