Government agencies must emulate DVLA

BY: Daily Graphic
Government agencies must emulate DVLA
Government agencies must emulate DVLA

For the orderly development of the country, a number of institutions are set up to provide services in the collective interest and welfare of the citizenry.

The reality, however, is that for many years the performance of these institutions has not reflected the expectation of the public of their mandate.

Some civil and public servants in most of these institutions have created situations that compel the citizenry to pay bribe or what is popularly known as facilitation fees to have services delivered.

Doors are shut in the face of those who are unwilling or unable to pay extra fees, and where the task is executed without the payment of bribe, it takes forever for the service to be rendered.

While the citizenry are compelled to live up to their responsibility of paying taxes, the delivery of social services by institutions has, at best, been abysmal.

Many have complained about the time it takes to get a driving licence, a building permit, a passport, a birth certificate, a national health insurance card and electricity and water meters. In all this, it is the poor citizens who suffer because of the additional cost imposed on them, particularly when their communities are under-served.

The Daily Graphic, therefore, finds it necessary to applaud the management of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) for the level of efficiency it has introduced into the acquisition and renewal of driving licences, as well as vehicle registration.

Applicants of new licences receive them within two to three weeks, with prestige applicants getting their licences on the same day after meeting all requirements.

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In the past, service delivery at the DVLA was so bad that applicants received expired licences and people dreaded going near licensing offices.

The introduction of the new licensing and vehicle registration regime has been met with opposition from some driver unions and groups the DVLA suspects to be middlemen.

But the authority is unfazed, insisting that the new system will cut out middlemen who made thousands of cedis, if not millions, from the DVLA’s past inefficiency.

If the figures the DVLA reported in January this year after the launch of the new smart card licence in November last year are anything to go by, then it deserves a pat on the shoulder.

The authority has recorded an astronomical jump in revenue from roadworthiness certificate renewals after the implementation of its smart card system.

The authority collected GH¢19.8 million from roadworthiness certificate renewals from January 1 to 25, this year, as against a little more than GH¢2.6 million recorded in January 2016 and GH¢2.7 million in January 2017.

According to the DVLA, the smart card system, which is difficult to clone, had blocked middlemen, popularly known as ‘goro boys’, out of business and the revenue which would have gone into their private pockets was now in state coffers.

While we commend the authority for its efficiency, which is receiving applause, we urge it to intensify its public education on what citizens should do when they go to DVLA offices or agencies to transact business. Without that, the business of the ‘goro boys’ will continue to thrive and bring to naught all the strides made so far.

We urge other state institutions to emulate the DVLA example, for a happy citizen is a happy taxpayer.