Canberra’s RTA drives US$4.4M system overhaul

Two years in the making, rego.act, Canberra’s A$6 million (US$4.4 million) vehicle registration and driver licensing project, scales to 600 concurrent users and gives the public 24×7 access to the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) Road Transport Authority’s (RTA) business transaction processing.

The three-phased implementation of rego.act, the Road Transport Information Management System which started early in 2001 and finished in early December, manages the “collection” of A$200 million annually of road and traffic-related services in the ACT and provides customers with 24×7 online access. The system processes motor vehicle registration and renewals, driver licensing, traffic and parking fines, red light and speed camera infringements, parking permits and vouchers and other Internet services online.

The rego.act project equipped some 600 RTA law and parking enforcement officers with WAP access to the system through a WAP/GPS phone or PDA or laptop using a PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) modem card, according to the RTA’s rego.act project director Frank Daly.

Phase two, which went live around July, replaced an existing intranet with a system integrating the territory’s RTA clients and trusted agents like the NRMA and authorized new car dealers. The third phase included 24×7 public access to the Web. In its early days, rego.act could handle only 90 concurrent users but can now cope with six times that number.

The ACT RTA contracted the development and integration work to IT services provider CSC.

By employing new development technologies such as J2EE, IBM’s MQ Series middleware and Web services to build the system, CSC showed “remarkable” development speed on the rollout by taking only two years to complete it, Daly said.

The system’s main efficiencies include quicker information transfer between different RTA offices and their authorized agencies through document sharing between state branches and file transfer by e-mail, Daly said, adding that he expects a 13 per cent financial return rate on the system over the next 10 years.

The system has replaced laborious paper-based processes such as sending registration details between branches and authorized new car dealers, by faxing and post, he said. There have also been big back-office process improvements through seamless connections with banks through integration with their Eftpos terminals for online validation of customers’ debit and credit payments, thereby reducing the need for branch service.

The system also integrates with more than 20 of the ACT RTA’s core business systems including an Oracle financials system for the government’s financials and receipting; with police and parking inspectors’ authorities’ systems and also the National Exchange of Vehicle and Driver Information System to check that motor vehicles are not stolen vehicles and to verify the eligibility of customers applying for a driver’s licence.

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