Parliamentary Committee slams Motor Traffic Department

The Department of Motor Traffic is purposely avoiding performing its tasks and as a result, has caused losses of nearly Rs 4 billion to the state, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) MP Lasantha Alagiyawanna said today 4 Sept at a meeting of the committee in Parliament.

One of the main reasons for this loss is that the Department has not followed Cabinet instructions to take over the issuing of Driving Licenses from the private entity performing this task, the Committee heard today.

 “Not even half of the work of the work, in this case, has been completed,” Alagiyawanna said.

The Chairman also pointed out that the department has failed to set up and implement a number of measures proposed to advance the driving license system in the country.

These include the collection of data on offences committed by drivers, the advancement of drivers’ skills, the establishment of a data network, the setting up of a web-based network where drivers can obtain licenses through the internet that would connect all districts in the country and also establish better connectivity with police.

The COPA Chair has called for a report from the Ministry of Finance about these failures.

The committee also observed that the department has failed to find a new contractor to supply licenses even though the current contract expires on September 9.

 “This indicates that the department is willfully negligent,” the Auditor General Chulantha Wickremeratne observed.

The committee was also told that new laws are being presented to Parliament to suspend the driving licenses of drivers who collect 24 demerit point for serious offences such as speeding in licenses that were issued after 27 March 2016.

It was also revealed that the practice of registering vehicles using illegal documentation is continuing and the department has not exercised its right to seize vehicles registered in this manner.  

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