HC Deb 23 February 1984 vol 54 cc620-1W
Mr. Cohen

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will state in relation to the computer system of the driver and vehicle licensing centre in Swansea (a) the purpose or purposes for which personal data are held (b) the source or sources from which data are obtained, (c) a description of any person or organisations to whom personal data have been disclosed, including the number of such disclosures over the last convenient period of time, (d) the departments that have or intend to have terminal access to the computer system, and (e) a list of the indices held on the computer system and the number of entries in each index.

Mrs. Chalker

The information is as follows:

(a) The vehicle licensing and registration records are held for the collection of vehicle excise duty and for the enforcement of vehicle excise and road traffic legislation. Driving licence records are held to enable correct driving licences to be issued and to record details of endorsements and disqualifications to aid the enforcement of road traffic law.

(b) Personal data held on the vehicle computer file come direct from the keeper of the vehicle. Personal data held on the driver licensing register come from the driver, the police, the courts and other Department of Transport offices.

(c) Regulations made under the Vehicles (Excise) Act 1971 require that information from the vehicles record must be released to the police and to local authorities for use in connection with an offence. The name and address of the registered keeper of the vehicle must also be made available to those who can show "reasonable cause" for their inquiry (generally matters relating directly to the use of the vehicle). Release of the information from the drivers' register is permitted only for purposes directly related to driver licensing, road safety and enforcement. Both registers are used to assist in the prevention or detection of crime.

In 1983 there were about 5 million disclosures from the vehicles register and about 1.3 million from the drivers' register.

(d) There is no terminal access to the present DVLC computer system. The Police National Computer holds a shortened copy of the vehicles register and a list of disqualified drivers. Only the police have access to these files. The DVLC computers are, however, being replaced and restricted terminal access to records will shortly begin to be available internally. There are at present no plans to allow terminal access from outside DVLC.

(e) The registers held on the DVLC computer system with number of entries as at 1 January 1984 is as follows:

Vehicles register 33,193,00
Goods vehicles list 480,000
Drivers register 36,752,000