Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Gov't moving to acquire 100 police vehicles amid controversy over dealer

Published:Thursday | November 30, 2017 | 6:03 PM

The National Security Ministry says it is moving to acquire 100 vehicles for the police in the shortest possible time. 

The development follows Wednesday's revelation that a local car dealer, O’Brien’s International Car Sales and Rentals Limited, has only delivered 30 of the 200 used cars it was contracted to procure for the police.

Another 66 vehicles are said to be on the wharf to be cleared.

O'Brien's has missed two deadlines to deliver the cars despite receiving a payment of more than $200 million.

READ: 'Scandalous Mess' - Contractor yet to deliver 200 police vehicles

It is now also requesting waivers of general consumption tax (GCT) and special consumption tax (SCT), which were not part of the agreement.

In a statement Thursday, the National Security Ministry said it is moving to protect its interest but did not elaborate.

In the meantime, the ministry says all procedures concerning the procurement of the 200 pre-owned vehicles complies with the Government of Jamaica procurement guidelines.

"The tender document stated that the cost to be submitted by bidders should include the total of the bid excluding any discounts offered. The procurement process for the vehicles considered the value for expenditure, increased mobility for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the protection of the taxpayer as critical components," said a Ministry spokesperson in a release.

The ministry further says O'Brien’s Car Sales and Rental Limited was awarded the contract by the National Contracts Commission after a national public tender was issued in July, 2016.   

According to the ministry, it currently holds a performance security bond in the sum of $42.4 million and an advanced payment security of $213.4 million from the supplier.

The Ministry says it has the option of redeeming these bonds to recover any financial loss.

However, the Ministry says based on guidelines from the Finance Ministry as well as legal advice, it will wait before pursuing the matter of payment of duties.

The Ministry further asserts that even after taxes have been added to the cost of procuring the vehicles, the supplier remained the lowest of all bidders.

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