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Union slams MoT IT system delays

'Frustrating embarrassment'

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A computer system which will enable people to check out the MoT status of cars they want to buy is running two and a half years late. The original launch date for the database, designed by Siemens Business Services, was May 2002, but since then it has missed three "go live" dates, most recently today, according to the Public and Commercial Services Union.

Louise Saunders, national branch secretary of the union at the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, said: "What was originally meant to modernise the MoT test system and ensure that vehicles are roadworthy and legal is fast becoming a frustrating embarrassment."

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, said: "We have real fears that this delay will mean continuing MoT test fraud and unsafe vehicles on the road.The government wants services delivered more efficiently, but yet again we are seeing a privatised IT project hitting the buffers, wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers' money."

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency told the BBC that the delay was "disappointing [but] they had to be satisfied the system was effective". The MoT database is now expected to go live next Spring, after trials in February. ®

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