$38 million to revamp exam depots

KINGSTON — Government has embarked on a programme to rehabilitate the Island Traffic Authority examination depots across the island.

Some $38 million will be spent during the current financial year to undertake improvements to five facilities, which will see upgrading of the buildings and provision of technology to reduce manual work by staff.

Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. Omar Davies, said the aim is to increase efficiency and reduce the waiting time for the public when they carry out transactions at the facilities.

He was speaking to journalists last Wednesday, following a tour of the St Ann’s Bay Examination Depot, where work is underway.

“The rehabilitation works are long overdue… this (St. Ann’s Bay depot) happens to be one of the bad ones; we are doing five this year. It’s both for the workers as well as for the members of the public, who come to do business at the depots,” the minister said.

As it relates to plans for the merger of the ITA and the Transport Authority, Dr. Davies said that this will be informed by a study, which is shortly to be undertaken.

“A study is about to be commissioned. The plan is to merge the Transport Authority and the ITA because there are a whole set of issues, which are complementary. The study hasn’t started yet, so we would have to see what the study says,” he stated.

The ITA administers the provisions of the Road Traffic Act, which covers the testing of vehicles to ensure fitness, road-worthiness and general compliance with standards of safety.

The authority has implemented measures to enhance service delivery at the depots, and has put in a queuing system at the Swallowfield Examination Depot, which has drastically reduced the waiting period for customers.

A Standard Operating Manual has also been created to ensure uniformity in the way the facilities operate, and is expected to lead to greater accountability on the part of officers, as well as better customer service.

queries and get responses. (Observer)

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