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DVLA opens operational discussion with councils

It’s been reported that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) have opened up discussion with local councils, asking organisations what they could do to reduce costs and improve services. Head of the Customer Focus Group for the DVLA, Kevin Rees, said, “We want to get out there and discover what your needs are.” If changes are made, there could be benefits for all concerned.

Presenting a keynote presentation at the Local Digital’s DVLA Discovery Day, it was made clear by Mr Rees that the driving organisation wants to do more to ensure costs are kept down and the flow of data is made more seamless. This may not only help local councils, but motorists too, with both traditional registration and private reg holders, benefiting from the outcomes.

At the event, councils from across the nation met with the DVLA to discuss how future collaboration and possible changes could improve efficiency for both sides. Many of the councils present suggested that they’d be most helped by a system allowing them to easily exchange vehicle related data. An application could help align local and central government data, reducing the burdens of the licence renewal process, the enforcement of chasing unpaid parking fines and helping with parking permit administration. Mr Rees explained to delegates that, “we want to be the digital centre of excellence for government. We want to be the best. If we can reduce overheads (with digital services), we can reduce what we charge the public”.

The DVLA has been making moves to alter their strategy, having already published documentation during April about how they intend to offer better, safer and simpler services. Though close alignment with local councils hadn’t been an area explored before the latest event, the DVLA has already begun digital transformations with other departments. For example, in an effort to combat fraud, there have already been talks to utilise the Passport Office’s facial recognition engine to gain licence-holder confirmation.

As was suggested by Mr Rees, streamlining processes and reducing costs could have a positive outcome, not only for government departments, but the general driving public too. It was found that 82 per cent of DVLA customers prefer to conduct online transactions, making steps toward increasing digital a good move. And, if there’s a chance that motorists may be able to make some savvy savings from such changes, these steps are likely to be welcomed with open arms.

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