COA flags acquisition of Mahindra vehicles for PNP in 2015

The Commission on Audit (COA), in its annual audit report for Philippine National Police (PNP), has made several findings on the acquisition of Mahindra vehicles for the PNP in 2015.

“The procurement of mobility asset in Mahindra Enforcer and Mahindra Scorpio vehicles costing P1.893 billion in 2015 without the benefit of operational needs assessment pushed back the full attainment of the objective of the Capability Enhancement Program (CEP) of the PNP coupled with the unsound changes in NAPOLCOM minimum standard specifications restricting in effect, wider latitude in selecting the most suitable mobility assets, and the non-evaluation of actual performance of the initial 1,656 Mahindra vehicles bought before buying additional units resulted to 206 units not being effectively utilized out of the total 2,054 units purchased due to frequent breakdowns, poor after sales services and limited availability of spare parts impacting on its vision of a more capable, effective and credible police force,” COA said.

“On top of this, the agency incurred additional costs of P59.379 million in the form of service fees paid to the PS-DBM which could have been otherwise used to acquire approximately 67 units of patrol jeeps,” it added.

COA said “that operational needs assessment must be part of the Management mandatory activity in the strategic planning process to avoid the same problems that occurred in the past as unveiled in the survey and later confirmed in the status report from Management.”

“The problems and issues encountered laid strong doubt as to the overall reliability of Mahindra as the brand for use in the police operations not to mention sustainability of vehicle maintenance,” COA said.

“Therefore, it can be safely said that the purpose for which the Mahindra Vehicles was procured which is to contribute to the capability enhancement of the PNP has not been fully served,” it added.

Senator Grace Poe who previously questioned the acquisition said she “will push for an inquiry to look into these and determine the culpability of the PNP officials, among others.”

She said COA findings on Mahindra vehicles validated her concerns expressed in 2014.

“I expressed serious concerns in 2014 about the way the terms of reference for the PNP patrol jeeps bidding were crafted that apparently were tailored-fit for Mahindra, effectively eliminating all the other more known brands with track record and countrywide presence as far as service centers are concerned from competing,” she said.