(October 31, 2013) - Mr. Speaker, improving the delivery of programs and services, especially to residents of smaller, remote communities, is an important goal for our government. Later this fiscal year the Department of Transportation will be providing residents with the option to access driver and motor vehicle services from the comfort of their homes, workplaces or from anywhere else with an internet connection. Services will be available from any computer, smart phone or tablet with an internet connection, and with expanding cellular coverage across the Territory, that’s just about anywhere.
It has taken over five years of dedicated work to get the Motor Vehicle Information System upgraded to be in a position to provide on-line services while maintaining and protecting the integrity and quality of our programs and information.
Earlier this year, the Department completed the migration from our 1980s Motor Vehicle Information System to a state of the art system called DRIVES. This work was undertaken by Transportation staff with consultants hired for specialized work. This multi-year project was completed on time and on budget. The project was also completed without any disruptions in service. Mr. Speaker, this was no small feat.
DRIVES now provides enhanced processes to streamline client drivers license processing. Heightened security and system processes reduce the risk of fraudulent requests associated with identity theft. The new system also includes enhanced medical compliance standards and driver profiles standards. The online financial transaction security and encription is equivalent to that of a bank. Now that the background system is in place, we have been shifting our focus outward to expanding online services to our clients.
Included in the first suite of on-line services to be rolled out before Christmas are e-notification reminders. How many of us have forgotten to renew our registration or driver’s licence, only to be reminded by a ticket? You will soon be able to register to have reminders come directly to your inbox or to your handheld device.
Early in the new year you will also be able to renew your vehicle registration, schedule appointments such as driver tests, and obtain your driver record online.
These services will be available in every community with an internet or cellular connection. We expect that this will be greatly appreciated in remote communities where there currently is no issuing site. These clients will no longer have to wait for services to come to them or travel to a larger centre for service.
We expect that on-line services will also shorten existing wait times for those that choose to continue accessing services in person. At our busiest issuing site, here in Yellowknife, we have recently implemented a number of initiatives including queuing systems, posting wait times online and implementing measurable service standards to improve the client experiences. We expect that as much as 50% of registration renewals will be processed online once it is available. If that is the case, it will result in even shorter wait times to receive service. Clients will be able to get the services they need when it’s convenient, without having to wait in a line up.
In future, we will be proposing to expand on-line services even further, to include drivers licence renewals, address changes and obtaining commercial vehicle permits to name a few. With technology, there are now endless possiblilities for innovative service delivery. I look forward to keeping you updated on our ongoing efforts to improve service delivery and reduce government red tape.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.