The Department for Transport’s three motoring services agencies provide vital services to the country’s drivers and vehicle owners. The motoring services strategies consultation is about setting the strategic direction that the agencies should take over the life of this Parliament. It will inform the strategy which the department intends to publish in the spring of 2016.
The DfT is seeking your views on the whole range of the agencies’ activities. In addition to a number of specific consultation questions, respondents are invited to make observations and suggestions concerning the agencies.
Participation will help the DfT to reform the agencies so they are positioned to respond to changes in motoring and the way people and businesses operate in an increasingly digitally-driven world. The BVRLA encourages its members to review the key areas below and provide feedback to legal and policy executive, Amanda Brandon
so we can ensure member's needs are addressed in our response.
Areas of interest for BVRLA members
Authorised Testing Facilities
The department is considering whether industry would be best served by a 'mixed economy' which allows some private sector delegated examiners to conduct LGV tests at ATFs (following the model for cars), with appropriate safeguards to ensure fleet operators could not certificate their own vehicles. The BVRLA has called for this approach for some time as it believes this will offer increased flexibility. We would welcome feedback on this area and whether members would be supportive of this approach.
Several commercial users have told DfT that the agencies could be better at communicating change to fleet managers. DfT will examine ways in which this can be improved, so that clients can better manage their fleets and the agencies can spend less time on dealing with individual inquiries. How could communications be improved?
The consultation asks what more could be done to expand and increase the use of digital services offered by the motoring agencies and what should be done for those who cannot or choose not to use a digital service? Do we have any suggestions for areas of improvement in terms of the digital service, for example, MOT management has been suggested as an area where more could be done by the executive agencies? We would welcome any other suggestions.
Application programming interface
DfT intends to introduce processes better suited to commercial users. For some smaller fleet operators, a web interface through GOV.UK will meet their needs. Larger hauliers and fleet operators have sophisticated fleet management software to manage the business. Where data protection issues permit, DfT propose to develop an application programming interface (API) that would allow larger organisations to access the agencies' services from within their fleet management software, where the software supplier chooses to develop appropriate modules. This should help to eliminate the need for fleet operators to have to input information twice, once to their own management systems and then again for government. Would you support this approach, what benefits would it deliver for your business?
Should fees reflect the costs of service provision by different channels? The DfT is also examining whether there is a case for simplifying the fee structure in some cases. They are also considering whether differential fees for statutory services might be charged to SMEs at the expense of larger organisations, where the cost of the service provided by the agency is large in relation to the overall value of the service or product provided by the SME.
Other income sources
The agencies have other sources of income besides fees. DVLA, for example, derives some income from reselling the services of the high security print facilities that it needs to deliver its core services. Greater utilisation of such services could allow the agency to pass reduced unit costs on to its core users. We will be suggesting that the DVLA could become a central issuer for penalty charge notices. This would allow DVLA to contact members directly prior to the PCN being printed so that the customer’s details can be obtained without any paper being involved.
To view the full Motoring Services Strategy consultation click here
Please send your comments and feedback by 4 December to Amanda Brandon