Saturday, September 20, 2008

Are Fujitsu/IBM profiting from the disclosure of DVLA records?

I've written about the DVLA selling charging private companies a couple times before here and here. Essentially the DVLA will provide details to private companies that wish to enforce a traffic enforcement notice and charge £2.50 "administration charge" each time for a record, and as the links provided shows it brings in revenue of around £9.5 million over a short period.

According to the DVLA they make no profit from this, and they also reject the idea that they are "selling" the data to these private companies. However, if you have listen to these three conversations (1, 2, 3) it becomes rather clear that someone might actually be making a profit from this, and it isn't the DVLA.

According to the DVLA representative in the third conversation, the electronic portal that provides virtually instant access to the DVLA database of information for registered companies is managed by Fujitsu and IBM. It is these companies that charge the DVLA via contract for running the system and handling the requests. Is it likely therefore that the £2.50 per record charge does not carry a margin mark-up for these requests? I think not.

It wouldn't be in their interests to manage a system for the DVLA that was revenue neutral for them. As such, whilst the DVLA can hide behind the "it's an administration cost" what they actually mean is that it is a administration cost that has to be paid to Fujitsu for providing the means for companies to get information from the registers. Put your hand up if you honestly believe that those companies are not making a profit from this?

At £2.50 a pop, on 1.5 million requests a year that is just short of £4 million. Given the information in the audio downloads, it suggests that somewhere along the line a profit must be being made for this information disclosure. Worse still, after six months a company can go electronic and the chances of any oversight of their requests is minimal.

Click the links below to listen to the DVLA.

Audio 1
Audio 2
Audio 3


Dave said...

Is this how the litter gestapo get the names and addys for those caught flicking ash out of their car windows?

Bastards all of them

Anonymous said...

To be fair, flicking ash out of your car window may seem to you to be harmless (ash is after all not going to cause massive environmental problems), *but* as the driver of a convertible, I can tell you that it's extremely unpleasant, not to mention downright dangerous, when some idiot in the car in front flicks ash out of the window and it ends up going in your eyes.

Furthermore this same group of people often discards lit cigarette ends out of the self-same window that they have been using to dispose of their ash. These smouldering cigarette butts have been known to enter other vehicles (or even, when the rear windows are open, to re-enter the same vehicle) and can cause items in those vehicles to catch fire; again, this is at best unpleasant and in many cases highly dangerous.

Finally, I'll observe that cars are fitted with ashtrays for a reason: please use them!