Market Me bailed out broke ministry – MOHW admits to not owning Jamaica Moves brand | Lead Stories

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Advertising and marketing and public-relations agency Market Me Consulting bailed out the Ministry of Well being & Wellness in fronting a cost to host a gathering as a result of the ministry was broke.

The revelation was made because the ministry printed reams of contracts and invoices on its web site on Tuesday, per week after controversy raged over whether or not Dr Christopher Tufton had exercised ministerial affect in corralling enterprise for Market Me.

Tufton has described social-media posts alleging a private relationship with a director of Market Me as “vile, filthy, and scandalous”.

Everlasting Secretary Dunstan Bryan disclosed to The Gleaner on Tuesday that, all advised, the ministry spent roughly $300 million in outsourced communication and commercial placements for the 2019-2020 fiscal yr.

In response to a memorandum issued in October 2017, Tufton had requested a gathering with varied medical officers to debate Jamaica Strikes on the Medallion Corridor Resort. However primarily based on the time of the fiscal yr, the ministry mentioned it was in need of money and proposed that Market Me pay the resort, with the intention of reimbursement at a later date. This amounted to $174,577.47.

Bryan mentioned that whereas that association was not normal apply, it was not remoted.

“It’s not repeatedly finished, however every now and then, relying on the exercise, the agency might advance a cost after which ask the ministry to reimburse them.

“Many entities, for the aim of expediting an exercise, might pay for it upfront after which request that the Authorities reimburse them. It’s not one thing that’s repeatedly practised, however it isn’t one thing that’s out of the norm,” Bryan mentioned.

Within the meantime, the everlasting secretary has revealed that regardless of funnelling tens of millions of {dollars} into the Jamaica Strikes behaviour-change initiative over the previous three years, Market Me has mental property rights over the marketing campaign title and emblem.

Bryan mentioned that he expects the mental property rights to be transferred to the ministry freed from value by August. He mentioned on Tuesday that he had written to Market Me in 2019 requesting the switch.

No rationalization was supplied why that switch had not already been made.

A assessment of the paperwork by The Gleaner signifies that along with contracted quantities tendered to Market Me for the Jamaica Strikes marketing campaign, the ministry paid out greater than $13 million in different tasks between March 7, 2017, and July 3, 2020. Roughly $2.6 million of that expenditure has not but been accounted for.

A few of the tasks included $386,860 for goodie baggage distributed by Market Me to members of parliament and senators and greater than $713,972 for advertising for final yr’s Sectoral Debate.

It additionally features a $552,062.64 Diabetes Day complement in The Gleaner and $42,000 protection of the ministry’s annual sports activities day by Market Me.

Bryan has defended the outsourcing of selling actions, saying that the PR unit consists of two people to serve your entire ministry.

“The ministry has a number of programmes which they’re chargeable for, together with the general public relations of the ministry itself. There are a number of programmes that require communication intervention, and every now and then, actions are outsourced from completely different entities.

“Market Me shouldn’t be the one entity that we outsource to,” Bryan mentioned.

Market Me had initially made an unsolicited proposal to the ministry in 2016 for the Jamaica Strikes contract valued at $15.9 million, which was authorized.

Paperwork printed on Tuesday indicated that the consultancy company was unable to execute all actions outlined in its preliminary scope of labor due to the evolution of the Jamaica Strikes programme idea. The corporate mentioned, nevertheless, that it performed different actions such because the ‘Get Shifting Problem’ and the ‘Company Problem’.

Subsequent correspondence from the ministry’s workplace of the principal finance officer indicated that the Finance Division sought clarification in writing on gaps within the deliverables.

It’s unclear whether or not that clarification was forthcoming.

When the ministry tried to increase the contract in Might 2019, the Public Procurement Fee objected, noting that there was no proof that worth for cash had been achieved from the primary association and that Market Me had not met the minimal required rating of 70 within the bid doc. Market Me had scored 65.

Nonetheless, Bryan and his group pressed the fee to reverse its determination, arguing that going to the open market would have disrupted the Jamaica Strikes programme, which was formally launched in April 2017. The PPC backtracked on its determination after the ministry decreased the contract interval from two years to at least one.

The renewed contract was value $38.9 million.

danae.hyman@gleanerjm.com

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