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Howard Greenman's comment:

Dec 22, 2023 |

Hello all,

Firstly, I'd like to congratulate all those involved in securing the DVLA contract on a rolling basis for the next three years.

Calum Greenhow has worked tirelessly to ensure this major component of post office income, and the entire team has been exercised in this in one way, shape or form too.

It also demonstrates commitment on the part of the government, and perhaps has proved to be a significant means of raising the profile of the post office network with government and customers alike to ensure the viability of the network across the entire range of post office transactions for all communities.

The success of the negotiations surrounding the DVLA contract as fraught as they have been at times, cannot be underestimated.

Perhaps we all need to ensure that all of our customers are aware that the DVLA work is secure, and hopefully even increase our DVLA customer base to help underpin the contract beyond the three years, and into the future.

Whichever way we look at it though, there can be no doubt that securing the DVLA contract is not only welcome news, but a happy step into the Christmas season!

I recently had an invite as an elected member of Wiltshire Council to the House of Lords for a breakfast meeting to discuss 'future proofing government', which in itself sounds very open ended.
In fact, the focus of attention was digitalisation of frontline services, although the discussion became much more wide ranging.

Two issues really surprised me. Firstly, I was one of only 25 invited, and the other attendees included three other councillors from other authorities, with the remaining being from other industries. One of them who headed up a digitalisation program in the military informed me that they could see the Horizon debacle 'a mile off', and was surprised that Post Office Ltd had apparently embraced it without ironing out known flaws in the system.

He told me that Horizon was very much a victim of ''build first, fix later'' which was widespread in the 90s and noughties. I was amazed at his almost intimate knowledge of the system.

The DVLA contract was also discussed and I attracted a lot of attention over that matter. 

I posed the question that if three million households have no access to the internet, how do they propose to reach those households which possibly form the most vulnerable of society with other services such as adult care and social services that they proposed to digitalise?

There was no answer to that question as yet, so the obvious had to be stated, that being that as the post office network have a reach of 11,500 outlets, in 11,500 communities in 650 constituencies, that must surely inform their considerations going forward, and use the post office network for their aspirations. 
All in all, it was an interesting debate spreading into areas I hadn’t thought about, and I shall be watching progress with interest. 

I hope you all have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Howard Greenman,
NFSP Non-Executive Director South West Region

Tags: Communication, Post Office