Kampala, Uganda | URN | The issuance of driving permits at all regional offices in Uganda remains suspended as normalcy returns at the Kampala head offices of Face Technologies.
Hundreds of people thronged the Kyambogo-based offices for the third day to get their documents after the offices were reopened after seven days of suspension. Ministry of Works and Transport says Face Technologies informed them that they wouldn’t be able to re-mobilize their resources to resume operations at their upcountry offices.
Face Technologies had dismantled the systems ready to hand over the operations to the new contractor, Uganda Security Printing Company [USPC] by December 1st as per the government arrangements.
But until March 1, 2021, when USPC takes over, the operations at Arua, Fort Portal, Gulu, Jinja, Mbale and Mbarara offices will remain closed for renovations. The ministry has arranged for officers to be stationed at the regional offices to issue licenses that had already been processed by December 1, 2020.
“The public will be notified through public notices and media announcements when they can come to pick their licenses,” says a statement from the Works and Transport Ministry.
The refusal by the government to renew the license of Face Technologies drew public reactions which had largely given approval of the South African company for the efficiency it exhibited relative to previous operations.
And the government seems to agree to this according to its terms set for the new company. The ministry says it has signed a service level agreement with USPC on the level of service expected of them during their operations.
“They can only maintain the current level of service or even improve it. Actually, our goal is to provide a one-hour service, not only at the Kampala offices but all other regional offices as well,” reads the statement. The contract for Face Technologies had been renewed several times since 2003 until the government felt there was adequate local capacity.
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The contract was on the basis of “Build, Own, Operate and Transfer.” According to the ministry, the contract by Face Technologies was supposed to expire in May but was extended to November because the national lockdown and the international travel restrictions could not enable the process to be implemented as most of the equipment is to be imported from Europe.
Still in November, the new contractor couldn’t be ready hence the extension. The government through the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation owns 51% if USPC, while the German bases Veridos owns the rest.