Government motoring agencies - the user perspective - Transport Committee Contents

1  Introduction

1. The three Government motoring agencies—the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA)—are executive agencies of the Department for Transport (DfT). The DVLA maintains registers of drivers and vehicles. The DVSA sets, tests and enforces driver and vehicle standards in Great Britain.[1] The VCA is the approval authority for new road vehicles, agricultural tractors and off-road vehicles for use across the whole of the UK. We took evidence on the DVLA and Driving Standards Agency (DSA) earlier in the Parliament in November 2011[2] and we reported last on the Vehicle and Operators Service Agency (VOSA) in July 2013,[3] before it merged with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) to form the DVSA. The work of the agencies has come up in the context of other inquires, including that on local authority parking enforcement.[4] In March 2013 we reported on our future programme and indicated that, following several suggestions, we would look at users' experience of the Government's motoring agencies.[5]

2. We published terms of reference for our inquiry on 7 January 2014 seeking views on the following questions:

·  Can the services of the Government motoring agencies be accessed when and where they are needed, including by people who do not use digital channels?

·  Are these services affordable and do they provide value for money?

·  Is personal or otherwise sensitive data handled appropriately?

·  How has outsourcing of service delivery affected users?

·  When things go wrong, are problems dealt with quickly and fairly?

·  How are users affected by the way in which Government motoring agencies are structured to provide these services? What are the pros and cons for changing the current structure?

·  How are the needs of service users prioritised, particularly during periods of change?

3. We received 27 written submissions and took oral evidence on 27 March 2014 and 15 May 2014, when we heard from the motoring agencies, the DfT and representative bodies. We also conducted an online and postal survey in which we asked the public to comment on the motoring agencies. We received more than 500 responses to our survey, and we are grateful to everyone who took the time to fill it in.

1   There are separate agencies responsible for this activity in Northern Ireland. Back

2   Transport Committee, Oral and written evidence, Work of the Driving Standards Agency and Driver Vehicle Licencing Agency, HC1610, Session 2010-12 Back

3   Transport Committee, Third Report of Session 2013-14, Work of the Vehicle and Operators Service Agency, HC 583 Back

4   Transport Committee, Seventh Report of Session 2013-14, Local Authority parking enforcement, HC118 Back

5   Transport Committee, Second Report of Session 2013-14, Future Programme 2013-14, HC 438 Back

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Prepared 7 October 2014