COA questions LTO for ‘undue payment’ of IT contractor
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) has flagged the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for the “undue payment” given to its foreign information technology (IT) contractor, Dermalog, despite the incomplete turnover of deliverables for the P3.19-billion Road IT Infrastructure project.
In its 2021 Consolidated Annual Audit Report (CAAR) for the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the COA said that LTO’s “acceptance of customized core applications with missing processes had caused undue payment to the vendor, which is disadvantageous to the government.”
These core applications include the Driver’s Licensing System (DLS) and the Motor Vehicle Inspection and Registration System (MVIRS), which were included in Component A of the said IT project also known as the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS).
According to COA, the DLS and MVIRS have unresolved issues as of December 2021 and their functionalities and processes are not yet fully configured, which caused disruptions in the operations of various LTO sites. In Quezon City Licensing Center, for example, the LTMS automatically rejects transactions of all motorists aged 65 years old and above and has inadequate examination terminals to cater to the big volume of applicants.
Some LTO officers revealed that LTMS programs have been constantly experiencing glitches, affecting the turnaround time and credibility of the transactions. In some cases, the LTMS cannot detect fake driver’s licenses and documents and cannot handle a client’s multiple transactions. A few months ago, the LTMS experienced a system bog down, which was posted on Facebook page of an LTO NCR branch. This caused long lines at select LTO branches nationwide and interruption of services.
The new IT system has also caused massive delays in motor vehicle registration in LTO Baguio as reported by a local news channel Regional News Channel – RNG Luzon on its Facebook page last May 5, 2022.
According to the report, LTO clients are lining up early in the morning in the hopes of getting the documents they need, only to be told to return the other day. The LTO Baguio admitted that the delays in transactions were due to the rollout of LTMS, which requires more processes, and other factors such as slow internet connection.
Newly appointed LTO chief, Atty. Teofilo Guadiz, in a media interview, acknowledged that the glitches of LTMS are causing massive delays in LTO transactions nationwide. Guadiz revealed that the driver’s license application and motor vehicle registration now taking five days as compared to the usual turnaround time of only two hours.
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