Timeline: The 2017-18 Police Car Procurement Fiasco

Background to the issue

The impasse between the Government of Jamaica and contracted car provider, O’Brien’s International Car Sales, has lasted for almost a year now. O’Brien’s was contracted to provide 200 used cars to the Jamaica Constabulary Force but has so far only delivered 30 vehicles, while struggling to clear another 66 on the wharf. The failure to deliver has led to a very public stand-off between both groups, with accusations and threats of lawsuits being hurled back and forth. Follow the details of the saga with the timeline below.

 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Thirty pre-owned Toyota Axio vehicles were delivered by managing director of O’Brien’s International Car Sales and Rentals Limited Clement Ebanks, and a commitment was given to deliver another 50 cars by early next month.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

The motor vehicle dealer at the centre of the controversy over the importation of used cars for the police force has challenged Opposition Spokesman Peter Bunting to repeat the allegations against him without the protection of Parliament.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

A “scandalous mess” is how Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) described the failure by a contractor to deliver 200 pre-owned motor vehicles to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), having missed two deadlines despite receiving payment of more than $200 million. Meanwhile, the National Security Ministry says it is moving to acquire 100 vehicles for the police in the shortest possible time. The Opposition continues to call for the immediate cancellation of the contract.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Managing director of O’Brien’s International Car Sales and Rentals Limited, Clement Ebanks, is refusing to give a time line for the delivery of used vehicles his company was contracted to source for the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

The Ministry of National Security is scampering to secure 100 vehicles on the local market “in the shortest possible time” in the wake of an avalanche of criticism by sector groups over a failure by O’Brien’s International Car Sales and Rentals Limited to deliver on a contract to supply the Jamaica Constabulary Force with 200 pre-owned vehicles.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service has granted a six-months moratorium on tax and duties valued at over $34 million for vehicles imported by O’Brien’s International Car Sales and Rentals Ltd for the Ministry of National Security.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

National Integrity Action (NIA) has charged that the Government’s procurement procedures in the award of a contract to O’Brien’s International Car Sales and Rentals Limited appeared to have been compromised, either through incompetence or lack of due diligence.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

After a 22-page statement yesterday in the House of Representatives by National Security Minister Robert Montague and follow-up questions from opposition lawmakers on the 66 vehicles on the wharf to be delivered to the police force by O’Brien’s International Car Sales and Rentals Limited, Jamaica remains in the dark as to when this motor car debacle will be resolved.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association has signalled its intention to mediate between O’Brien’s International Car Sales and Rental and the Government, which is set to take action against the company for the non-delivery of used vehicles to the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Opposition continues to call for the immediate cancellation of the contract with O’Brien’s. “Not surprisingly, the botched process of procuring used cars for the police is the subject of considerable debate. The public, as it should be, is incensed that 11 months after the contract was awarded, the supplier has so far delivered a mere 30 of the 200 vehicles,” says columnist Marlon Morgan.


Monday, December 11, 2017

The Opposition is piling more pressure on the Government over the controversial contract awarded to O’Brien’s International Car Sales and Rental Services to source used vehicles for the police.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

​National Security Minister Robert Montague has revealed that the Ministry of Finance has withdrawn the moratorium granted to the company contracted to supply cars to the Jamaica Constabulary Force.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

National Security Minister Robert Montague says the government is in talks with O’Brien’s International Car Sales to resolve the issues surrounding the contract to procure 200 used vehicles for the police.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The country should know by early 2018 the results of a probe by Contractor General Dirk Harrison into the contentious contractual arrangement between the Ministry of National Security and O’Brien’s International Car Sales and Rentals Limited.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Ministry officials tell Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) yesterday that the Government had originally expected to pay $148.8 million for 96 vehicles, however, the variation, as a result of the newer models, would increase the Government’s bill to $190.6 million.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Another dizzying round of questions by members of Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) on the contract fiasco regarding the 200 pre-owned police vehicles, which has left two government ministries and two agencies embarrassed, ended, with the fate of 35 of the remaining cars unknown at the end of the sitting.


Monday, January 29, 2018

The insurance company which held the $42.7 million performance bond by O’Brien’s International Car Sale and Rental Limited has now paid over the money to the Ministry of National Security.

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