Culture Ministry contracts questioned

The Ministry of Culture was created in 2019

735Views 2Comments Posted 04/02/2021

, the newly created Ministry of Culture,  headed by Carlos Aguilar, is facing an investigation of contracts for at least $628,000 for the 'My Culture at Home' program.

Five of the contracts including including one direct for $285,000 went to Jimmy Dawson Production, Inc. a company that was disqualified from contracting with the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) in 2018 for "the commission of acts that indicate a lack of honesty in the actions." Furthermore, the edict that notifies the disqualification details "the use of ACP employees as an agent or intermediary for the purpose of obtaining a contract."

Minister Aguilar defended himself against the questions claiming that his portfolio is transparent. He questioned the communicators who have brought the issue to light, and  called them "gossip."

Aguilar said "We not only gave emotional relief to people at home, we also generated income for artists in the midst of the pandemic," Aguilar said during the event.

The minister criticized journalists and communicators, calling them "Gossipers "and questioned their intentions in demanding transparency in purchases.

The Ministry of Culture was created by law on August 15, 2019.

In Panama Compra there are contracts for $628,000housand to develop these virtual artistic presentations that are broadcast on Sertv, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, among others.

The Ministry of Culture primarily hired Jimmy Dawson Productions, Inc to hire the artists. At least six contracts have been assigned to him since last September that total $382 thousand. The one with the highest amount ($285,797) was for the coordination, logistics, production, and realization of the year-end closing event, and was granted directly at the beginning of December 2020.

The document that justifies the direct allocation spoke of an urgent nature and it was alleged that time would not allow the necessary purchase process (public bidding) to be carried out. The contract, as proposed by Jimmy Dawson Productions, Inc., included the rental of a mobile truck, food, payment to the performers and entertainers, and the cost of producing the shows.

Other contracts awarded to the same company include more agreements with artists for different programs. But these purchases did  notgo through a bidding process even when it was not offering the best price

The Jimmy Dawson Production, Inc. company is chaired by Jaime Walter Dawson, according to Public Registry documents.

In the midst of the controversy, he issued a statement in which he says that "the company is charging what is fair and what corresponds for the work." He added that he has been working in the industry for more than 30 years and that he meets all the necessary requirements to participate in tenders  T-here is no mention of the direct contract that was awarded to him.

The Ministry of Culture explained to La Prensa that at first  the entity directly managed contracts with the artists, but it was decided to hire an administrator "to facilitate the processing and payment of those hired." That's when they hire Jimmy Dawsons Productions.

The  portfolio also gave another direct contract similar to that of Dawson to the company Deep Blue Circus, for the closing event. The amount: $213,786 and it was also argued lack of time to bring it to tender. Deep Blue Circus is chaired, a, by Richard Montenegro Jaén.

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Comments 2

George Klk

Panama | Bidding Process Avoided, Red Flag - Norm. Jaime Walter Dawson...Charging what is fair...(???) Panama record of underground money laundering and non transparency...a playbook. Panama pays the tab...Panama continue to pay other tabs...for years to come. Jaime Walter Dawson...another Brazil Odebrecht with delayed due process? Panamanians will know soon how Cortizo is tied to all of this. Panama president Cortizo does not protect the Constitutional bidding process! What Constitution? What corruption? What money laundering? Just $$$ friends! The Jaime Walter Dawson contract makes it easier for the... Martinelli self enrichment process in his free ham re-election for his ultimate conquest! and the courts will not want to hear it...too complicated with the respect for money contracts. I am basically a financial mediocre survivor and I would definitely find a way to get out of that politically enrichment...HELL HOLE...Cortizo shameful administration! Cortizo wouldn't care less if Panama becomes another Venezuela! I would rather live in a prison than let my conscious live with the fact these... Panama leaders rape the Panamanians...ALL THE TIME!!!

3 weeks ago
Oh ya

Sounds typical for a government program in Panama. Time to follow the money and see if someone is on the take

3 weeks ago
The comments are the responsibility of each author who freely expresses his opinion and not that of Newsroom Panama.
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