AC cops arrest ex-HSA chair

| 29/08/2014

(CNS) Updated Friday 4pm: Following his arrest under the anti-corruption law on Thursday, Canover Watson (43) has denied the allegations against him and issued a short statement Friday afternoon through his lawyers. The former HSA chair stated: "The allegations are denied. In due course, at the proper time and in the appropriate forum, I look forward to setting out my position in greater detail.For present purposes, since the police investigation is ongoing, I have been advised by my attorneys that it would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment." The local businessman was arrested following an investigation into a government hospital contract on a number of serious corruption offences.

The allegations including abuse of public office, breach of trust, conflict of Interest and money laundering. Watson has not been charged and was released on police bail Thursday evening to return to GeorgeTown Police Station on 29 September. The arrest relates to an $11 million tender awarded by the Central Tenders Committee at the end of 2010 to AIS for a card payment system.

Along with questions being raised about the quality and efficiency of the system, known as Carepay, which was signed off by eight other people on the technical committee as well as Watson, CNS understands that the chair of the HSA board is suspected of having an undeclared interest inthe company.

Police have said nothing more about the enquiry but it is understood to have begun with an investigation by the auditor general, which was then passed onto the Anti-Corruption Commission. A number of questions were raised about the system during Finance Committee as it appeared that the system was failing and was costing the public purse a significant sum, with AIS taking 4% of the value of every insurance claim made through the cards given to CINICO patients.

According to the bid documents posted below, just one other firm had responded to the tender.

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Category: Crime

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