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DVLA SORN system oficially **** and legally unenforceable.

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Lincsbodger

from United Kingdom

Joined: 15 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 7:32 pm Reply with quote

The DVLA’s off-road notification system is a shambles: legally unenforceable and administrative chaos. Two recent court cases suggest that the DVLA has been acting unlawfully and does not have the powers it thinks it has when it comes to pushing motorists around.

First up was a case heard in Clerkenwell District Court in October 2009. The DVLA was seeking a judgment against James Collins, on the grounds that he had failed to notify it when took his vehicle off the road (SORN).

Mr Collins told the court that he had notified them – and it was not his fault if the DVLA had lost his details. To the surprise of several people present – not least the DVLA – the judge accepted this argument and, according to Mr Collins, agreed that he only had to send details back to the DVLA.

He did not have to send his documents by recorded delivery: he did not even have to obtain proof of posting.

This is less surprising than it first seems: if members of the public were legally required to send documents by secure means every time they communicated with an organisation, then the same requirement would almost certainly apply to those organisations, adding immensely to their postage bills and making simple debt collection infinitely more costly.

It did not help the DVLA’s case that Mr Collins had been doing a bit of research. From earlier correspondence, he was able to demonstrate that the DVLA was capable of losing post in its internal mail – although it had no idea of how much post it lost.

He then used a Freedom of Information request to establish that the DVLA did not actually log what communications were sent out to individuals. Instead, it relied on a cumbersome "aggregate matching procedure" which has been described by one communications expert as insufficient to "prove" who is sent what – and it destroys even these records after just three months anyway.

The other case relates to a Duncan Peck, who also fell out with the DVLA over the matter of a lost SORN. In Horsham County Court last month, Mr Peck explained that he had sent back his notice in compliance with the law.

The DVLA first claimed that he hadn’t: then that he had done so late. Besides, even if it had lost it, he should have phoned it when they failed to send him an acknowledgement. In this, it was relying on the small print on the relevant forms (V11 and V890) which stated that if do not receive an acknowledgment letter within four weeks, you need to ring.

Once more, according to Mr Peck, a judge begged to differ. In his view, the DVLA have no statutory power requiring anyone to ring them – or otherwise respond - should they not receive an acknowledgment letter.

This could turn out to be a serious blow for an organisation which has the until recently covered up its own inadequacies with a mixture of bluster and bluff, claiming legal powers it does not have, and being quick to send in the bailiffs should anyone dare to cross it.

The evidence from both Collins and Peck is that the DVLA does lose mail internally. Despite a claim that it "never loses mail" – allegedly made by an individual working in the office of the DVLA’s chief executive – the fact that it does, and that they do not have a clue how much it loses, was confirmed in yet another Freedom of Information request made by Mr Peck.
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The following 2 users say thank you to Lincsbodger for this useful post:
Richard C (13 May 2010), lifesagasman (13 May 2010)
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joinerjohn

from United Kingdom

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:04 pm Reply with quote

I received a road fund licence refund within 3 weeks of scrapping my last car. Two months later I received the road fund licence reminder through the post. For the vehicle that had been scrapped. Four weeks later I received another letter telling me my vehicle has not been taxed and they had not received a SORN notification. I chose to ignore both these letters and have heard nothing since.
This in itself shows how DVLA systems don't communicate with each other. Why should I waste money phoning them to give them information that their computer systems already have??
DVLA are a real shambles.
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freddymercurystwin

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:57 pm Reply with quote

I once (around 5 years ago) owned a Mini and to cut a long storey short it was finally stored off the road although un-taxed and un-insured. I was lazy and did not inform them it was off the road. Several months passed and I received a fine for no road tax. I phoned them to say (lying) that I had previously sent them a SORN months earlier and it must have got lost in the post or they had failed to update their records. To my surprise the operator accepted my 'version' of the events and the fine was cancelled! icon_redface.gif icon_twisted.gif
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Nige F

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 10:22 pm Reply with quote

I know someone who ran a "classic car " it was 1965 model . It got a MOT fail so they went and bought a 1973 model of same car - But the bloody thing had £ road tax to pay - the `65 was Free road tax. Overnight the 73 became the 65 one and went for a MOT re test and of course passed . icon_cool.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif Even sent the VDLA a change of colour notification
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Mickymoody

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 12:40 am Reply with quote

Once sold my girlfriends car on her behalf, and the buyer seemed like a trader, and said they would fill in the v5 etc, naive agreed, and got a couple of parking tickets. Got nasty letters from dvla. Sent a letter on a scrap of paper, never heard anything again.

Had a g4 Celica, but it was out of service, needed repair, it was sorn, stored on private land, the police towed it anyways..many complaints later they returned it, after snapping off the bumper loading/unloading, and wrecking the autobox in the process..no charge.

Then the dvla sent me a fine for not sorning it..

Not heard anything recently. (2 years) touch wood!

The DVLA seem to make up the rules as they make them?
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EddieM

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 8:56 am Reply with quote

Not really surprising, the computers systems the DVLA use are written by Fujitsu, a company that has a long, long history of total incompetance.
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Nige F

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 9:20 pm Reply with quote

fujitsu siemens icon_question.gif **** in the keyboard icon_idea.gif
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ban-all-sheds

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 11:35 pm Reply with quote

I've had companies running outsourced Govt IT departments as customers, so I've seen what happens.

What happens is that when a Govt IT dept gets outsourced, the commercial company become the new employers of the previous Govt employees, and because of TUPE they can't just get rid of them.

The problem is that any of the ex-Govt employees who can find their way home from work each day without a map, and can read without moving their lips b****r off to better jobs as soon as they can, often before the outsourcing company take over day to day operations, and the only people left behind to run the systems are the ones who can't read without moving their lips....
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RedHerring2

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 11:42 pm Reply with quote

That was a bit of an unfair generalisation BAS. I know of people that experienced the 'contracting out' philosophy (was it during the early/mid 90's?)
who recognised that the new organisation would be leaner, meaner, fitter, more competitive than the original LA organisation
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ban-all-sheds

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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 12:01 am Reply with quote

Those relatively few people did not tend to remain in the IT dept newly acquired by the lean mean machine - they saw opportunities in the larger company and went for them.
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RedHerring2

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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 12:04 am Reply with quote

Let's agree to disagree on this one otherwise we'll be up all night.
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Lincsbodger

from United Kingdom

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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 9:43 am Reply with quote

ban-all-sheds wrote:
Those relatively few people did not tend to remain in the IT dept newly acquired by the lean mean machine - they saw opportunities in the larger company and went for them.


Yep, been there done that. Except is was larger other companies............

I worked for local government IT, we got privatised. All the top brains started abandoning ship, and it got more of a pain in the a**e to work there due to the rapidly increasing imbalance between useful blokes and wastes of space. Then the management started pulling dirty trick on us (like, you were out the loop for new work/projects unless you signed a new contract giving away half your holidays and less money), and even more left, i lasted 3 years before id had enough and moved on to fields anew. Nasty nasty people..........
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ban-all-sheds

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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 10:14 am Reply with quote

I've had direct experience of dealing with IT organisations run by companies such as, but not necessarily including any of, EDS, Fujitsu-Siemens, Capita, Serco....

I have seen what Lincsbodger says many times.
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Lincsbodger

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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 12:46 pm Reply with quote

ban-all-sheds wrote:
I've had direct experience of dealing with IT organisations run by companies such as, but not necessarily including any of, EDS, Fujitsu-Siemens, Capita, Serco....

I have seen what Lincsbodger says many times.


Indeed, my experiences also do not include HBS Business Services or Capita............

icon_lol.gif
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transam

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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 6:49 pm Reply with quote

I got fined over sorn on a motorcycle , the written summon's I got stated , word's to the effect , that I would be let off if I had an extraordinary excuse ??? I wrote back & told them that I had been abducted by alien's , that's pretty extraordinary ??? they did not want to know , un-exceptable reason apparently !!!!!!!!
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