PAAC Dissatisfied with Security Ministry Responses to Questions about Used Car Fiasco

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Members of Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, PAAC, have labelled as unacceptable written responses from the National Security Ministry on the scandal surrounding the purchase of 200 pre-owned vehicles for the police.

In its latest response, the Ministry wrote to the PAAC stating it expected to see the delivery of the remaining vehicles before the end of this month.

The matter was discussed during this afternoon’s sitting of the committee where members agreed that far too many questions remain unanswered over a year after the scandal broke.

In a letter to the PAAC, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of National Security, Dianne McIntosh, updated the committee on its mediation with O’Brien’s International.

The mediation is aimed at amicably resolving a bungled contract to provide two-hundred pre-owned vehicles to the police at a value of over 400-million dollars.

To date, just over sixty of the two hundred vehicles have been delivered.

She told the PAAC they expect delivery of the remaining vehicles no later than January 31, otherwise, the ministry will move to arbitration.

PAAC, Chairman, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, expressed dissatisfaction with the responses.

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Dr. McNeill says too many questions remain unanswered. He points to the outstanding millions in duties on the vehicles which remain on the wharf and whether the performance bond valued at over 200 million dollars has been recovered from O’Brien’s for failing to complete the contract.

Committee Member, Fitz Jackson, says far too much latitude has been given to O’Brien’s with the matter dragging on.

He was joined by Committee Member, Mikael Phillips, questioning who the Ministry is trying to protect.

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But it wasn’t only the opposition which expressed dissatisfaction with the response.

In a rare moment of agreement, government members also felt the National Security Ministry must return to the PAAC and give account.

South East St. Elizabeth MP, Franklin Witter says the Ministry must clarify its intentions.

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