6 Replies Latest reply: May 10, 2012 3:00 AM by BluShadow RSS

    Please Help me!!! DVLA/Courts : 1 - ME : 0

      Hi, I am a complete novice but think I know how powerful database can be.

      My problem is I have recently lost a court case against the UK Driver Vehicle Licence Agency.

      I lost because the DVLA Barrister blinded the Judge with science about how hard it would be for DVLA to put error checking in their Database.

      I am in court again next week asking a Higher Judge to allow me to appeal the lower courts decision.

      Does anyone know if there is a qualified DB consultant or academic (Judges love letters after names) who can pen a quick e-mail on the approx cost of implementing error checking on a large DB. I don't need a full report since I only need to convince the Judge in a 5 minute hearing that there is more to come and allow me to move on to full appeal.
        • 1. Re: Please Help me!!! DVLA/Courts : 1 - ME : 0
          The facts of the situation are that in 2004 I was convicted of no MOT, Insurance and licence in my absence and got points on my licence. I spoke to DVLA who told me only the original court could overturn conviction and remove points.
          I went back to the court three weeks later and, overturned my conviction, the court told me they would inform DVLA that points were removed from my licence.

          Years later after my car was seized, Her Majesties Court Service said they sent notice of points removed from licence, DVLA claimed to have not received it.

          I took DVLA to court under the Data Protection Act 1998 arguing that since a convicted motorist only has 28 days to appeal a conviction then a second data check some time after that could double check whether an appeal was succesful and correct any bad data the DVLA would pass onto the Police National Computer.

          Also they would only have to check those convictions where they are planning to revoke the licence of the motorist. My licence was revoked for four years without me knowing about it. In all that time the police had been given the power by the DVLA's bad data to seize any vehicle I was driving.
          It was May 2009 that my car was seized and me and the kids were left at the side of the road with our buckets and spades.

          The DVLA said they have 52,000 court cases a month notified to them and since there are 330 courts therefore 'over 1.7 million convictions would have to be checked' and this would not be 'reasonable' to expect of the them.
          Totally ignoring the fact that they have multiplied the national court cases by the 330 courts again. I still think a DB is more than capable of checking vast numbers of digital records once a month.

          I just need an 'expert' to state the above in an e-mail which I can show the judge to proof there is merit in my appeal and I can dig further to prepare for a later appeal trial.
          • 2. Re: Please Help me!!! DVLA/Courts : 1 - ME : 0
            I don't think any "expert" is going to be able to make such a statement unless they know the DVLA database i.e. which database system it's written in, and how it's been designed.

            There are well designed databases, written in languages that allow for easy updating or additions of functionality or querying of data, and there are very poorly designed databases written by contractors who don't know the business and don't give a flying monkeys whether it's full of problems as long as they get paid at the end of their 12 month contract and they can move onto their next job.

            Being a government database doesn't mean it's well designed or easy to get at the data as the UK government is known for getting in 3rd party contractors and suppliers to create it's applications and databases, often resulting in rubbish (some of the NHS databases were a good example, especially the ones that were scrapped after millions of pounds were spent on them).

            Not sure how much sympathy you'll get if you've been found to be driving without MOT, Insurance of even a licence, but I guess you really need to hire a good solicitor who could perhaps argue your case under the Human Rights Act, considering that you are saying you should be elegible to have a driving licence but an error on the DVLA's part is preventing you from having it. Do you have copies of the rulings from the court which overturned the conviction and requested the removal of points? The court should have copies.

            As for checking 1.7 million records, that could be quick, if it's known what is being looked for, but it could also be slow if they are talking of looking for a needle in a haystack. Who's to know except their own IT experts. Also consider that your case may be unique and there may not already be something in place to do such checking, so work would probably be involved to develop some checking mechanism.
            • 3. Re: Please Help me!!! DVLA/Courts : 1 - ME : 0
              I wouldn't know, but you might check with openrightsgroup.org

              Professional database work on government sized databases is extremely expensive. Expert testimony, in the US at least, can be hundreds of dollars an hour.

              Don't you have a solicitor for this?
              • 4. Re: Please Help me!!! DVLA/Courts : 1 - ME : 0

                Sorry for the confusion, but I never did NOT have MOT, insurance and licence.:

                In 2004 I was routinely stopped in my car by the Police who gave me a ‘14 day producer’ to take my licence, MOT and Insurance to the Police Station. I forgot to go to the Police Station (failing business, bankruptcy, separation, losing my children, nervous breakdown etc.)

                I was convicted in my absence and points were put on my licence. I realised my mistake when DVLA wrote telling me points were on my licence, and I successfully applied to court to show them the paperwork and overturn the conviction and remove the points from my licence.

                It was only the cock-up between the Court and DVLA that failed to take the wrongly applied penalty points off my licence that resulted in a suspended licence.
                • 5. Re: Please Help me!!! DVLA/Courts : 1 - ME : 0
                  I know it will be difficult to be specific with costs since I don't even know what the DVLA use for their DB.

                  All I need is a rough ball park figure to compare to the £156,000,000 2012/2013 IT budget the DVLA have.

                  Basically they are saying if we mess up communicating between courts and DVLA and then send false data to the police who seize property from citizens, it is 'unreasonable' to expect us to put it right.

                  Either part of their IT budget is spent on stopping the mistakes or they create a slush fund for paying compensation for the effects of their mistakes.
                  • 6. Re: Please Help me!!! DVLA/Courts : 1 - ME : 0
                    Probably better to get in touch with your local MP and see if they can help fight your cause, especially with the upcoming Police commissioners being voted into power later this year.