Tuesday, 7 September 2010

NCC Suspended from Using DVLA Website?

Various reports about the place claiming that several local authorities, including NCC, have been suspended from accessing the DVLA database for 'irregularities' of one kind or another, depending on who you believe.

The original article was in the Sunday Express and claimed that the suspensions were for 'illegally spying' on people. Unsurprisingly this upset a few councils' press officers, including NCC's who described the report as 'inaccurate'. A slightly less agenda driven and probably better researched article on 'The Register' website makes things a bit clearer.

As 'The Register' points out much of the so-called spying that authorities are accused of is actually entirely legal and therefore would not result in council's being suspended from using the database. However, the DVLA has certain security and administrative requirements that authorities must comply with and it seems that it's their failure to do that which has resulted in a temporary suspension.

Interestingly the requirements mentioned in the 'Register' article mostly concern security issues and NCC's IT security has been a bit of a live issue for some time, see my earlier post and this recent report to the Audit Committee. Not quite the same issues I know but it does make you wonder if they haven't quite got a 'security culture' in place.

I've written to the DVLA press office but whether they'll be prepared to lower themselves to reply to a mere blogger remains to be seen, if they do I'll update.

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