GeoTech threatens legal action over Tablets in Schools project

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GeoTech threatens legal action over Tablets in Schools project

Thursday, November 21, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — GeoTech Vision Jamaica has threatened legal action against the Government's technology company, eLearning Jamaica, over the termination of its US$16.6-million contract for the Tablets in Schools Programme.

The two organisations have been at odds over claims by eLearning Jamaica that the tablets produced by GeoTech Vision did not meet requirements.

Noting that it is yet to receive a response from Prime Minister Andrew Holness to its appeal for his intervention in bringing a resolution to the dispute, GeoTech Vision said it is “now left with no recourse but to direct its attorneys to take all necessary legal steps in the courts to compel e-Learning Jamaica to conform to the provisions under contract to engage in stipulated dispute resolution mechanisms to settle any agreement which may arise in the course of the contract”.

The company said it sought the prime minister's intervention in a letter dated October 25, 2019, following a notice of termination that was issued by e-Learning Jamaica on September 16, accusing the company of failing to deliver on its contract.

It noted that in its appeal letter, it requested an independent evaluation of the quality of its tablets and the withdrawal of the termination notice issued by e-Learning Jamaica.

“GeoTech Vision has acted in good faith and e-Learning Jamaica's purported termination of the contract is without merit. For our part, we have done everything possible to accommodate requests made by e-Learning Jamaica in the interest of moving the project forward,” Managing Director of GeoTech Vision, Valrie Grant said.

The company said it has also sought intervention from the Public Procurement Commission, with e-Learning Jamaica's portfolio Minister, Fayval Williams and Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Education, Karl Samuda and it has also written to Audley Shaw as the minister responsible for small businesses to look objectively into this matter.

However, it informed that there has been no response from any of the ministers of Government, while the Public Procurement Commission has indicated that it referred the matter to the Integrity Commission.

GeoTech Vision said that as required under the contract, it has 19,305 tablets in Jamaica ready for distribution to schools.

“We believe that the unfair and unmerited termination attempt could have been avoided if all the facts were known at the policy level, and that we could have right now been delivering tablets to schools instead of being on the brink of a legal contest”, Grant said.

GeoTech Vision said it remains open to any constructive mechanism for resolving the impasse with e-Learning Jamaica and is hopeful of receiving a positive response from Holness.

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