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Former school board under dodgy contracts investigation

A former Paphos School Board member was questioned by Paphos CID on Tuesday in connection with accusations he had made earlier regarding suspect contracts.

Police have launched an investigation following complaints made to the Education Ministry by members of the previous Paphos School Board of alleged mismanagement and suspicious contracts that have dogged the board for a number of years.

The board had also informed the ministry of the alleged conflict between its former chairwoman, Maria Zavrou, and the board’s secretariat who Zavrou accused of acting against the public interest.

The complaints include allegations that members of the school board would award contracts to specific external contractors without calling for tenders, citing the move of the Nikolaideiou Gymnasium and the Mouttalou Primary School to new buildings.

There had been so many problems with the contract regarding the move of the  Nikolaideiou Gymnasium that the Education Ministry stopped paying invoices made out for the Mouttalou Primary School’s move.

Following the serious nature of the accusations and the subsequent investigation by the Education Ministry, the matter was handed over to the police for further investigation.

The investigations come after Auditor General Odysseus Michaelides levelled heavy criticism against the island’s regulatory authorities for schools in his annual report for 2015, citing a series of procedural irregularities, nepotism and favouritism.

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