Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

NSB admits to procural negligence

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The National Security Bureau (NSB) yesterday admitted to negligence in allocating funds for the procurement of presidential security vehicles, saying that the previous Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration’s purchase of nine vehicles from German automaker Audi left the bureau with limited options for the presidential limousine.

The Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee yesterday unfroze a budget of NT$25.22 million (US$835,791), of which about NT$25 million is to be used to purchase an Audi A8 L Security sedan as the new presidential limousine.

The budget was proposed by the bureau last year, but the legislature froze it due to budgeting practice flaws.

The bureau in 2015 purchased nine Audi A8 Ls as presidential motorcade vehicles for a total of NT$31.09 million, but the vehicles’ security equipment do not offer sufficient protection for the president, making the purchase of a new presidential vehicle necessary.

However, due to that purchase, the choice of presidential limousine was limited to the same model, leaving lawmakers no choice but to unfreeze the budget.

“The presidential vehicle has been determined by motorcade vehicles. Cheap cars were used to dictate the expensive one,” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ding-yu (王定宇) said at a meeting of the committee.

Wang suggested that the administration of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) made the mistake of separating the purchases, which the bureau said was a “correct assessment.”

“There indeed were flaws in the [procurement] process, and we will make improvements,” NSB Director-General Peng Sheng-chu (彭勝竹) said.

The presidential limousine has arrived in Taiwan and is expected to enter service by the end of this month following licensing and testing, the bureau said.

While the vehicle’s VR9 armor package does not offer the highest level of ballistic protection afforded by the VR10 package, it meets all requirements, Peng said.

The new presidential vehicle can protect passengers from rifle bullets up to 7.62x51mm and hand grenades, and is fitted with an emergency respirator in case of airborne chemical or biological attacks, the bureau said.

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