PERFORMANCE OF THE AGENCY'S DRIVING TEST
CONTROL SYSTEM (DTCS)
1. Following implementation of DTCS, DSA
established and agreed arrangements with the IT contract provider
(Capita) for monitoring of system performance and its availability.
In July 1999 an analysis was completed of the outstanding functional
shortcomings against the original specification. These faults
were corrected by October 1999, and DSA signed off satisfaction
with system functionality in November 1999ie it did what
it had been designed to do.
2. Although there were some improvements,
the performance and availability of the system failed to reach
specified target levels. Therefore, in June 1999, DSA initiated
claims for damages against the contractor. (This was the earliest
date from which claims could be made within the terms of the contract.)
3. By January 2000 the booking system was
functioning for 97 per cent of the time, (2 per cent below the
performance target of 99 per cent). But from February performance
began to decline as volumes of bookings started to climb in line
with seasonal trends. Capita were unable to identify any obvious
causes for the decline in system performance.
4. A study was commissioned to review all
aspects of system performance and a programme of general improvement
actions was agreed, including upgrades of hardware, overhaul of
telecommunications links and improvements to operating systems
software. Implementation of the improvements began in June 2000
and all actions in the plan are scheduled to be completed by the
end of October.
5. In July 2000, DSA identified problems
with communications links for payment card authorisations, which
intermittently prevented us taking credit card payments. These
communications links are supplied under a separate contract with
BMS and lie outside the scope of the DTCS contractor's responsibilities.
The Agency's service level arrangements with BMS are under continuous
review and have appointed a new telecommunications supplier in
order to improve service reliability.
6. Over July and August 2000, Capita's operation
of DTCS has been close to the 99 per cent level of system acceptance
quality, but there was a downturn in September. DSA will not sign
off acceptance of the performance aspects of DTCS the 99 per cent
target is met on a consistent basis. The contract provides for
payments of Liquidated Damages in the event of late delivery of
a fully acceptable system. DSA has made a claim for the maximum
contractual amount under these provisions. Capita's response has
been to make a counter-claim. This issue is being pursued through
the Contractual Disputes Resolution process.
7. The Agency will undertake a Post Implementation
Review of the system, following final system acceptance.