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JIS News

Plans are underway to modernise the country’s Island Traffic Authority (ITA) by redefining its role and functions, simultaneously making it a more efficient and accountable entity.
As part of the modernisation of the ITA, the government also intends to privatise the Motor Vehicle Inspection Services.
“The modernisation of the Island Traffic Authority is one of our priority projects and the aim is to transform that Authority into an Executive Agency by April 1, 2006,” revealed Dr. Alwin Hales, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Works.
Addressing the privatisation of the Motor Vehicle Inspection Services, he said, “negotiations are almost completed for that process and we expect that the privatisation and the establishment of the Island Traffic Authority as an Executive Agency will go hand in hand.”
Dr. Hales, who was addressing yesterday’s (November 23) JIS Think Tank, noted that there were “significant deficiencies in the current business processes at the ITA and it affects accountability for the information that they generate and also accountability for the outcomes.”
To this end, the government, through the Ministry of Transport and Works is working to revamp the entity and establish guidelines and procedures that will lead to greater accountability and improved customer service, Dr. Hales said.
“At the end of the day we want to ensure that safe use of the road is improved, that when a driver’s licence is obtained from the Island Traffic Authority, it is obtained because you are competent to receive it, and when a motor vehicle is passed, it is passed because it is fit to go on the road,” Dr. Hales asserted.
Government’s plans for the ITA form part of the Public Sector Modernisation Project (PSMP), which is intended to improve service delivery and efficiency in government agencies and departments.
The Island Traffic Authority was established in 1938 under Section Three of the Road Traffic Act as a statutory body with responsibility to administer the provisions of the Act in order to ensure that the nation’s roadways are safe.
The main activities of the ITA include inspecting motor vehicles and granting certificates of fitness; testing applicants for drivers’ licences; issuing special permits; keeping record of all road accidents; and, regulating traffic on the nation’s roads. The ITA therefore plays a pivotal role in ensuring that a high standard of safety exists on the nation’s roadways.
Noting that the ITA interfaces with every driver and motor vehicle owner “at least once a year,” the Permanent Secretary pointed out that the modernisation of the Island Traffic Authority would be “the greatest opportunity for us to make a significant dent in customer service,” and which would ultimately lead to safer road use.
Although there are currently 70 persons employed by the ITA, this may change when the Authority becomes an Executive Agency, said the Permanent Secretary.
As a statutory body on its own, the ITA will be asked to manage its own administrative, human resource and financial services, and this will impose additional requirements for staffing on the Authority.
There will also be a number of changes to the structure and operations of the ‘new and improved’ ITA, including oversight of the road safety functions that are now handled by the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Works.