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Comment: Update on online check service

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 13:30
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OUTLOOK: Malcolm Maycock gives his take

Malcolm Maycock, Managing Director of Licence Bureau, earlier this month provided fleets with information regarding the progress being made by DVLA to launch a new online licence checking service.

Here is his update in full:

“In 2003 businesses had no way of proactively and cost-effectively checking driving licences in order to meet their Health and Safety duty of care obligations, and Licence Bureau was set up after identifying that niche.

“Over the past ten years a new industry has grown that checks (subject to consent from the data subject) a driver’s entitlement to drive by verifying their records direct with DVLA, and not using the licence or counterpart which could be abused.

“These suppliers have a strict contract with the DVLA and are regularly audited to ensure compliance and data security, and have recently set up the Electronic Driver Entitlement Checking Service (EDECS) user group, of which I have been elected as Chairman.

“The EDECS user group met with DVLA in January 2014 to discuss changes to the current database and of course abolition of the counterpart.

“DVLA confirmed they are seeking the relevant approvals to enhance their new system and to allow the user group real time access to driver results.

“This will mean future single as well as the current batch requests.

“EDECS Users are working with DVLA officials to explore the feasibility of introducing an accredited trade association model for the disclosure of driver data for driver entitlement checking purposes.

“The proposed changes should bring a range of benefits to all.

“All businesses should be recording current driving and vehicle documents whether using those produced by drivers or electronic records.

“The loss of the counterpart does not hamper anyone as instead of the driver producing a document, they will be able to log into their driver record and provide a view of their current status which the company can record.

“A print out of the screen not seen by an employer would not be suitable as it could easily be manipulated.

“Organisations will continue to have access to driver records, subject to consent from the data subject, as they do currently through the EDECS service and any other associations who meet the criteria and comply with the requirements.

“Why should organisations who do not comply get access?

“We have 33years’ involvement with the police.

“We also have worked with DVLA during the past ten years to prevent and detect abuse of the system and ensure that data is protected to the required standard, but we know that people will abuse any system if they are not accountable.

“What is the value of this information to a reporter or organised crime groups?

“There have to be checks and balances and we hope through the EDECS user group we can provide a safe and secure service to corporates, which will make our roads a safer place for all.”

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