Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Unnamed contractors snag nearly $1 million

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The Office of Cuba Broadcasting in Miami has awarded nearly $1 million to unnamed foreign contractors since 2005, federal records show. This includes $412,735 that went to artists, writers and performers. Two-thirds of that money has been awarded since 2011.
Records don't identify the contractors, so I hesitate to read too much into the data. That said, it appears likely that the OCB over the past three years has boosted the amount of money it is funneling to independent journalists, writers and bloggers in Cuba. (Download Excel file showing budget figures).
The OCB oversees the operations of Radio and TV Martí. Its spending for artists, writers and performers listed as "foreign contractors" includes:
  • $42,190 in 2011
  • $171,155 in 2012
  • $63,980 so far in 2013
That totals $277,325 in less than years. Such spending from 2005 to 2008 was $135,410. That included:
  • $1,300 in 2005
  • $3,900 in 2006
  • $4,775 in 2007
  • $125,435 in 2008
No amounts are listed for the calendar years of 2009 and 2010. I don't know why. Perhaps some spending was not reported until later years.
The OCB awarded $947,833.70 to unnamed foreign contractors from Oct. 1, 2005, through April 18, 2013, contract records show. That included:
  • $3,400 for motion picture and video production,
  • $8,750 for television broadcasting,
  • $412,735 for "independent artists, writers and performers,"
  • $415,345 for "all other professional, scientific and technical services,"
  • $107,603.70 for unspecified purchase orders, generally described as other professional services, communications services and information training.
Note: This article was shared with the Center for Democracy in the Americas as part of a six-month collaborative project with non-profit group. See more about our collaboration here.

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