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MPs resolve to give Face technologies 5 year transition management contract

FILE PHOTO: Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parliament has resolved that the Works and Transport Ministry gives Face Technologies (PTY) Ltd, a five year management transition contract before government takes over the issuance of driving permits. This followed a motion tabled by the Ajuri County MP, Hamson Obua on Tuesday afternoon.

In his motion, Obua noted that there is need for the planned handover by Face Technologies, a private firm that is responsible for issuing driving permits. The Works and Transport Ministry signed a contract with Face Technologies in 2003 for purposes of designing, printing and supplying computerized Driving Permits under the self-financing, build, operate and transfer basis.

The contract is set to expire in May 2020. Government has announced plans to take over the process. However, Obua says there is need to give the company another 5 years for a smooth transition period. He moved that parliament resolves that the Works Ministry signs a transition management contract with M/S Face Technologies for 5 years upon the expiry of the existing contract, saying government isn’t ready.

Obua explained that the transition period will help government to recruit and train Ugandans to manage the facility that is currently housed in Kyambogo. He also said the company had made tremendous achievements such as the collection of non-tax revenue for the government.

He also cited several government ministries and departments that are struggling to implement key projects in their areas such as the Standard Gauge Railway and issuance of National Identification Cards by the National Information and Registration Authority-NIRA.

Obua said there is need to establish more officers across the country to take services closer to the population.

Currently, Face Technology operates in Kampala, Mbale, Arua, Gulu, Jinja, Fort Portal and Mbarara. The Aruu County MP, Odonga Otto supported the motion, saying when government takes over issuance of driving permits, the costs should be reduced from the current Shillings 500,000.

The Works State Minister, Aggrey Bagiire, said they would issue a new management contract to the firm to recoup some of their costs. He also disclosed that there have been ongoing negotiations with the company on the acquisition of software rights from the service provider.

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah noted that Bagiire’s response to the motion indicates that the Ministry plans to enter a new contract with Face Technologies while the motion specifically states the company gets a contract extension to facilitate a smooth transition. He wondered where there was any contradiction in both statements.

This prompted the Erute South MP; Jonathan Odur to propose an amendment to the motion demanding that it includes timelines for the Ministry to pile pressure on government to ensure by the end of the transition period government is ready to manage the system.

MPs supported the motion and resolved that the Works Ministry and company open more branches in at least the 14 regions in the transition period to ease accessibility to services.

They also resolved that the Works and Transport Ministry should report to Parliament by end of November on the progress of the implementation of the resolutions.

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