Department of Motor Traffic - Western Province
Sri Lanka

The Problem

The Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) of the central government of Sri Lanka, which was enacted by Motor Traffic Act 2003, is responsible for registering the vehicles and transferring the ownerships of the vehicles. The Western Province Department of Motor Traffic (WP-DMT) is responsible for issuing the annual revenue licenses (Road Tax) and collecting revenue from the vehicles registered in Western Province (WP) of the county. This vehicle amount is over 1 million and is approximately 55% of the total vehicle population of the county. The same Act mandated that all vehicles should be covered by an appropriate insurance policy and should have an emission certificate, certifying that vehicle emission levels are within the stipulated range.
Revenue licenses are issued from the WP-DMT head office in Colombo and from 38 Divisional Secretariats (DSs) located across WP.
Earlier the Revenue License issuance was a manual process. It had introduced a number of limitations in relation to providing an efficient service to citizens, and internal efficiencies of WP-DMT and DSs as elaborated below;

Difficulties faced by Citizens

a) Information on “How to get the Revenue License” was difficult to obtain

b) The systems forced the vehicle owners to go to the particular DS where the vehicle has been initially registered. This is a major inconvenience to citizens since they usually have to spend half a day for this effort

c) The license renewal service was available only in working days from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

d) The citizens had to wait in 3 separate queues to obtain the license. First to fill the application and to submit, second to make the payment, and the final queue is to collect the license.

e) The very first license of registration or after ownership transfer of the vehicle had to be obtained from the WP-DMT. This is a major inconvenience to citizens since they had to come to the WP-DMT Head Office in Colombo.

Difficulties faced by WP-DMT

a) Since WP-DMT can issue license to any vehicle registered in WP, due to limitations mentioned above citizens used to come to WP-DMT office for their convenience. This caused heavy crowd at WP-DMT office. Due to this, WP-DMT had to employee a number of additional staff incurring costs to cater to the high number of license newels.

b) The users at license renewal counters had to manually validate the supporting documents such as a valid insurance policy and emission test certificate, which are needed to renew the revenue license. However there was no mechanism to detect forged documents.

c) With regard to vehicle ownership transfer requests, WP-DMT was unable to verify the ownership of vehicles outside the province since the information was not available to WP-DMT real time.

g) The management and financial difficulties for the department as it is unable to maintain up-to-date and accurate vehicle revenue license issuance information.

h) Inefficient revenue collection and lost revenue collection due to absence of a mechanism to track vehicle transfers within, and into-and-out of the province.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
In order to address the above mentioned concerns, with special attention to improve the user friendliness and efficiency of the system by offering this service at any DS in WP, “Drive-In” services and online facilities to renew the revenue licenses, WP-DMT in collaboration with Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka and DMT, launched the 'e-Revenue License’ (e-RL) initiative as one of the key e-government initiatives.

e-RL successfully achieved the followings;

Benefits for Citizens

a) Information on “How to get the Revenue License” is available through WP-DMT and ICTA websites, facebook, Government Information Center (GIC – “1919”).

b) Since the e-RL solution is centralized, citizens are now able to renew their Revenue Licenses from any DS within the WP regardless of at which DS the vehicle is registered, minimizing traveling and time.

c) The “Drive-through” counters allowed vehicle owners to obtain licenses at the comfort of their vehicle, minimized the hassle for parking and avoiding the need to go into the government office. approximately 400 vehicle owners use this facility a day at WP-DMT.

d) Revenue Licences are currently issued within 2 minutes. No documents are required. Vehicle Insurance and emission certification is verified online, real time. Therefore no queues.

e) Successfully connected all stakeholders, including WP-DMT, DSs, DMT, Insurance companies, Emission companies, Banks, telecom operators and GIC, for providing a “one-stop-shop” service.

f) Citizens can obtain Revenue Licences online via www.srilanka.lk, anywhere, anytime. It is a trilingual service.

g) When obtaining license online, mobile payments had been enabled, in addition to credit card payments, to improve the inclusiveness, targeting rural community.

h) Introduced SMS tracking facility to check the validity of licenses and SMS alerts as renewal notices.

Benefits for WP-DMT

a) The e-RL solution provided a consolidated management information system to WP-DMT.

b) Above facilitated consolidated reports on revenue collection and lost revenue, enabling an increased efficiency in revenue collection and to minimize defaulters. Lost revenue has been reduced from LKR 2,000 mn to Rs 150 mn.

c) WP-DMT is able to eliminate forgeries, since the e-RL solution is integrated with stakeholder organizations for validating information real time.

d) The use of BPR and technology enabled the e-RL solution to bring about an efficient service delivery for WP-DMT, to issue licenses within 2 minutes. This resulted in an increased productivity of WP-DMT and DSs.

WP-DMT in collaboration with ICTA conducted a survey in 2010, to access the impact of the e-RL solution. The survey covered both qualitative and quantitative aspects. With regards to the qualitative aspects, the survey covered among others, availability of service, user friendliness and performance. Quantitative statistics were accessed mainly from system generated reports. The data sources for the survey were obtained via interviews, questionnaire, GIC, help desk, online forums and the e-RL system.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
The WP-DMT initiated discussions with ICTA and DMT to implement the e-RL Solution.
ICTA, as the Apex government body for ICT in Sri Lanka, undertook the responsibility for funding, implementing the solution based on the re-engineered business requirement of WP-DMT.
The design and implementation of the solution was developed by one of the leading information systems provider in Sri Lanka, engaged by ICTA through a public tender.

The following government stakeholders contributed to the implementation of the Centralized e-Revenue License system

c. DMT
d. DSs in WP
e. Lanka Government information Infrastructure (LGII)
f. Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (SLCERT)

The following policy organizations supported the e-RL initiative to obtain policy and procedural changes through a decision of the Cabinet of Ministers.

a. Ministry of Finance and Planning
b. Department of Public Finance
c. Central Bank of Sri Lanka
d. Presidential Secretariat

The following private sector organizations contributed to the solution

a. 8 Major insurance companies in the country
b. 2 Emission test companies
c. Banks (for Internet Payment Gateway)
d. Mobile telephone companies (for mobile payments and SMS services)

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
Following were carried out as principle strategies;

1) A Memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between WP-DMT, ICTA and DMT for establishing the roles and responsibilities of each party.

a) WP-DMT as the Business owner
b) ICTA as the financial and technical solution provider and overall implementation body
c) DMT as the owner of the vehicle domain, to provide vehicle and owner information online

2) In order to manage policy, procedural and operational changes, a Project Steering Committee (PSC), which was chaired by a Deputy Secretary to the Treasury was setup, represented by members stakeholder and policy organizations.

Objective 1: to provide a citizen friendly service

a) The system was developed as a centralized, web based solution to provide the option for citizens to go to any DSs and obtain the license.

b) Re-engineered business processes led to simplified processes and making the submission of the application redundant. BPR and ICT enabled new processes reduced the service levels from2 hours to 2 minutes.

c) Information on “How to obtain the Revenue License”is provided by the new website for WP-DMT (http://www.motortraffic.wp.gov.lk/), a Facebook page for WP-DMT (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Department-of-Motor-Traffic-Western-Province/300004916771078?fref=ts) and providing same information through trilingual Government Information Call Center and its website (http://www.gic.gov.lk/gic/index.php?option=com_info&task=info&id=1745&lang=en). Moreover an on line forum was created at www.srilanka.lk for discussing issues related to e-RL.

d) WP-DMT introduced “Drive-Through” bays for citizens to drive through and obtain the license while sitting in their vehicles.

e) A SMS (text message) service was introduced to check the validity of revenue license and alert vehicle owners for reminding the expiry of revenue license.

Objective 2: To improve the efficiency of the WP-DMT (by developing a centralized system)

a) Use of BPR and technology to bring about an efficient service delivery for WP-DMT. Minimize license issuance time. And thereby increase productivity of WP-DMT and DSs.

b) Develop a consolidated management information system to WP-DMT.

c) Above to facilitate consolidated reports on revenue collection and lost revenue, enabling an increased efficiency in revenue collection and to minimize defaulters.

d) Eliminate forgeries (with regard to vehicle ownership, insurance and emission) by validating information real time.

Objective 3: Develop a “Transactional” and “connected Government” eService for improving the on line service delivery mechanism

a) Use BPR and technology to introduce the use of electronic payments for the first time in Sri Lanka. Newly introduced Financial Circular 447 facilitated on line payments for e-RL making way to use Credit Card and Mobile Payments for government services.

b) Re-Engineer processes to reduce the paper submission for making the service possible for electronic transactions.

c) Leveraging on National information infrastructure to minimize cost and to comply National e-Government Policy.

d) Ensure interoperability by adhering to Lanka Interoperability framework (www.life.gov.lk)

e) Collaboration between government and private organizations to provide a “Connected Government” service, through which all sub services required for completing the on line transaction of e-RL.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
a) In order to manage policy, procedural and operational changes, a Project Steering Committee (PSC), which was chaired by a Deputy Secretary to the Treasury was setup, represented by members stakeholder and policy organizations.

b) Introduction of Financial Regulations the Ministry of Finance and Planning for using electronic payments for government services by obtaining the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers for enabling “Transactional” eService

c)Use of mobile payments for government services for the first time in Sri Lanka

d) Development of the website for WP-DMT for providing the service related information

e) Use of Social Media (Facebook and On line Forum) for creating the awareness

d) Use of Government Information Center – 1919 for providing information and help desk services for e-RL system

e) Use of SMS services for verifying the validity of the license by Police and vehicle owners. SMS are also used to alerts the vehicle owners about the expiry of the license period.

Implementation Steps and Chronology

- Sign MoUs between ICTA, WP-DMT and DMT – 2006
- Short list and select a vendor for system development – 2007
- Completing the BPR study and development – 2008
- Launch of the pilot system – Dec 2009
- System rollout to all 38 DSs Dec 2012

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
a) The change management

Since e-RL solution replaces the application form for License and change the old process of having 3 separate queues the implementation team had to manage the resistance from the system users. In order to overcome this issue, the implementation team has conducted training sessions and incorporated the ideas of users into the systems. And also worked closely with the users during the implementation period

b) Absence or government procedures for using electronic payments.

WP-DMT and ICTA worked with the government authorities to obtain the approval of Cabinet of Ministers to use electronic payments for government services. This facilitated the issuance of the Financial Circular no 447 by the Ministry of Finance and Planning laying out the procedures for using electronic payments for government services/
14. Migration of data from manual system to centralized solution
This was a major challenge to the implementation team as manual system records are scattered in 38 DSs. The implementation team with the help of DS users have created a central repository of accurate data before migrating to the new e-RL solution

c) Interoperability

As there were no acceptable data standard for the vehicle domain, the implementation team had encountered problems when sharing data with different parties. To overcome this issue WP-DMT used the standards designed by Lanka Interoperability Framework for the vehicle domain. (http://www.life.gov.lk/images/pdfs/LIFe/Vehicle/interim_report_vehicle_data_v0.2.pdf)

d) Infrastructure requirement

Since the e-RL solution need to be accessible to all 38 DSs in WP, it was proposed to use the existing Lanka Government Network (LGN) infrastructure. In any event of connectivity failure the implementation team had to make sure the DSs and WP-DMT have access to the e-RL solution and business continuity. In order to overcome this issue it was decided to user USB dongles as the backup connectivity to e-RL solution.

e)Ensuring the availability

Since the system was supposed to be used by 40 organizations concurrently and on line users, the high availability became a mandatory requirement. In order to achieve this ICTA used the “Lanka Government Cloud” for hosting e-RL system and used the connectivity provided by Lanka Government Network. In addition WP-DMT provided wireless broadband (dongels) for all DSs to provide redundant connectivity.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
a) Financial Resources

The e-RL initiative was funded by the Government or Sri Lanka. The total cost of the project was USD 300,000/-

b) Infrastructure

The e-RL initiative leveraged on the Lanka Government Network as the backbone for electronic communications, to securely connect to government organizations

The e-RL Solution was hosted at the “Lanka Government Cloud” which was setup by ICTA.
“Lanka Gate” which is the government messaging infrastructure was used for exchanging data messages between all stakeholder organizations.

Computers and wireless broad band for DSs were supplied by the WP-DMT.

c)Human Resources

WP-DMT allocated dedicated resources to provide business knowledge and domain knowledge.
Technical and advisory support was provided by the ICTA.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
­- As an important aspect of Centralized e-Revenue License solution, Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka along with the government policy organizations amended the relevant Financial Regulation Circulars. This amendment enabled the department, which is a government organization, to accept electronic payments (Credit / Debit card transaction) made via internet, which is for the first time in Sri Lanka.
To achieve the above, the entire vehicle revenue license issuance operational workflow is facilitated by web services, by connecting both government and private sector organizations. In this context this is a unique solution for the government.

­- The e-RL solution was implemented using Free and Open Source Software. So that the WP-DMT can hire any party for Support and Maintenance and enhancement without vendor locking

­- The e-RL solution is currently hosted in Lanka Government Cloud (LGC). Therefore the cost of hardware can be paid as is used

­- Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic country. The e-RL solution and the on-line license issuance eService support the three major languages used in Sri Lanka.

­ Since the WP covers more approximately 55% of the total vehicle population in Sri Lanka, the first phase of the e-RL project, which covers WP caters majority of the vehicle owners in Sri Lanka. Since all the provinces follow the same rules to issuance of revenue licenses, ICTA intends to replicate the e-RL solution in rest of the 8 provinces in Sri Lanka commencing from early 2013. According to government e-Government policy of Sri Lanka, government organizations are required to provide services via the “Lanka Gate” middleware infrastructure, which the e-Revenue license application is leveraging. Therefore future sustainability is assured.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?

- The annual renewal of the vehicle revenue license is a task every vehicle owner would like to forego. This is partly because they have to visit the Divisional Secretariat (DS). This can sometimes take half a day to a day, depending on traffic, distance and parking.
Also the respective DS where citizen’s vehicle is registered to will be in his/her home DS, where he/she is going to work in another DS. This makes the inconvenience more. Allowing citizens to obtain the revenue license from any DS and also the on-line eService is a major convenience to citizens on this regard.

­- Having maintained a centralized solution, for the WP Department of Motor Traffic, it has been a major advantage to be able to monitor the revenue license issuance process centrally. Also the ability to generate the up to date reports allows the department to easily review the progress

­- The significant time saving of citizens when renewing the revenue license is a major success of e-RL initiative

Lessens Lessons

­- SOA based architecture
Developing the e-RL solution based on Service oriented Architecture principles allowed WP-DMT and ICTA to respond more quickly and more cost-effectively to changing business needs.

­- Managed solution
E-RL system, as in many ICT solutions implemented for Government Organizations, should be a managed solution to ensure availability and performance of the system. Considering that there is a lack of ICT skilled personnel in government, this is a very important aspect to ensure.

­- Governance framework
A proper governance framework should be setup in collaboration with all participating organizations to ensure the efficient operation of the e-RL solution and timely issue resolution.
A simple change at a remote location in a stakeholder organization may impact the efficient service delivery of the entire system. Therefore it is important to educate all stakeholders about adhering to the governance policies. Also periodic reviews of the governance policies need to be carried out.

­- Pre-change management, post change management
Change Management is an important aspect not only during the implementation stage, but also once the e-RL system is in production. As ICTA introduce the governance framework to all stakeholder organizations, it was evident that resources and time should be allocated for change management.

­- Business ownership
Ownership of the solution is a very important aspect of the project. It is a usual procedure of the government that senior government officers are transferred to different organizations after a given tenure of service. Therefore it is important that the objectives and the derived benefits to the government and organization is discussed and promoted to ensure continued commitment of the business owner.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Department of Motor Traffic - Western Province
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Shantha Kumara Muhandiram
Title:   Commissioner  
Telephone/ Fax:   +94-11-2436412/+94-11-2436415
Institution's / Project's Website:   http://www.motortraffic.wp.gov.lk
E-mail:   comm@motortraffic.wp.gov.lk  
Address:   1st Floor, Secretariat, Maligawatte
Postal Code:  
City:   Colombo 10
State/Province:   Western Province
Country:   Sri Lanka

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