Thursday 9 February 2023

Costa Rica would be without vehicular inspection, warns Comptroller

Opening the Riteve monopoly would benefit users

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8 February 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – In four months, on July 15, will be the end of the 20 year contract with the Riteve, the Contraloría (Comptroller’s Office) warned that the country runs the risk of being left without the technical review service.

The contract with Riteve will end on July 15

For this reason, the supervisory body warned that it would transfer the matter to the legal department of the institution, by considering the follow-up process closed.

Since October of last year, the Comptroller’s Office informed Edwin Herrera, director of the Consejo de Seguridad Vial (Cosevi) Road Safety Council, a division of the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) –  the Ministry of Transport, about the shortcomings in the transition process and closing of the current contract.

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For the Comptroller there is no request for an extension before the contracting division to give continuity to the contract with Riteve.

Read more: Riteve monopoly could soon come to an end

“The Comptroller’s Office determined that the aforementioned provision has been breached, so the legal assessment of said breach will be carried out and it reiterated Cosevi’s responsibility to carry out the necessary actions to ensure the continuity of the Technical Inspection service in strict compliance. to the legal system. Henceforth, it is the responsibility of the Administration to make the corresponding decisions and the application of the solutions in accordance with the legal system,” indicated the Comptroller.

The manager of the Audit area for the Development of Cities of the Comptroller’s Office, Marcela Aragón, said that the Administration, that is, those in charge of the process (MOPT-Cosevi), have presented various scenarios but none is concrete and they lack clear actions on the way to follow to guarantee the continuity of this public service.

The responsibility for this situation lies totally on the negligence of the MOPT-Cosevi.

The Administration defends its inaction by indicating that no decisions can be made because of a pending resolution of an appeal filed (in October 2021) by an environmental group that asks that only one company be in charge of providing the vehicle technical review service to maintain the same quality of service.

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In early 2021, up to four different groups had expressed interest in taking charge of the vehicle technical review. The idea was to start the bidding process in the second half of this year and thus guarantee that by mid-2022, there would be several companies ready to provide the service.

In effect, the government’s plan was, or still is, to break the monopoly held by Riteve, a plan supported in parallel by the legislative branch.

The breaking of the monopoly also has the support of the Comisión para Promover la Competencia (Coprocom)  – Commission to Promote Competition, ensures that if the public vehicle technical inspection service goes from having a single provider, as it currently is, to a system that promotes competition and free competition, all users would have direct benefits with the change.

“This opening (breaking the monopoly) has shown in other countries benefits for the consumer derived from the increase in competition, such as: an increase in the number of stations that broadens the possibility of choice, a wider range of hours for the public, reduction of waiting times, offer of complementary services, introduction of discounts when there is no fixed rate”, explained in December, Rojas Guzmán, president of Coprocom.

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At stake is not only users of the Riteve (owners of vehicles and drivers), but also the some 500 direct employees who are waiting to see what happens in July.

But not to worry, President Carlos Alvarado assures us that his government will have a solution in place before the end of its term on May 8.

Read more: Uncertainty for Riteve employees and the country

Riteve’s contract was originally signed for ten years and gave the right to a single extension, which is the one that expires on July 15, 2022.

The vehicular inspection is a requirement to be able to pay the annual Marchamo (circulation permit).

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