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Cabinet has approved a US$3.9 million contract to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), in California, USA, for the provision of maintenance services for cargo inspection machines deployed at the ports of Kingston and Montego Bay and the bonded warehouses in Kingston.

Speaking at the Jamaica House Press Briefing, Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, said maintenance services will also be provided for five mobile and seven palette vehicles.

"As the principal body responsible for the regulation and development of security measures for all marine port facilities within the island and for the vessels navigating the port of entry, the Port Authority of Jamaica is mandated to take measures to address the security concerns within the maritime industry," she said.

The Minister noted that under the terms of the new maintenance agreement, the company will provide supervision, technical support, onsite service parts, supplies packaging and transportation, and a help desk that will answer questions.

"The (cargo inspection) machines are law enforcement security equipment and, therefore, the maintenance cannot be entrusted to any service provider on the local market," she said.

Ms. Falconer emphasised that the machines must be serviced, as there could be grave consequences for the country, such as the movement of guns and ammunitions and drugs, among other contrabands.