Corruption and favoritism Odebrecht project in Dominican

The Brazilian company enjoyed favoritism in bidding for power plant project

It billed astronomical salaries where a welder earn more than the President of the Republic

Dominican authorities paid $ 1.000 million more for the same work

Drawing visioning of the termoléctrica plant being built in Punta Catalina.

Antonio Maria Delgado

The Dominican government could have committed to pay twice to less qualified company when he chose the beleaguered Brazilian company Odebrecht for the construction of a thermoelectric plant in Punta Catalina, in a project plagued by accusations of favoritism and overbilling price.

Documents obtained by the Herald show that the Dominican government provided Odebrecht insider to help you win the tender for the construction of the power project and the Brazilian company then billed exorbitant wages for construction workers under a scheme that led to a welder to earn more than the president of the republic.

The salaries quoted by Odebrecht become employees of the work in the highest paid workers in the Dominican Republic, with salaries that exceeds a thousand times stipulated in the country for the same professions minimum wage.

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Under the scheme, welders hired to work would receive $ 99.96 per hour, foremen $ 49.40 per hour and masons $ 32.42 per hour, according to the contract hastily approved by the Dominican Congress, even when Odebrecht was already investigated in Brazil for corruption.

Also, carpenters were scheduled to receive $ 32.42, $ 29.25 and electricians production operators $ 21.91 per hour.

The lowest wages are reserved for “unskilled workers”. However, the $ 18.55 when they had plans to charge $ 16 per exceeded hour charged on average a welder in the United States.

Welders hired to work would receive $ 99.96 per hour, foremen $ 49.40 per hour and $ 32.42 per hour bricklayers, said the contract hastily approved by the Dominican Congress

Odebrecht is unknown whether those actually paid wages to their workers, but the amounts stipulated by the welders had been earning more than President Danilo Medina.

At the exchange rate of 41.3 pesos per dollar that was in effect in 2013, the year he signed the contract, the salary of a welder working full-time equivalent to 660,535.68 pesos per month, exceeding 450,000 pesos per month obtained Medina that year.

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The documents obtained by the Herald were recently collected in the course of research conducted in Brazil on the corruption scandal that led to jail the former president of the engineering firm, Marcelo Odebrecht.

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But the work, the execution faces funding problems, and took nearly two years being questioned in the Dominican Republic, under accusations that the other three firms that competed against Odebrecht in the tender were most qualified to do the work and were paid much less.

“The awarded company, Norberto Odebretch-Tecnimont, is the company’s less technical qualification compared with other participating companies with the highest economic price offers, USD 2,040 million,” declares a complaint made to the Senate by the Consortium IMPE SRL , which was associated with china Gezhouba Group Company Limited, compete in the tender.

Congress had approved a ceiling of $ 1.500 million for the construction of the power plant with capacity of 700 megawatts and bids should not exceed that amount.

Three of the final four consortia, which the complaint IMPE were the most qualified, presented below ceiling set bids and China Gezhouba Group Company Limited said he could do the work for $ 900 million, Secop 111 only earned $ 1.150 million and Posco $ 1.200 billion traded highlights Impe’s complaint.
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However, the regulator of the electricity industry -the country Dominican Corporation of State Electrical Companies (CDEEE) – subsequently said the offer presented by Posco also exceeded the ceiling set by the Senate, with close to $ 2.000 million.

The argument used by the Dominican government to award the tender to Odebretch is that the Brazilian firm took out a better evaluation than its rivals, with CDEEE giving a score of 48.95 points from 35.70 points scored Posco; the China Gezhouba Group of 34.85 and 29.95 of Sepco III Electric Power Construction Corporation.

Which the Dominican government has concluded that Odebretch was the best qualified firm has many scratching their heads, said from Dominican Republic Raul Cabrera, General Manager of IMPE Consortium, the Dominican component group composed of China Gezhouba Group.

“Before opening the technical bid evaluations, the same CDEEE declared that our firm was the one who had the most experience. China Gezhouba was building at that time the world’s largest dam, the Three Gorges Dam, and had a curriculum of more than 60 coal plants worldwide, “Cabrera said.
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“They finished it by delivering the project to a company that has not built anywhere a coal plant, no curriculum to compete against any of the other companies,” he added.

That, however, did not prevent that Dominican authorities paid him $ 1.000 million more for the same work.

Documents that surfaced in Brazil as a result of investigations that are made Odebretch show that the Brazilian firm had a privileged treatment, thanks in part to the good offices of President Dilma Rousseff, who on at least one occasion acted as lobbyist for the Brazilian company.

According to an email sent in August 2012 by Marcelo Odebrecht to the president of Brazil, which emerged in the framework of Operation Lava Jato, the head of the Brazilian firm suggested it was “important that Rousseff speaks of the confidence he has in Odebrecht and BNDES financing arrangement [Brazilian Development Bank] for their projects. ”
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Once started the bidding process, the Medina himself came to help Odebretch to warn directly on unexpected results in the bidding, even when he was just elected president at that time, he showed a cable sent by the Brazilian embassy which was obtained by the Nuevo Herald.

“The decision of the CDEEE, announced by the Executive Vice President, Ruben Bichara, expectations of interest involving, among others, Brazilian companies Norberto Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez, […] correspond to the accusations issued by the president-elect, Danilo Medina, during his visit to Brazil last July, “reports the cable.

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