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Gaping holes in cop car repairs

Pamela Monroe Ellis.

KINGSTON — Startling revelations have been uncovered in an audit of police motor vehicles for the period 2007 to 2011 by the Auditor General’s Department, with gaping holes and a severe lack of accountability in how repairs have been effected on the force’s fleet.

This was reported in an audit of the management of police motor vehicles which was tabled yesterday in Parliament.

A finding documented in the audit says the Jamaica Constabulary Force incurred costs to repair vehicles reported to have been disposed of.

Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis said her department found that during 2010, the force paid a “job worker” nearly $1 million to repair 13 vehicles.

“However, seven of these vehicles, which were purportedly repaired at a cost of $527,800, were reported as being disposed of for periods ranging from five to 15 months prior to the dates of repair. The disposal document presented indicated that six of these vehicles were scrapped and one damaged,” the report stated.

The AGD said the JCF was unable to provide documents to indicate that these vehicles were returned to the active fleet.

However, scrutiny of the job cards revealed that repairs undertaken to these vehicles involved repairs to engine, wheel bearings, crankshaft, connecting rods, CV joints and brakes.

In what appears to be an impossible task of piecing together the proverbial puzzle, the AGD noted that the job cards prepared at the garage’s checkpoint indicated that these vehicles entered the premises. In two instances, the vehicles were received at the checkpoint by the same officer who certified that the vehicles were repaired satisfactorily and approved the invoices for payment.

The microscopic lens of the AGD also placed the spotlight on the same unnamed job worker, who was paid $400,100 to undertake repairs on six vehicles that were subsequently disposed of within two to 12 months of their repair dates.

“In all these instances, the job completion card and invoices were approved by senior officers stationed at the garage. The lack of segregation of duties and poor documentation cast doubt on whether JCF benefited from the costs incurred to effect repairs to these vehicles,” the AGD contended.

The Monroe Ellis-led AGD also reported that the force engaged the services of 68 job workers to undertake repairs and servicing of its motor vehicles between April 2009 and December 2010, for amounts totalling $262.8 million. (Gleaner)

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