Saturday, March 7, 2009

Q33 Million Investment in Open Schools

The NGO called the Central Committee for Social Action (CCAS) awarded contracts to deliver lunches to the Open Schools Program to eight companies. The contracts are worth Q33,668,000.

As of March 15th, these companies will provide food service at 54 campuses.

Of 27 companies that bid, eight were selected.

Las Fumarolas, S.A. had the highest bid per meal at Q12.95 but managed to keep the largest contract, worth Q16,783,000.

The rest offered lunches at prices between Q9.99 and Q11.35.

Carlos Francisco Cabrera, comptroller of the CCAS, said the awards were based on scoring the bids, which took into account quality and price. "Some companies are not prepared to provide the service, and thus were left out. Others had prices that were too high," he said.

According to Cabrera, even though the Fumarolas bid was more expensive, it was among those that met all the requirements, while others only met them in certain areas.

600 servings will go to each school and payment will come from the Social Welfare Secretariat of the Presidency.

Edgar Rosales, spokesman of the Council for Social Cohesion, which coordinates the Open Schools Program, said in April the plan will open 57 more schools in the capital, Sacatepequez, Escuintla, and Chimaltenango, and there will be bidding to provide lunches in these places.

Open School operates on weekends in areas with high rates of violence. The aim is that children and young people can use their time in recreational activities. They operate in Villa Nueva and Zones 7 and 18, among others.

The Council of Social Cohesion plans to deploy the same system in 300 more schools in 2009, and just for lunches approximately Q131 million has been allocated.

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