Audit my three months tenure - DVLA Chief Executive
The Chief Executive of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) says he is open to an audit of his three-month stay in office to bring closure to allegations of corruption during his tenure.“This is conjecture and there is no evidence. It is just trying to impugn dirt on my good name,” he told the Daily Graphic.
Denying media reports that the cost of the contract for the award of the printing of the yet-to-be-introduced licence has been inflated, raising issues of possible corruption and financial impropriety, Mr Kwasi Agyeman Busia said the contract for facilities for the new licences was signed in 2014.
He said when he took over in March, he did due diligence on finance, contracts and procurement but the lawyers did not find anything wrong and, therefore, wondered where the alleged contract inflation was coming from.
Issues being addressed
He said contrary to media reports that the Ministry of Transport was not aware of the new licence regime, he explained that the ministry’s concern was about the date it was scheduled to be rolled out, an issue which is being addressed.
He admitted that there was a communication lapse between the authority and the ministry with respect to the roll out of the new licence but that was being addressed.
The DVLA had earlier this month announced that from July 18, this year, it would introduce a new biometric driver’s licence.
To be issued within a period of one month, the new licence is aimed at doing away with the incidence of fake licences from the system and cutting out middlemen, popularly known as ‘goro boys’, from the licensing regime.
But the roll out of the new drivers certification has been put on hold to deal with issues the authority described as internal.
Mr Busia said the authority had invested $24 million in the system and the delay in rolling out the system was not in the interest of the DVLA.
“My anxiety is to get it out so that we can make revenue from it. My tenure is three months old and the contract has long been in motion before I came here,” he said
Mr Busia added that although the system was yet to be rolled out, the authority was still paying invoices and cited a recent $ 3 million it had to pay by borrowing from a bank.
“I’m trying to understand all these anxieties about something which is good for the country. Could it be that some people want to start a new one so that there could be an opportunity for their personal interest? It wouldn’t have made sense to discontinue the project which had seen so much investment,” he said.
He added that he had a lot of lobbyists trying to persuade him to abandon the system, which means millions of dollars going down the drain.
Mr Busia said the country’s driving licence was highly jeopardised and not secure anymore, adding that “all we are doing is to introduce a more secure license whose holders are qualified and would not endanger the lives of the public,” he stated.
On allegations that a group called Drivers Association of Ghana has planned a demonstration against the DVLA on July 10, 2017, he said the demonstration was about the suspended towing levy which was in the domain of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC).
The DVLA boss said the reported news of a shake-up in the DVLA was news to the management of the authority as nothing like that had been planned nor discussed.
He said the DVLA was currently in a state of haemorrhage because its finances were leaking as ‘goro boys’ were milking the system.
Mr Busia urged members of staff of the DVLA not to be distracted by what was going on but to remain focused to deliver on their mandate of ensuring that only qualified drivers and vehicles were allowed on the country’s roads.