DVLA Swansea Department blows £33 million of tax payers money

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

DVLA Swansea pays £33 million pound to change IT supplier!

The DVLA have had much extraordinary press recently, in fact it could be described that DVLA is moving from one disaster to another. Now it seems that they have paid £33 million to change their computer supplier, when previously the DVLA estimated it would be half of that cost.

However, even within government organisations there are people who had seen enough to realise that there are things that the public should be aware of, which is how this story comes about.

The whistle-blower said: 'The Office of Government Commerce warned the former chief executive and board that they were not satisfied the Pact contract could show it could achieve value for money, but the DVLA went ahead anyway, because as usual nothing is ever done by DVLA on time and it in fact is just a comedy of errors.

'The new chief executive Noel Shanahan, appointed earlier this year, has just written to staff to say he has managed to renegotiate that contract in some small ways, but it is shutting the stable door somewhat.

'If you review the DVLA annual report after the contract was let, you'll see that the DVLA paid £33m, yes £33,000,000 of tax payers money, just to transfer their IT systems from EDS to IBM/Fujitsu, including £5.6m to reorganise the [DVLA] IT department.'

These findings show that there are some serious problems within the DVLA hierarchy and management teams, which is why the House of Commons Transport Committee, who strongly criticised the way that the DVLA computer supply deal had been handled, has looked at the deal in some detail.

The House of Commons' Transport Committee said: 'An outline of some of the spending decisions taken by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) was included in the previous section on administration costs.

'The largest item here was the £33m transition costs for a new partnership deal with IBM and Fujitsu to develop DVLA services provided.

'We were told: ‘Business Plan forecasts for 2002-03 were prepared well before negotiations with suppliers had been concluded, so there was a range of expectations relating to the different possible outcomes. The range estimate for transition was between £13m and £29m. From this the agency used a lower quartile estimate of £17m for the purposes of the Business Plan'.

'The final transition cost was £33m, nearly twice as much as budgeted.'
In response to the findings, the DVLA only had this to say:

A DVLA spokesperson said: 'The current IT supplier contract was awarded in 2002 as one of the first IT partnership agreements in Government, and as such was subject to scrutiny and approval.

'Earlier this year we took advantage of a contractual opportunity to re-negotiate the contract delivering best commercial terms.'

It seems all DVLA press is continually negative and despite a huge budget and many staff, it is a reflection of the current Government as how this Agency is being run. Whilst all major Government departments have various issues, the DVLA is beginning to make the recent home office blunders look competent!

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