Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/16/mot_computer_crash/

Government may pay for MOT chaos

£230m system crashes

By Kablenet

Posted in Government, 16th May 2006 06:02 GMT

Garages offering MOTs may receive compensation after the computer system crashed last month.

Around 18,300 authorised MOT testing centres were disrupted after the UK's £230m MOT system suffered technical problems.

The centres are linked to a system which was intended to replace handwritten MOT testing certificates, wipe out the sale of fraudulent certificates, and keep dangerous vehicles off the road. During the week long disruptions, garages had to revert to handwriting MOT certificates.

Motorists issued with a paper based certificate were unable to relicense their vehicle online until the garage has been able to access the computerised system. They were forced to take their vehicle paperwork to the Post Office to validate their new MOT certificate.

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), which runs the scheme, has not revealed the cause of the problem, but told Government Computing News it is "fully operational now".

Responding to a question in Parliament on 12 May, Stephen Ladyman, minister of state for transport, said: "All the 18,300 garages currently in the MOT scheme have been contacted and advised to write to the MOT service management team if they believe they have suffered financial loss as a result of disruptions to the MOT service. Each claim will be considered on its respective merits."

Siemens Business Services built the system under a 10 year private finance initiative deal on behalf of the government. After severe delays the system finally went live in March.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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