Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 1st 2017 Contents A12 news
guardian.co.tt Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Minister at surprise visit to Licensing Division...
That's how Works and Transport Minister Rohan
Sinanan has described the customer service at the
Licensing Division, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain,
following an hour-long impromptu visit on Monday.
Sinanan saw first-hand the challenges faced by
the public in acquiring services, as well as he heard
from staff issues affecting their jobs, during a tour
of the office.
To get a true picture of what the public endures
on a daily basis, Sinanan said he showed up at the
office at 7.45 am.
To his surprise, Sinanan said he observed 75 people
were standing in line by the cashiers' booths around
8.30 am, but no cashiers were there. Sinanan said he
got 100 reasons why the cashiers were not at work
"You can't tell me you have two cashiers, none of
them there. Nobody in the office is telling the people
in the line anything and is only when I come in, you
see people running to their phones and they come
back to say the cashier not coming today, they late
or something about a road block. So if I wasn't there,
who was going to tell these people the length of time
they would have to wait?"
He also observed in another department, that only
one of two cameras that take photographs for the driv-
er's permit was being operated which attributed to
about 50 people waiting to be attended to in a hot,
Sinanan also noticed that there was no customer
service representatives to assist the public. "This was
most disturbing to me. That is totally unacceptable."
He said the while Licensing Division has to be re-
vamped, workers have to get their act together. In
hearing some of the horror stories, Sinanan said one
customer told him he visited the office five times to
get a certified copy, another complained that he had
been in line since 6 am and up to three hours later he
was not been attended to.
There have also been reports that the booths to
the cashiers close during lunch time.
"That is not good enough. We need to push pro-
ductivity in Trinidad."
Sinanan said these issues were drawn to the at-
tention of Transport Commissioner Wayne Richards
who was present.
Sinanan said it seemed not to bother the staff that
the public was suffering and growing impatient.
"What is amazing is the population seem to be ac-
cepting that kind of service now. This has been the
norm for years."
In the last two months, Sinanan said he was fed
up of people coming to the ministry to tell him that
operations at the Licensing office was improving,
when the public had been singing a different song.
While admitting that the office is congested, there
was a manpower shortage and conditions under which
employees work may not be ideal Sinanan said service
has to improve. "At the end of the day we have to
improve the country's public service. The population
expects more from us. The problem I saw there has
nothing to do with staff shortages. It has to do with
Next month, some administrative staff from Port-
Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan listens to concerns from a
member of the public during his surprise visit to the Licensing Division on
Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, on Monday.
of-Spain, along with some services will be shifted to
the Motor Vehicle Authority in Caroni which would
ease the backlog. Richards said some staff arrived
late because there was a road check on the highway.
"We are currently looking to upgrade all our offices
within the remit of the harsh economic times. We
are trying to share our resources whereever we can
to bring proper service to the citizenry."
Richards said his staff goes beyond the call of duty
daily, including issuing 250 driver's permit daily.
"The demand on us is very high. We are the only
office that has that kind of demands."
Over the years, Richard said little focus was paid
on the division and attempts were now being made
to fix all the woes. "The bottom line is that the trans-
port division has been delivering. With the limited
resources we have contributed well."
Asked if an employee can hold on for a cashier who is
running late, Richards said, "Would the Public Service
regulations permit it? You are talking about dealing
with cash. You should also know how the union would
treat with it."
Questioned if they will beef up on cashiers, Rich-
ard said with the downturn in the economy having
additional cashiers was not so simple.
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