A few weeks ago the Prime Minister admitted a contract given to Smart as a telecoms provider for various ministries had been approved without first going to the Contractor General for final review. The PM said that there was nothing sinister, just that time was quickly running out for the government's license to be renewed. But, some factions are saying they may take the matter to court. On Friday, the PM said that while it is anyone's right to file a law suit, he does not think a challenge against the government in this matter would hold up.

Prime Minister John Brice´┐Żo

"That's the right of any citizen but I do believe that if it goes to court it will go nowhere simply because the contractor general, after the fact, took a look at everything that took place and he has given a stamp of approval, seeing that everything was done openly and transparently. The fact is that Speednet gave the cheapest rate; the fact is that this government is saving the Belizean people money by taking these steps and the fact is that this is the very first time in the history that the Government of Belize decided to put this out to bidding and that the company that gave the lowest bid managed to win that contract. B.T.L. being the national company of Belize does not give them the right to be able to have all the business from government at whatever price possible. Do you realize that right now B.T.L. is selling services to our schools, when they were saying that there was free internet service? They're selling to about two hundred and ninety schools at the rate of about two thousand nine hundred dollars a month - something that other companies could give for five hundred dollars. B.T.L. has been creaming the government; they have been fleecing the government with those excessive prices that they have. We as a government have a responsibility. B.T.L. is a private company; government owns the majority but it is a private company and as such, they need to be able to compete for services."

Channel 5