An independent commission will be set up to investigate into the selection and implementation of a new private entity to upgrade and maintain Driving Licence Information System and Printing and Personalisation section of the Moor Traffic Department (MTD), Power and Energy Ministry sources divulged.
However the relevant company which has received the contract has failed to act in accordance with agreed conditions during the stipulated period causing a loss of over Rs. 4 billion to the government, ministry officials alleged.
At a meeting with Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, several senior officials have brought to his notice that certain top officials of the MTD had taken measures to pass this massive government loss on the people by increasing the driving licence fee.
According to Government audit inspections, the driving licence supplier company has been paid a sum of Rs. 7467. 65 million during the period of 2009 to 2017 and after ending its contract another sum of Rs. 1856.65 million was paid to this company for the period of March 2016 to December 31, 2017.
On top of it the MTD has paid Rs. 5610.75 million to the selected firm for the supply, delivery, Installation, Testing, Operation and Maintenance of Driving Licence Information System and Printing and Personalisation functions of the department.
Officials who attended the meeting with the Power and Energy Minister have accepted the fact there was a delay in the implementation of the project along with a financial misappropriation amounting to Rs.1750 million.
It has been revealed that, the people had to pay Rs.1300 for a new driving licence under these circumstances although it could be given at the rate of Rs.300 if the MTD had followed proper and strict procurement procedure.
Minister Amaraweera has assured that the relevant company will be blacklisted in Sri Lanka following the investigations and recommendation of the special commission and take legal action against officials who are responsible and accountable for the whole deal.