NCT was investigated but no problem identified
The Irish Times reports – in an article written by David Labanyi – that an investigation into alleged flaws in the equipment used for the National Car Test (NCT) carried out in February, prior to the Prime Time revelations last week, failed to identify any significant problems.
The investigation was carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) under its contract to audit the NCT systems and equipment on behalf of Applus – the company that operates the NCT. While the Prime Time programme concluded that bribes changed hands in return for a favourable test result an anonymous letter to the Road Safety Authority (RSA), which triggered the investigation, suggested there were “reliable” lanes which were used for trade cars or vehicles belonging to motorists who had complained after failing a test.
In its response to the allegations, issued to the RSA board two weeks after the letter was received, PwC said the NCT had an “inbuilt random-allocation feature” which assigned a customer vehicle to an inspector who determined the lane.
PwC said Applus was “firmly of the view” that all 91 test lanes were standard and there was no concept of reliable lanes. The AA’s most recent consistency test, in September, found a 99 per cent compliance rate, “which compares favourably with similar tests in previous years,” PwC said.
AA Ireland was mentioned in the anonymous letter to the RSA when it was suggested that representatives of that organisation “can’t even get the same result in two lanes beside each other”.