BOJ: Revealing cost for new banknotes would be a breach of contract | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News | Loop News

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) says that disclosing the cost for the banknotes would breach the contract it made with De La Rue, a UK-based company, to redesign and print the upgraded banknotes that will be put into circulation towards the end of this year.

It, however, disclosed that the cost of printing banknotes over the last three years (2019 – 2021) was approximately US$7 million per year.

For the upgraded banknotes, the cost will initially be higher, the BOJ said, adding that significantly larger quantities have been ordered because the redesigned notes will fully replace the current notes over time.

The central bank issued a statement on Friday, following a newspaper report that the bank refused to provide information on the cost associated with the new notes.

“The bank acknowledges the valid concerns regarding the provision of information about the cost of the upgraded banknotes. However, we are not able to disclose such information as the terms and conditions of the contract with De La Rue, which include the cost, are subject to a strict confidentiality agreement,” the BOJ statement said.

It also said personnel engaged in the procurement process were required to sign non-disclosure agreements prohibiting them from disclosing the settled payment terms.

“Disclosure would therefore expose the Bank to legal action for a breach of contract,” the central bank said, adding that Jamaica’s Access to Information Act exempts the disclosure of information relating to the terms of the contract as to do so would be an actionable breach of confidence.

The BOJ further said the selection of De La Rue as the successful printer followed a rigorous procurement process conducted by the bank.

The final recommendation was approved by the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, as required by the Bank of Jamaica Act.

According to the BOJ, six reputable banknote printers submitted bids which were assessed by a committee of the bank’s currency experts.

The central bank said it is also unable to divulge information on the other entities.

Concerning other factors that determine the cost of the new banknotes, the BOJ said the new money will have enhanced security features to combat counterfeiting. The notes will also feature new designs for each denomination.

The polymer substrate used will result in cost savings over time as the average useful life of the banknotes will increase by at least 50 per cent, the BOJ said.

The BOJ will undertake a comprehensive public education campaign leading up to the introduction into circulation at the end of this year.