Not true

Not true

GeoTech Vision rejects claim devices produced for Tablets in Schools project don't meet requirement

Senior staff reporter

Thursday, October 24, 2019

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GeoTech Vision Enterprises has rejected a claim that the devices it has produced, under a US$16-million deal for the Tablets in Schools project, do not meet the contract requirement, and that this is the basis on which the company's services are being terminated.

At a press conference called yesterday at the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce offices on Half-Way-Tree Road in St Andrew, GeoTech Vision's ICT Project Manager Stephen Wedderburn said the tablets had passed numerous benchmark tests performed by experts in the technology business.

“GeoTech Vision certifies the quality of the tablets and assures the people of Jamaica that they exceed the technical specifications of the contract,” he stated, pointing out that the company has clients in 17 countries, and has not had any instance of dissatisfaction.

“GeoTech Vision is deeply concerned with the decisions made by e-Learning Jamaica. We were excited for the opportunity to once again be selected, for the second time, to contribute to this project which provides much-needed tablets for students across Jamaica, and are disappointed at the attempt to terminate a contract we have faithfully been performing,” Wedderburn said.

The claim was made by e-Learning Jamaica which issued a notice of termination to the company on September 16, but GeoTech Vision insists that the contract is still in place.

According to the company, e-Learning requested 1,000 tablets to be delivered in July but the company has not been able to get a response from e-Learning as to where the tablets are to be delivered.

Wedderburn said this batch was the initial tranche of tablets that were to be delivered under the contract.

“To date, they have not provided any information about a delivery location, which makes it impossible to deliver the tablets. In fact, we are still not in receipt of the list of schools which are to receive tablets, despite numerous requests and a May 29, 2019 promise by e-Learning Jamaica to share that list no later than June 30th, after approvals from the Ministry of Education,” Wedderburn claimed.

Yesterday, e-Learning's Chief Executive Officer Keith Smith told the Jamaica Observer that the Government agency entered into an agreement with the company in December last year to deliver 18,000 tablets for students, within six weeks. He said this arrangement was adjusted in February for the provision of an addition of just over 1,000 tablets that were to be delivered by May. Smith said e-Learning had not received the tablets, except for 11 sample tablets which did not meet the specifications in the contract.

GeoTech Vision also says the termination notice had come as a surprise, and was “strange”, given that e-Learning had not expressed any dissatisfaction with the tablets before now.

“If you are issuing a termination notice for non-delivery you would have expected, for instance, some inquiries as to the whereabouts of the tablets [but] there was none of that from eLearning; this termination notice came out of the blue,” Wedderburn said.

He also intimated that the relationship with e-Learning had shown signs of going sour in recent months. “We have not found them forthcoming with information...we have found that it has not been a very responsive relationship,” Wedderburn said, adding that prior to the termination notice all communication was being done by formal letter, which signalled that there was a problem.

“We had requested the resumption in writing of the project meetings but we got a notice saying that they weren't willing to entertain any project meeting, then shortly after the termination notice came,” Wedderburn said.

Meanwhile, managing director of Dimex Technologies, Devin Johnson vouched for the quality of the devices, and provided a demonstration of their functionality.

He concluded that the tablets were “wonderful” for entry level, and in fact exceeded specifications.

GeoTech Vision says e-Learning has not outlined the basis of its concerns, but that the company is willing to negotiate an amicable solution to the impasse.

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