Reference is made to a letter published in the February 14 edition of the Stabroek News captioned ‘The Licensing Office needs a system more respectful of people’s time and energy’ by writer Karen De Souza in which she expounded on the waiting time she was exposed to during the process of renewing her driver’s licence on February 10, 2012.
The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) appreciates Ms De Souza’s comments as criticisms are always accepted from any member of the public. These criticisms are used to measure the effectiveness of the system and allow the GRA to continuously make improvements where necessary.
On February 10, when Ms De Souza visited the Licence Revenue Office (LRO) to renew her driver’s licence, unfortunately, it was the day of the week (Friday) when there is an unusually large number of persons at the LRO transacting business in relation to the renewal of driver’s licences.
Approximately fifteen applications, including the one belonging to Ms De Souza, were collected by the diligent staff at the LRO. Those applications were in respect of persons whose transactions could not have been completed during the morning period. They were requested to return at 13:00 hours to uplift slips to facilitate the payment and collection of driver’s licences.
It would appear that, unfortunately, Ms De Souza could not have returned at the stipulated time and in fact, she acknowledged in her letter that she returned one hour and twenty-five minutes later; that is, at 14:25 hours.
During this time, her name would have been called to uplift a slip to make the relevant payment for the licence. If Ms De Souza had returned at the time specified, she would have benefited from the same expeditious service that was offered to others at that time.
Editor, I wish to advise the general public that the processing of driver’s licences is still a manual one which entails the retrieving of record cards, preparation of licences, updating registers, etc, and this is time consuming. The Licence Revenue Office, notwithstanding, has implemented systems to ensure that each person receives the benefit.
Nevertheless, the GRA is aggressively pursuing a programme to fully automate the issuing of these licences. This should commence after the second quarter of 2012 and most certainly, will limit the time persons spend at the LRO to renew their driver’s licence.
The new system will require that applicants lodge their documents and return two days after to uplift their licences. In the interim, applicants will be issued with permits to drive for a period of three days during which the licence will be processed. In addition, application forms will be available to taxpayers, and advisories setting out requirements and procedures of all transactions relating to the LRO will be displayed at conspicuous points. Further, a suggestion box will be available for members of the public.
It is advisable in future, that if members of the public should experience any difficulty in transacting business with the LRO, they should communicate or seek clarification from the Senior Manager, Licence Revenue Office, Deputy Head, Value Added Tax & Excise, Director, Tax Operations & Services or the Commissioner-General.