A total of 23 companies lodged their bids to supply the 2nd generation licenses for NTSA that have been scheduled for release mid-last-year. Out of the listed companies, National Bank emerged winner for the tender in 2015.
“The contract will see us work with NTSA, together with our technical partners Austria Card, Xinfotech Africa and Pesa Print, on the Supply, Delivery, Installation and Maintenance of Second Generation Smart-Card Based Driving License and Associated Services. Each of the partner adds cutting edge technical expertise and a wealth of experience that will help ensure success in this project,” Mr. Musai said.
“National Bank of Kenya have promised us that in one month, Kenyan drivers will have digital licences that replace our paper-based documents. The bank has signed a contract with us confirming they and their partners are up to the task,” he said.
The choice of the National Bank was not without controversy, being the subject of a petition filed by losing bidders who argued that the award strayed from the Banking Act, which requires financial institutions to stick to their core area of operation unless permitted by the Central Bank of Kenya.
The Public Procurement Administrative Review Board ruled in favour of the project awarded to the bank, but the High Court put a condition on the award, ruling later that the lender would need to secure a bond for half the sum of the award from a reputable third party financial institution before proceeding with the project.
Speaking on Thursday during the launch of the NTSA’s pedestrian fence initiative, Mr Meja said that the authority was in consultations with insurance companies, which will facilitate fast adoption of the smart licences once introduced.
Mr. Meja exuded confidence that National Bank of Kenya was up to the task of delivering the digital licences within the stipulated timeline. The New Generation DL will come with bundle of benefits which include improved road safety, law enforcement, and improved efficiency in service delivery.
“Controlling the issuance and production of fake drivers’ licenses will improve road safety and reduce carnage caused by incompetent drivers. The improved access to driver information will enhance efficient transport management and enable eradication of errant driving practices.
Further, the card presents an opportunity for supplementary developments in training and enforcements within NTSA in future,” said Mr. Musau.
Insurance companies are expected to adopt a new premium pricing model that will partially rely on smart driving licences to enable them reward good drivers with lower premiums and raise those of bad drivers.
“We shall have a centralised database profiling driver behaviour where repeat offenders lose points to an extent of having their driving licences suspended temporarily or confiscated for good,” said Mr Meja.
The smart driving licences are embedded with a secure computer chip containing the holder’s information, which is only readable using special electronic gadgets to be owned and managed by NTSA officials.
According to government statistics, in 2015, NTSA issued 91,336 driving licences, up from 88,666 issued in 2014. It is planning to procure 6.5 million smart driving licences.