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Phillips calls for immediate termination of used car contract

Jamaica Gleaner / Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips is calling for the immediate termination of the contract with O’Brien’s Car Sales and Rental for delivery of used cars for the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

It was disclosed at yesterday’s sitting of Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) that the contractor has only delivered 30 of the 200 vehicles despite receiving more than $200 million.

Phillips says it is clear that this contract has gone sour and it appears that the contractor does not have the ability to deliver.

He says the government should use the emergency procurement procedures to get a reputable supplier to provide the much-needed vehicles to improve police mobility.

Phillips says the Prime Minister must also urgently move to have a forensic audit of the administration and payments made by the National Security Ministry under the $426.9 million contract with O’Brien’s Car Sales and Rental.

He says an account must be given to the country in relation to the $213 million which was reported to have already been paid to the company as a deposit for the provision of the 200 used vehicles.

The Opposition Leader is also seeking the intervention of the Contractor General and the Auditor General in light of what he says appears to be clear breaches of the government procurement guidelines and the repeated failure of the Minister of National Security to answer questions put to him in Parliament.

Phillips says it is not acceptable for the Ministry of Finance to absorb additional costs and break its own procurement guidelines and the terms of the supply contract by providing waivers for taxes and fees which were to be borne by the supplier.

It was also disclosed that the contractor has indicated that he’s unable to pay the customs taxes to import vehicles sitting on the wharf and has asked the national security ministry to pick up the tab.

The PAAC was told that the contractor did not account for import taxes when he submitted his bid for the tender.

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