Govt ready to take over driving permits production - Works

Wednesday March 4 2020

Built capacity: Government says it has built

Built capacity: Government says it has built sufficient capacity to takeover the production of driving permits in May. FILE PHOTO  

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

The Works Ministry has said it has built enough capacity to take over the production of driving permits. The Ministry is expected to take over the task from Face technology in May.
In October last year government took a decision not renew the licence of Face Technologies, which had for more than 15 years been producing and issuing driving permits on behalf of government.

Yesterday Mr Waiswa Bageya, the Works permanent secretary, told Daily Monitor that there would be no disruptions during the transition.

“We want it (take over) to be seamless. There will be no disruption of service. We are putting everything in place to ensure that there is no breakdown of service,” he said, noting that the Ministry had already engaged Uganda Security Printing Corporation, which has partnered with Veridos, a Germany company, to produce the permits.

“We have determined the design and materials, which they are going to supply to make the driving permits and we shall maintain the stuff [currently working with] Face technology,” Mr Bageya.

The production, according to Mr Bageya, will move from its current premises in Kyambogo, Kampala to a new location near Uganda Railways Corporation.

He also noted there were negotiations to see if government buys the software that is currently being used by Face Technology. “The software is still the property of the owner [Face Technology] but the committee [is] negotiating to see whether it can procure our own through the Ministry of ICT,” he said, noting the matter was still pending.

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We where unable to get an update in regard to software acquisition given that email inquiries to the ICT Ministry remained unanswered by press time.

Mr Bageya also noted that they would wait for the Ministry of ICT to understand how much government needs to procure the software.

Background

Last year in October government has, in principle, agreed to grant Face Technologies a transitional period to hand over the production of computerised driving permits to the Ministry of Works.
The decision was reached at meeting, which was chaired by the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, following weeks of heated exchanges between the ministries of Works, which supported the transitional period, and Finance, which opposed it.

The meeting was attended by ministries of Works and Transport, Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Attorney General and Office of the President and the Face Technologies.

Dr Rugunda shared government’s wish to end the contract but sought a smooth transition with minimum disruptions.

The then Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana, who led the government legal team, reportedly said the matters under consideration were not necessarily legal but managerial and up to the Works Ministry.

The meeting resolved not to renew Face Technologies’ contract when it expires in May but agreed to give the firm a transitional contract to manage the handover of equipment, data and software to government.

Face Technologies owns the software and intellectual property of the project, which government intends to buy.

dnakaweesi@ug.nationmedia.com

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