E-government is working for DVLA
A functioning government IT project? Surely not.
A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) on the use of technology by UK vehicle licensing agencies has found that rare beast - a working government IT project.
It's worth noting though that data security was not part of the government spending watchdog's brief this time.
The NAO looked at six services from three agencies which completed 12.6 million electronic transactions in 2006-2007.
These vary from quite mature services, like booking a driving test, to services such as applying for a provisional license which are quite new and were launched without much marketing.
The NAO found the use of new technology delivered high levels of public satisfaction, reduced delivery times for services, made transactions easier for consumers, and provided extra services - such as the ability to check your driver records.
The introduction of such services has also led to significant savings, the NAO found. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency got rid of 58 staff and saved £1.4m a year from April 2007. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) reduced call centres dealing with booking driving tests from two to one. The DSA now has instant access to test results for every test centre and examiner meaning it can more effectively check their performance.
The NAO recommended the DVLA continue its evalution of using email instead of letters to remind people to pay their car tax, and research into whether there is a case to stop using paper tax discs entirely.
The NAO noted the batch of data security problems disclosed by the DVLA on in December 2007 and said it would revisit its conclusions if necessary.
It said "Data security falls out outside the scope of this report, and was therefore not part of our investigation."
The agencies' "customers" will no doubt be comforted to know the front end of the systems work nicely, whatever happens out the back.
The Liberal Democrats said the government needed to improve its data protection policies if it wanted to encourage more people to use online services. ®
I can still remember when Maggie decided to drop the RFL
Petrol Duty took a massive hike in the budget preparatory to abolishing the RFL, but politics being as it is, they got away with double collecting, had another crisis to take our minds off it and dropped the scheme.
They never rescinded the petrol tax hike though.
I'm not sure if the problems are with the IT or with this pathetic government who make and change rules without any regard for viability, justness, or consequence.
A vehicle does not have to have insurance if it is not used upon the road. It is possible to have third party cover on other vehicles not owned by you and so it is valid to want to tax a vehicle in case you need to use it, or in fact when you have just purchased it and arranged immediate cover, however the system does not allow for this and so the car may have a valid MOT, valid insurance and you may be willing to Tax it but you can't. Far fetched ? One chap even phoned them to say he had to leave his 'new' vehicle outside his sister's house while he made room for it on his drive, whilst he waited for the insurance paperwork to arrive. They sent the squad round first thing in the morning and impounded the car and claimed for all the backtax!
@ Running the numbers
Mate you are a genius, don't know why you made yourself anonymous. thats the best idea ever, if people choose to drive normal cars they end up the same. if they drive tiny little poo wagons they save money and if they choose to get in everyone elses way by driving a 4x4 at 2 miles an hour in a congested London. they pay loads. its brilliant.
Running the numbers
Well the numbers seem to be here:
They made 28.2 billion in total from fuel taxes (duty and vat) in 2006.
They made 5 billion from vehicle excise duty.
So fuel taxes are nearly 6x vehicle duty. I think if they turned around and said "we make 33 billion on fuel plus road tax, we're going to eliminate road tax and stick it all on fuel, it's tax neutral, but if you drive less, you save money, if you drive more and you pay more. Up to you. If you drive an SUV, reduce the driving and you'll save a lot, switch to a more fuel efficient car and you'll save a lot, drive during less congested times and you'll save a lot, leave the car at home every now and again and you save a lot."
As fuel gets more scarce, I figure it will encourage people to drive less and less and only use the car when the have no choice. But I don't think anyone can magically do without a car, and suddenly public transport will work! It has to be gradual and they have to be able to save money by switching to public transport.
As it is, public transport cost the public 5 billion a year even if they don't make a single journey. They can't realistically do without a car, so they pay the 5 billion a year regardless.