Agreement to end service contract on March 24 signals major blow to postmaster remuneration.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will end its contract with the Post Office (PO) on March 31, 2024. Currently, the Post Office handles over 6 million DVLA transactions annually which contributes £3.2m per year to postmaster remuneration.
The decision raises significant concerns about the commitment of the government towards the PO and its network.
At the heart of this issue is a disagreement over postmasters providing DVLA services to PO at a loss or free of charge. The NFSP has been campaigning for fair remuneration in these cases. In response, PO has increased the base transaction rate, to almost double the current rate, for Locals and Mains offices.
Moreover. the DVLA has also removed PO as a payment method in the forms they distribute. This change is expected to impact transaction volumes, with a predicted decrease of 5% to 10%. Over the past decade, PO's share of DVLA work has dropped from 70% to around 7%.
Other factors that have contributed to this situation are:
- Currently, there is an access criteria imposed by the government on PO, but no such requirement exists for other government departments. This discrepancy means that other departments do not have to consider the needs of vulnerable individuals when making decisions.
- The government is also in the process of implementing a new framework for government contract tenders, which may not be ready until the following year. This delay could lead to increased costs for the DVLA and potential delays in finding a new service provider.
The loss of DVLA products also raises the issue of development costs associated with NBit. Similar concerns have been raised by the NFSP, regarding the National Lottery which is soon to be lost. Due to delays in its development and increasing costs, the NFSP grows concerned as to whether NBit will be taking the network forwards or backwards.
This is distressing news for the network, and members are encouraged to express their disappointment to their MPs. If you wish to send a letter to your MP, we have a template letter attached in the button below. The letter outlines the issues and asks the MP to intervene.
Please let copy in our Public Affairs manager so she can keep track of any correspondence. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.