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DVLA calls for council collaboration


Agency invites local authorities to offer ideas for services as part of its API strategy

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has put out a call to local authorities to work with it on developing new services around online licensing for taxi drivers and obtaining car parking permits.

Jonathan Humble, head of the agency's business development team, told the Local Digital Futures conference that it is actively looking for councils to join in the development process – recognising that they are the most likely to use any resultant services.

It also reflects the agency's efforts to establish itself as one of the digital lead organisations for government throughout the UK, and its increasing emphasis on making its data available through application programme interfaces (APIs).

Humble said that any ideas could potentially be taken to an alpha project, then a private beta, and possibly a live system. Also, the DVLA has the resources for development work having recently in-sourced all of its IT.

“We see a lot of local authorities that might want to do their own things, but we can offer the APIs and a fully managed services white labelled for your councils,” he said.

“The DVLA is also looking to do projects in areas such as road user and toll bridge charging.”

He also emphasised that it is on G-Cloud framework as a service provider.

API tool

The DVLA is currently involved in a project to look at all the data it shares with end users, both on vehicles and drivers, with the aim of identifying improvements and building a management tool for APIs. Local authorities would be able to interface with this to obtain they need for relevant services.

It is aiming to support fleet managers by making it possible to make enquiries, such as checking on tax and MOT status for vehicles, in bulk.

It has a long term plan to offer more services through the use of APIs. It has worked with the Department for Communities and Local Government on identifying nine existing services that could benefit from the use of APIs and now wants councils to provide some feedback on whether they would use them.

Picture from Pushcreativity, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 through Wikimedia

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