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Management of police vehicles getting attention, says AG

BY BALFORD HENRY Senior staff reporter balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, January 01, 2014    

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AUDITOR General Pamela Monroe Ellis says the Ministry of National Security is making progress in adopting some of the recommendations she made in a November 2012 performance audit report on the management of motor vehicles used

by the police.

The auditor general said that she has obtained a draft of a Fleet Management Policy and a Standard Operating Procedural Manual, which addressed recommendations she made in the report on the audit.

"I was informed that the document is awaiting the approval of the commissioner of police," she said. Monroe Ellis added that the Ministry of National Security has also established a Centralised Motor Vehicle Inventory System (CMVIS) to improve the inventory and fleet management capabilities of its motor vehicles and spare parts.

"The Ministry of National Security noted that the CMVIS, which is 90 per cent completed, is also configured to capture information relating to the cost of repairs and maintenance of each vehicle, frequency of repair, and is capable of generating an operational efficiency report," she said in the report.

Some 1,356 motor vehicles were imputed in the system as at November 2013, and it was also observed that the ministry has completed data input in relation to spare parts, and implemented internal controls to improve transparency and accountability around the transfer of parts from one vehicle to another.

In her report last November, the auditor general found that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) had concerns with bills submitted to its garages. The JCF indicated that the contractors' prices were significantly higher than market price and some bills could not be honoured as the relevant officers had no knowledge of the services purportedly provided.

The audit also found that one of the garages collected amounts totalling $1.1 million, over the period January 2008 to June 2012, from various persons to purportedly effect repairs to 63 JCF motor vehicles involved in accidents. The vehicles were repaired using JCF's facilities, utilities and equipment which contravened guidelines in the JCF's Force Orders.

The audit also found that the JCF did not monitor the usage of its fleet. The log books were not faithfully maintained and, in some instances, did not record critical information, such as drivers' signature, status of equipment, and details of assignments and name of authorising officer.

The audit also found no evidence to indicate that a prior assessment was conducted by JCF to satisfy itself that vehicles donated to the JCF would not add

undue economic and operational burden to its limited resources.

In June 2011, the JCF accepted 21 donated vehicles ranging from eight to 11 years. However, as at September 19, 2012, 13 of the vehicles were out of service, due to various

mechanical defects.

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