Govt probing Road Traffic Department
Amid reports that thousands of fake driver’s licenses are being sold out of the Road Traffic Department, Minister of Transport and Local Government Renward Wells said yesterday that the government is conducting an audit into the department.
“The only thing I’ll say is that we are looking into the system,” he said.
“We are auditing it. We’re a looking at all issues in road traffic.
“On a daily basis we get reports from the Bahamian people as to what is potentially going on in road traffic, not that we have found that it is taking place, but there are folks who make accusations as to what is taking place.
“We, as is our duty, are looking into it and we are seeking to ensure that the Bahamian people get what they are supposed to get.”
Wells was asked about a story that appeared in The Punch, which claimed that people are buying fake driver’s licenses from the Road Traffic Department for $300 to $500. The story also claimed that there are around 8,000 motorists who have fake licenses.
“The Road Traffic Department has a new system whereby all of the functions of the Road Traffic Department are supposed to take place on this system, so government can give an accurate accounting,” Wells said.
“We are just auditing the system and looking at what it is, and where there are discrepancies we are going to address them, and that’s throughout the entire Road Traffic Department.
“So whether it be licenses, whether it be franchises with taxi plates or delivery plates and bus plates, we’re looking at the Road Traffic Department in a holistic way and are seeking to ensure that government is getting the revenue that government is supposed to be getting from road traffic in the manner government is supposed to be getting it.”
In 2016, an auditor general’s report revealed that a minimum of $10 million in motor vehicle license revenue at the Road Traffic Department had been lost due a “severe lack of order and control around the safeguarding of assets, collection of revenue and reporting of the same”.
The audit detailed a series of significant inconsistencies in payroll, fraudulent licenses being issued, missing and illegible inspection certificates, missing and fraudulent insurance certificates and customers’ receipts not being generated.
That report was turned over to police for investigation.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications