Dr. Guy said if there is any truth to these allegations, the existence of multiple contracts between Market Me Jamaica and the Ministry of Health and Wellness in such circumstances necessitates an investigation to ascertain whether Minister Tufton used his position as the portfolio Minister to steer or influence, in part or whole, the contracts awarded to Market Me Jamaica.
He said, at a minimum, the public needs to know whether these contracts were awarded based on the established due process regime under the provisions of the country’s procurement guidelines.
“If true, it will amount to cronyism, nepotism and the abuse of public office, which would then necessitate an immediate investigation by either the Integrity Commission or the Auditor General’s Department,” Dr. Guy stated.
He is, therefore, calling on Dr. Tufton to clarify the nature of the relationship between himself and Market Me Jamaica and its CEO.
If Market Me Jamaica is responsible for the overall imaging and branding of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and at the same time, promoting the personal brand of Minister Tufton, are these two separate contracts? What are the deliverables and who is responsible for their implementation? Is it, the Ministry, or the agency?
“One would hope that public funds are not being misused to enhance in any way the individual brand/image and persona of Minister Tufton,” Dr. Guy pondered.
It is well established that Market Me Jamaica is the preferred marketing/Public Relations agency for Dr. Tufton, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Jamaica Moves and COVID-19, among others. In regards specifically to the COVID-19 marketing contract, can the Ministry of Health and Wellness state for the record, when was this contract initiated, and what is its value? Was due process followed based on the government’s procurement guidelines?
Also, can the Ministry provide details on the development of the COVID-19 App and its ownership? Who developed the App and was it in response to an open tender? When was it put to tender, and what was the level of responses? What role did the Minister play in the selection of the successful bid? Is there an agreed budget for the maintenance of the COVID-19 App and who is responsible for such maintenance support?
The Shadow Minister asked, considering allegations in the public domain and Market Me Jamaica being the preferred agency for the Ministry of Health and Wellness, is there a conflict of interest involving the Minister of Health and Wellness?
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