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Ministry of Transport to Resolve License Plate Shortage in August

The Ministry of Transport says it is under two months away from resolving the shortage of license plates and license stickers.

The shortage has been a problem for over a year and has been a repeated inconvenience for motorists who have paid for their licenses and stickers but haven’t received them. The Department of Transport has been issuing receipts as proof that motorists have paid for either or both items, which drivers then have to produce on demand at traffic stops.

Minister of Transport Rowell Ferguson told The Reporter that the shortage was the result of internal issues with the Ministry’s personnel and systems within the traffic department. He assured that by the end of August, the matter would be resolved and motorists would receive their license plates and stickers. Ferguson said that systems have also been put in place to ensure the continuity of supply for the items.

“I have now created a minimum and maximum reorder level. So if it reaches a thousand, that means it’s time to reorder. When it reaches five thousand, they know they can’t order any more until it reaches back to a thousand. So now that that has been established, there should be no more shortage of license plates, effective August 2024,” Ferguson said.

He added that he has implemented changes to the procedures for procuring the items to ensure greater transparency and accountability, while also ensuring that the ministry gets the best quality for its money.

“We also established a procurement committee in the ministry. What they do is get three prices from three different suppliers and then the committee decides which supplier has the cheapest price and the best quality. Not just because the price is better means you will be chosen, we have to look at the quality,” Ferguson added.

The shortage made national headlines last June after an internal letter from the Ministry was leaked to the media. In the letter, Chief Executive Officer Adele Catzim Sanchez asked former Chief Transport Officer (CTO) Dian Vasquez to provide the relevant documentation for payments made in excess of $108,000 for the purchase of license plates.

The payments were made on June 1, 2023. Vasquez’s response as to whether the purchase was compliant with the financial orders and stores orders was not made public, and she chose not to renew her contract as CTO. The Ministry did not officially replace Vasquez until December 2023.

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