Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Further memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (TEA 01A)

1.  THE DVO INITIATIVE

  1.1  This additional memorandum submitted by the Department explains the importance of the Driver Vehicle and Operator (DVO) Group initiative to the successful modernisation and improvement of services to customers.

2.  SCOPE

  2.1  Four agencies are part of the Department's DVO Group, which was formed in 1999. They are:

    —  The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency;

    —  The Driving Standards Agency;

    —  The Vehicle Inspectorate;

    —  The Vehicle Certification Agency.

  2.2  The DVO Group also includes the Traffic Area Network, a part of DETR, which licences commercial vehicle operators.

  2.3  The activities of the DVO group members are overseen by the DVO Strategy Board. It is chaired at Director General level and comprises the Chief Executives of each business unit, senior managers from DETR Policy units, and three non-executive directors each with a private sector background.

  2.4  Accountable to Ministers, the Board is charged with delivering better government services to the drivers, owners and operators of vehicles. It does this by concentrating on issues, which cross agency boundaries, on the exploitation of synergies between them, and on the adoption of innovative projects and initiatives that would be difficult for individual agencies to achieve on their own.

3.  PROGRESS

  3.1  There have been some tangible results from the Group's work, which will benefit the individual motorist. These have produced improvements in communication and information provision helping motorists become familiar with one point of contact for their entire vehicle and driving needs. Specific examples are:

    —  help to young drivers by the production and marketing last year of a DVO branded video "Licensed to Drive";

    —  the issue of a "learning to drive" customer charter;

    —  when motorists access the Internet they now find an integrated information site for the DVO Group of agencies;

    —  market research for all the services from the Group conducted last year will help inform the future provision of service. Motorists are looking for the means to conduct business by telephone—a pilot to relicense vehicles is already in place operated by DVLA—a single point of telephone contact offering longer opening hours;

    —  electronic means of delivery and the employment of the latest new technology will be necessary to achieve the strategy. This is being planned for as part of the DETR's work to meet the target to put all services on line by 2005.

Improved Service Outcomes

  3.2  The application of this strategic approach to build service delivery channels that are as simple as possible, easy to access and available when people want them, should bring about a step-change improvement in customer service from the DVO Group as a whole. Major changes will take time to work through. These could include:

    —  the provision of a single point of contact in the DVO Group, accessed either by telephone or the Internet, that could "manage" the enquiry and if necessary help the individual complete an application;

    —  the ability to conduct transactions electronically accessed through the UK online facility which would link with a DVO portal;

    —  making it much easier for people to conduct business with the Group by removing the need for them to deal with more than one agency as part of a single transaction—for example importing a car where currently three agencies might be involved in the process;

    —  streamlining processes to trigger automatic service provision to the customer without further applications on their part such as providing a full driving licence following a successful test pass;

    —  better linkages between data bases, both within DETR and externally, might enable motorists to be reminded that their MOT and insurance are due for renewal.

4.  EVALUATION AND FUTURE STRATEGY

  4.1  The Department, in consultation with Treasury and Cabinet Office, are evaluating the results achieved to date and recommending to Ministers how the DVO Strategy should be taken forward. This evaluation process was agreed at the time of setting up the Strategy Board following a fundamental review of structural options for the DVO Agencies. The results will be reported to Ministers at the end of March and the Select Committee's report will be taken into account in reaching final decisions on the future of the DVO Group.

  4.2  The evaluation work to date has determined the need for a fresh over-arching core strategy. This would concentrate on the redesign of service delivery centred on the needs and convenience of motorists and other customers. The implications of this and the extensive programme of work it will generate are being worked on and will be the subject of separate submissions to the E-Envoy's Office and Treasury within the evaluation process.

  4.3  Implementing this strategy will generate fundamental changes in the way service delivery channels are organised within the DVO group. Extensive process re-engineering has been identified as necessary and some work has started. The agencies jointly have already started to work on all the possible "life event" and other requirements the public are likely to need from the group.

5.  FURTHER INFORMATION

  5.  The Department stands ready to provide further information on the DVO strategy if that would assist the Committee.

February 2001


 
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