Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Montague to break silence on controversy over JCF vehicle contract

Published:Tuesday | December 5, 2017 | 12:32 PM

National Security Minister Robert Montague is expected to break his silence on the controversy swirling around the $427.9 million used vehicle contract to O'Brien International Car Sales and Rental Limited this afternoon.

The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre understands that Montague is to address the issue during this afternoon's sitting of Parliament.

Yesterday, The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre broke news that the national security ministry had begun the process to redeem the $42 million performance bond on the contract.

Head of the ministry's procurement department, Milton Morrison, made the revelation during an interview on Independent Talk yesterday morning.

He said the ministry started the process to redeem the bond last Friday and it should receive the money sometime this week.

The contract to O'Brien International has been mired in controversy ever since it was revealed that company had missed deadlines to deliver 200 used vehicles to be used to bolster the fleet of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

This deepened after it was revealed that the company had made a request for the government to waive the requirement to pay General Consumption Tax and Special Consumption Tax on 66 of the vehicles now on the wharf.

However, the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) revealed on the weekend that the vehicles had still not been cleared and delivered even after the Finance Ministry approved the waiver and the National Security Ministry assured that the vehicles would have been cleared last week.

It has since asked for an explanation from the government for the reason to redeem the performance bond on the contract.