Information on government agreement with Intelco released

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 12, No. 6            February 14, 2002

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The Government of Belize's recent stop order requiring Belize Telecommunications Limited (BTL) to "cease implementation of their new tariff structure" and for BTL to "revert to the position as it was immediately before December 1, 2001" has created sparks. Irritated by the government's Statutory Instrument, BTL representatives called upon the GOB to release their "secret" and exclusive agreement for telecommunication services from Intelco. Thus, the following information was released by the Government Press Office in regards to the agreement between the Government of Belize, LGS Services Ltd. and International Telecommunications Ltd.    

    An Agreement made between LGS Services Limited (LGS) and the Government of Belize (GOB) and a Supplementary Agreement between the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Finance (GOB), LGS Services Limited and International Telecommunications Limited (ITL) have been scrutinized by the Contractor-General. As a result of the scrutiny, the following observations are made: (i) LGS shall donate 5,000 computers and assure Internet access from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., free of cost to government educational institutions. (ii) ITL shall assume the obligations of GOB to purchase the Wide Area Network from LGS, but GOB shall retain title to the Wide Area Network until a final payment of US$1.00 is made by ITL to GOB. (iii) GOB grants to ITL the exclusive concession in the government's educational institutions to operate a Cyber CafÈ Programme. (iv) ITL shall be the exclusive provider of Telecom Services to GOB. (v) GOB shall grant to ITL the concession to provide maintenance and technical support services in respect of the 5,000 computers referred to at (i). (vi) In consideration of the Telecom Services provided by ITL to GOB, GOB shall pay a monthly fee to be mutually agreed between GOB and ITL, but this shall not exceed 90% of the average aggregate monthly sum presently expended by GOB for telecommunications services. (vii) In respect of the delivery of services by LGS or ITL to the educational institutions (government or government-aided), GOB will exempt LGS and ITL from the payment of income tax, business tax, property tax, visa and work permit fees, stamp duty, revenue replacement duty and Customs and Excise duties. (viii) The Agreement (and Supplementary) shall last for a period of fifteen (15) years from September 25, 2001, provided that if either party is in breach of the Agreement, the other party may, after giving the defaulting party 90 days notice to remedy the breach, terminate the Agreement.    

    The Agreement and Supplementary provide for the non-disclosure of "confidential information". Confidential information is deemed to include the Agreement, but excludes matters that a receiving party is compelled by law or legal process to disclose. As you are aware the documents made available to this office were supplied in compliance with the legal requirement of the Contractor-General Act, 1993 (No. 6 of 1993).

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