Written Answers. - National Car Test.

Ivan Yates

Question:

663 Mr. Yates asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the plans, if any, he has to review the procedures in relation to the national car test, specifically in relation to the appeals mechanism or the appointment of any form of ombudsman system to settle disputes whereby mechanics who prepare cars for the test and which then go on to fail the test; if he has satisfied himself that the standards being applied to the test are uniform; the further plans he has to alter the current procedures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19286/00]

National Car Testing Service Limited, NCTS, is required to provide and operate a comprehensive complaint procedure as part of its quality customer service obligations. This procedure includes provision for an appeal against the results of a test. A notice drawing attention to the complaints procedure is displayed in each test centre. It is also open to an owner, who is aggrieved by the outcome of a test, to appeal to the District Court. The court may either refuse the appeal or direct a new test.

I am satisfied that these arrangements are appropriately designed to safeguard both the interests of owners and the integrity of the national car test.

Items to be tested for the national car test, the method of testing and the reasons for failure are set down in the Department's manual, National Car Test (NCT) Manual 1999. The manual forms the basis on which tests are carried out by the NCTS. The Department supervises the operations of the NCTS with a view to ensuring the standards set out in the manual are applied uniformly throughout the country.

There are no plans to alter the above arrangements.