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Working from home at DVLA led to driver license delays and cost people jobs

Working from home contributed such a bad delay At the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), lawmakers report that people are losing their jobs while waiting for their driver’s licenses.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) found that DVLA relied heavily on people in the field to handle the application.

Delays occurred when staff stopped going to the office due to Covid restrictions for 2020.

This was particularly problematic for applicants with medical conditions who applied primarily on paper, which the DVLA did not allow to do from home.

Over 33,000 of these applicants had to wait over 200 days for their licenses to be processed.

In some cases, the delays have hurt people’s incomes and led to job losses, while in others the delays have severely affected their mental health, the report said.

Widespread failure of operations

More than 3 million people who have applied for a driver’s license since April 2020 experienced application delays.

Widespread faults were found in the way institutions operate and set up, including call centers where 94% of the 60 million calls received between 2020 and 2022 remained unanswered.

Commission Chair Rep. Dame Meg Hillier said: .

“Several DVLA operation is obsolete, lack a comprehensive strategy for modernization and PAC is not convinced that they are more prepared for the next crisis. ”

This report explores the extent to which many of the processes rely on people working in the office, especially in handling paper-based applications.

DVLA still handles a significant amount of physical paper applications, and says, “They can only be processed in the field.

“The Covid-19 restrictions introduced in March 2020 have prevented most of DVLA’s staff from working at our Swansea site, impacting DVLA’s ability to process applications.

“Since then, DVLA has experienced a backlog as it has taken longer than usual to process driver license applications from customers who have submitted paper applications or reported medical conditions.”

Delay perceived by the applicant have a driver’s license impacted the real worldwith those who have lost their jobs or been unable to work as a result of their delay in contacting the Commission.

In one case, a respondent who lived in a rural area said he was unable to return to work, leading to financial hardship. I was.

Target time is 90 days

Some of the worst delays are person with a medical condition2,000 of these applicants Wait more than 350 working days for the decision. The DVLA’s target time to process medical claims is 90 days.

DVLA told PAC it plans to close its backlog by early 2023.

The pandemic has “exposed weaknesses” in operations that rely heavily on staff working in the field, particularly IT systems that store customer personal information and are inaccessible elsewhere, MPs found.

DVLA’s traditional centralized office space setup meant that it was susceptible to disruption during the pandemic and initially to localized infections.

This meant that in the early days of the pandemic, we were forced to invest in new buildings to mitigate the impact.

The committee made many recommendations on how to improve the service. This includes making efforts to encourage more people to apply online and setting up better fast track systems for customers who apply online. Latency has a large impact.

A DVLA spokesperson said: “We are returning to normal processing times across our services. All standard paper applications have returned to normal turnaround times by May 2022.

“Our online services have worked well during the pandemic, and for the majority of our customers, doing business with DVLA would have been an easy process. received.”

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