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Jun 8, 2017

Belize Makes Plans for Nationwide Drivers’ License System

Driving in Belize can sometimes be a hassle, considering that each municipality and the Department of Transport have its own system for licensing and any cooperation is informal at best. But the Government of Belize wants to change that, and today its Central Information Technology Office and the Ministry of Finance signed a memorandum of understanding with the Taiwanese International Cooperation and Development Fund’s ICT project to create a Belize-wide registration and licensing system, which aims to effectively, securely and efficiently deliver Government services in this area and hand Belizeans public access to online services. Duane Moody has more in the following report.

 

Michael Singh

Michael Singh, Chief Technology Officer

“You have small municipalities that are running complete license systems that include driver’s licenses, vehicle licenses and there is no central connection between all of them and then you have some municipalities that may have more resources than others. So Belize City might be able to have a system that works better than say Benque Viejo and Independence. So the idea is that government is going to create a system that all these municipalities will subscribe to or else integrated their systems in so that there is one national database where you can exchange information with each other, we can have one standard license format, standard license protocol so that Belize itself has a licensing regime as oppose to one municipality on its own.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

…that system, the Belize Motor Vehicle Registration and License System, is an information technology project that the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Taiwanese government are embarking on to provide a more effective and secure service to citizens. In Taiwan, the driver’s license and the data central systems have been integrated and Ambassador Charles Liu says that with that in mind, he expects this cooperation will streamline the licensing system throughout Belize.

 

Charles Liu

Charles Liu, Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize

“We offer our commitment with the Belize Government to initiate this memorandum to help the Belize government to become e-govern realities. And this project will cost two point eight million dollars in four years. And after this project is through, we will see an efficient and costless way to drive and obtain licenses in Belize.”

 

The project is budgeted at two point eight million U.S. dollars and will see Belizeans enjoy a time-saving, efficient and less costly service on transport in the next two years. Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, who signed on behalf of the Government of Belize, says that it is one of the many projects in the transition to e-government.

 

Joseph Waight

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“It takes some time, you have to build the platform. But there has been some progress, small steps first then you hope to run and then sprinting. But we can point to an earlier project supported by our friends at the Government of Taiwan, which is called BLAPS. It’s an acronym essentially for the registration of import permits and that type of thing and it is tied to the customs administration and be working quite well.”

 

But as it currently stands, the money collected by the branches of the traffic department is used by the city and town councils to meet the demands of the municipalities. Several municipal leaders have bought into the project, but will it affect their bottom line?

 

Joseph Waight

“Not really because then the government will recognize that they will have to increase the subventions to compensate for any loss on that side.”

 

Michael Singh

“At the end of the day, if they don’t have the responsibility for a system and managing a system and if the public interaction becomes easier because it is online, it means that there is a greater margin of revenue for the municipalities.”

 

Reporter

“And some people will have to be replaced….”

 

Michael Singh

“…or redeployed somewhere else.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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