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Report slams driver licence system

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/07/2016 Boris Jancic

The transport authority will tighten up rules on overseas drivers' licences following a report that called New Zealand's licensing regime ineffective and flawed in every part of the process.

The independent study by KPMG was ordered amid a police investigation into the sale of fake licences - and it has found major changes are needed to the Transport Agency's systems.

The report found NZTA had reduced controls to focus on customer service and lacked a proper quality assurance process.

"We identified control gaps and weaknesses throughout all aspects of the end-to-end driver licensing process," the report's authors said.

Among the major recommendations was a call for an overhaul of the way overseas licences are converted to local ones because the system allowed people to bypass proper testing.

KPMG said the current system didn't have the right tools in place to make sure files - such as overseas licences and identity documents - were real.

"Counter staff are required to make a judgment call as to the validity of these documents."

The Transport Agency's access and use group manager, Celia Patrick, said it was taking urgent action to fill the gaps.

Among the changes it is limiting the number of branches that will be able to process overseas licences and will increase scrutiny of documents.

"We view the findings of this review very seriously and we are actively working on addressing the recommendations in the report," Ms Patrick said.

Earlier this week, 49 truck licences were revoked amid an ongoing police investigation into licensing fraud.

"Immediate action has been taken to remove the individuals at the centre of the alleged fraud being investigated by police from the system to minimise the likelihood of further suspect licences being issued," Ms Patrick said.

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