DSA and VOSA to merge
Services currently provided by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and the Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA) will be brought together within a single unit. The move has been made to create more convenient and cost effective motoring services. It is expected to allow the delivery of the same quality of testing and standards services to motorists and businesses, but with greater efficiency. The DSA and VOSA are already undertaking work they claim will make testing more flexible and convenient for customers and this merger is anticipated to allow them to explore opportunities to extend this in the future. These services will be delivered by the single agency in 2014. A transitional board will start work next month to determine the structure of the organisation. Leading the board will be VOSA Chief Executive, Alastair Peoples, who will head the combined agency. This announcement follows the consultation on the motoring services strategy, which ran from 13 December 2012 to 7 March 2013. It proposed rationalising the roles and numbers of agencies to provide an improved and more efficient delivery of motoring services to customers.
Stephen Hammond said, ‘We need to make sure that we continue to keep pace with customers’ needs and deliver services in a way which is both convenient and cost effective. These changes will put customers at the heart of the services they rely on and allow for a more coherent approach to service delivery. By bringing testing and standards services into a single organisation we will make life easier for customers and potentially reduce the fees we charge. Staff at the DSA and VOSA do a great job in delivering for customers every day and we will work closely with them to support them through these changes. Customers should be reassured that the same high quality service delivery will continue throughout the transition period.’
Freight Transport Association’s (FTA’s) Director of Policy, Karen Dee, said, ‘FTA supports any move which can deliver improved services and better value for money for its members, and we can certainly see some potential for this in the proposed merger of DSA and VOSA – for example if this allows transport managers to check their OCRS scores at the same time as their drivers’ DCPC status that would be a big step forward. However, we will be looking very carefully at the detail behind this to ensure that benefits such as this are delivered. While bringing VOSA and DSA together puts testing of drivers and vehicles in one place, licensing of both will still be dealt with by DVLA. It is questionable therefore whether the proposals will deliver the improved links between testing and licensing that operators feel are necessary. FTA looks forward to working with the new – and existing – agencies to bring this about.’