E-books Minister Stays, PM Softens Tone On E-books Scandal

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Michael Browne will not face any consequences for the E-books scandal, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said.

Browne made the disclosure in a radio interview recently, even though the Education Minister accepted responsibility for the “irregularities”.

PM Browne said last month that the minister presided over “serious procedural breaches” and would ultimaltely have to be held responsible for the embrassing e-books scandal.

Now, the prime minister appears to have completely changed his tone.

He told his radio station that “there was no intention to rip off the people of Antigua and Barbuda.”

“In the absence of any such intent, I don’t see how we could justify taking any action against the public officials who were involved in the signing of the e-books initiative.”

What he earlier called procedural breaches the prime minister is now labelling as “genuine oversights.”

Browne said he now needs prima facie evidence of wrong doing.

It was the prime minister himself who said that the matter of the e-books did not go to the Tenders Board. He also said the wrong body signed the contract for the supply of the e-books and that the matter of the user fee was never brought to the attention of Cabinet.

The government has since said the US$ 250 user fee has been reduced to US$ 80, saving the government millions of dollars annually.

The main opposition United Progressive Party has been calling for Browne to be fired or resign as Education Minister.

They argue that he cannot continue to preside over the scheme after the irregularities.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. All tools day donkey turn over…….UPP love to much ugly…

    But where is the accounting from the benefit concert?

  2. He who answers a matter before he heareth it is a fool. Next time Mr. Prime Minister, get all the facts before making any public statements. I see no reason to get rid of the Education Minister. He owned up to his mistake. As long as that’s the truth. Now bring the evidence of the mistake and proceed.

    • He very obviously had no other choice but to “own up”. However, I think we all need to not lose sight of the fact that these (very expensive??) ebooks apparently just sat unused for how long and this same minister and his cohort/s did not take the time to question why. The minister only made what has to be the worst kiss derriere speech I have ever heard in Parliament a few days ago and apparently this nonsensical confession was made only because the ‘you know what’ had finally come out in the open and hit the fan. IMO this ebooks saga combined with the too good to be true story about the reduction of the license fee stinks and the minister needs to go…at the very least what conscientious parent would really want their children’s education overseen by a person/s who make oversights, blunders and procedural breeches; all of which, interestingly enough, appear to be associated with excessive sums of money!!

  3. No wrongdoings? That is by whose declaration? Who investigated? What independent, objective group formed this decision? God nar sleep. Pretty soon He a go sneeze!

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