cost http://creamiicandy.com/wp-includes/class-wp-customize-section.php geneva;”>John Muwanga, http://codefor.asia/wp-includes/shortcodes.php in his statutory report for the year ending June 30, says amounts imposed on traffic offenders and due to Government have not been promptly collected and police officers lack equipment and management skills to implement the scheme.
The revelations have cast doubt on the ability of police to singlehandedly manage a programme introduced to curb traffic offences in the country.
Muwanga’s findings also raise fresh queries on management of funds received from traffic offenders since “the review of the EPS system revealed that there was no supporting business case document on file, the process of acquiring and maintaining applications for fines had not been formalized.”
However, Muwanga adds that the EPS has to an extent minimized congestion of Police stations and courts of law with traffic offenders.
“Although traffic police did not maintain consolidated information on traffic cases disposed off for the period 2009 to 2011, it is evident that 766,134 traffic offenders issued with EPS fines during the period under review would have been taken to court if the alternative method of punishment without prosecution (Express Penalty Scheme) had not been put in place,” said Muwanga.
“This would have greatly constrained the courts, impacted negatively on the Performance of traffic police and the Courts of law. The main challenges are the improvement of the current processes and procedures, including the collection of outstanding fees under the scheme.”
EPS legal framework
In the report seen by Chimpreports, Muwanga says the EPS Regulations 2004 which were being used to enforce the Express Penalty Scheme up to March, 7 2013 did not cover all the traffic offences which were minor in nature.
The EPS Regulations require the traffic offenders to pay the amount invoiced within 28 days from the date of issue; however, it is silent on non-compliance to this statutory payment period.
Although a surcharge of 50 percent on defaulted amounts has been included in the March 2013 EPS Regulations, the previous one had not provided for surcharge or reprimands of any kind for those who failed to pay the fine within the stipulated 28 days.
“The mandate and the role of each key player in recovering EPS defaulted amounts is not specified within the EPS legal framework and operating procedures. Although the Uganda Police Force is mandated to enforce traffic laws, management has not developed policies, guidelines and procedures to help implement the EPS,” observed Muwanga.
The review of the collections of EPS fines revealed that amounts imposed on traffic offenders and due to Government have not been promptly collected.
Comparison of EPS ticket fines issued and paid revealed that, since inception, EPS ticket fines issued total to Shs.42.63 billion and out of this, a total of shs.19.2 billion (45 percent) has remained uncollected.
Data obtained from the traffic police Department also revealed that, on average, only 33 percent of the required traffic equipment are available, resulting into an equipment shortfall of 77 percent.
Muwanga says this negatively impacts on the management of the EPS scheme.
Inspections at the IOV headquarters at Naguru and IOV regional centers revealed that these centres lacked some of the basic vehicle inspection equipment used to assess the condition and road worthiness of the vehicles.
The AG observed that although the scheme was designed by the Ministry of Works and Transport and was being implemented by URA and UPF, no entity had clear overall responsibility for the management of the Express Penalty Scheme.
Individual entities had responsibility for operational aspects of the scheme but no-one appeared to accept responsibility for its co-ordination, effectiveness or efficiency.
The review of documents revealed that the traffic police issued out 766,134 EPS tickets to traffic offenders for the calendar years 2009 to 2012 (refer to table 4).
However, the overall traffic consolidated statistics on the nature of the traffic offences, offenders taken to the courts of law and cases disposed of at Police stations were not maintained except for the calendar year 2012.
There were no accumulated figures of traffic offences for the last five years as required by the law.
Although in 2009 the UPF, with the technical assistance from URA, established the
Express Penalty Scheme data base, the review of the system revealed that there was no supporting business case document on file, the process of acquiring and maintaining applications had not been formalized.
The EPS IT systems did not have an approved change management policy. The test data used to verify the adequacy of the controls revealed some system weaknesses.
An IT Continuity Plan (ITCP) for the EPS has not been developed, maintained, communicated and tested.
Muwanga advised that given its potential to decongest the courts and generate Government revenue, the scheme should be further strengthened to enhance its capacity and effectiveness.
He said UPF management should work closely with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to ensure that EPS activities, inputs, targets and outputs are identified separately in the strategic plan, policy statements, budgets and work plans.
Police was further told to develop policies, guidelines, and traffic standard operating procedures for the implementation of the scheme.
The AG said UPF should fast track the EPS e-payment system recommended by URA,
which would allow the computerization of the EPS process and strengthen and empower its internal systems to ensure that the outstanding EPS fines are collected.
Muwanga said the UPF management should prioritize the purchase of the required traffic equipment and tools to enable the traffic Police and IOVs to enforce the EPS.
“Police management should ensure that proper specifications are made and that all items supplied conform to these specifications. Necessary steps should be taken upon delivery to verify, and test the equipment,” he noted.