Tonight there is the SMART/BTL firestorm that the Briceno Administration is trying to extinguish. A limited tendering process was put for companies to submit quotes for the renewal of the Government’s Office 365 subscription. Three companies, BTL, SMART and Inova Solutions submitted bids. The government awarded SMART a one year contract at $3.3 million. The situation has brought on a heap of concerns and criticisms from the public domain, but Prime Minister John Briceno has chalked it up to SMART simply providing a better offer.
John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “You have agents that represent Microsoft. The Government of Belize is not an agent for Microsoft so you don’t go and just buy it from Microsoft. Big companies have to buy from the agents and three companies made a bid, BTL, Smart and a company and Smart gave the lowest price.”
Reporter: Without value added.
John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “But remember it was only for one year. BTL value added was for three years and then the government was only asking, well they wanted just a one year because with technology it gets cheaper every year so the whole idea was then next year we throw another bid.”
Reporter: Things can change next year.
John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “Yup.”