Security Ministry asked to pay $16m in taxes for JCF vehicle supplier
The Ministry of National Security is being asked to find $16 million to pay import taxes on behalf of the company contracted by the government to supply motor vehicles to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Officials from the security ministry this morning told Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) that it was advised by the Ministry of Finance that it should pay the money.
The security ministry awarded a contract valued at over $426 million to Obrien’s International Car Sale and Rental to supply 200 pre-owned cars.
Half of the money was paid to the company by the ministry as a deposit with the vehicles to be delivered by June 5.
However, to date, only 30 vehicles have been handed over to the ministry.
In a letter to the Committee, the security ministry indicated that the company requested an extension which was granted with a deadline of September 4.
The company subsequently wrote to the ministry indicating that it could not absorb the cost of the GCT and SCT to import the vehicles and asked it to pay the sums.
The PAAC was told that the company inadvertently did not account for import costs when it submitted its bid outlining the final supply cost.
The ministry said it turned down the request to pay taxes and demanded that the 50 motor cars and 16 pickups be delivered by November 24 or action would be taken.
The ministry’s permanent secretary Dianne McIntosh told the PAAC that the ministry was subsequently informed by the finance ministry that it would have to pay the taxes.
PAAC Chairman, Dr Wykeham McNeill, strongly objected to the security ministry paying the taxes and warned the ministry to tread lightly.
McIntosh said the ministry will be writing to the Attorney General seeking advice.