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Times newspaper blasts ‘culture of indolence, indifference and apathy’ at Swansea DVLA office

18 Mar 2022 2 minute read
DVLA Swansea image by Sarah Morgan Jones

The Times newspaper has blasted a “culture of indolence, indifference and apathy” at the DVLA’s Swansea offices after an undercover investigation by the newspaper into delays processing driving license applications caused by the Covid pandemic.

In an editorial, the newspaper said that the “situation is a disgrace” and called on the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to carry out a swift investigation.

The Public and Commercial Services Union have been critical throughout the pandemic of the DVLA’s insistence that staff are unable to work remotely. Last year members staged 58 days of strikes in response to what they called “unsafe” working conditions.

DVLA staff have not been allowed remote access to systems that hold drivers’ personal data, and as a result, some have not been able to do their work.

But the Times said that one of its own journalist had been able to secure employment at the DVLA and found a “system on its knees while millions of drivers are affected”.

Hundreds of civil servants at the DVLA had done no work on full pay for significant periods of the pandemic “as managers boast of watching Netflix at the public’s expense,” the article said.

In nine of the past 24 months there have been more than 500 staff out of 6,200 officially not working, either on paid special leave or on strike.

But referring to the DVLA as “one of the first government agencies to be set up outside London,” the Times said that the medical issues were “a lame excuse”.

“It is, sadly, typical of local bureaucracy and government departments that have tried to pare back costs and rely on inadequate computer systems,” they said.

“A driving licence is essential to the livelihood of millions. The present blockage is a shameful and unnecessary hold-up to all attempts to recover from the pandemic. It must be resolved now.”

The DVLA have said that they expect to be back to normal processing times for most drivers by the end of May


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Quornby
Quornby
6 months ago

Used to work there. Same old civil service way…..10 percent do 90 percent of the work. Those that do the work really graft.

Gill
Gill
6 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

NHS the same, so much dead wood, people getting away with doing nothing, all day and no discipline. Managers lazy, AWOL “working from home”, 2 yrs since pandemic, ignorant and not caring about those that skive.

Cynan
Cynan
6 months ago

The Times is a xenophobic rag.
But DVLA Swansea is bluddy AWFUL. The best thing they ever did was completely digitise tax discs. Keeps DVLA staff out of the equation, so things are more efficient. Hopefully one day they can automate everything. 20th century organisation unable to meet 21st century needs

Last edited 6 months ago by Cynan
Oannsshh
Oannsshh
6 months ago

Poor jokes from staff aside, this isn’t an issue of lazy staff or even poor technology, the CEO made a decision to not allow staff access to necessary systems while at home. That one decision and the subsequent refusal to change it has lead to the massive backlogs.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

I want the Tory porn mag Times to do a similar undercover story by getting into the heart of Whitehall. Maybe then they would have revealed all the corruption, nepotism, sexual infidelity and vulgar cheese & wine parties happening during the height of the Covid pandemic that killed over 150,000 in England instead worming their way into the DVLA to attack the overstretched undervalued workforce.

Last edited 6 months ago by Y Cymro
Phil
Phil
6 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

It wasn’t just in England that people died….

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