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Departmental Databases

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 17 March 2008, Official Report, columns 772-3W, on departmental databases, which US-registered service providers have been engaged by her Department and its agencies to manage aspects of personal data; and what types of personal information such service providers have been engaged to manage. (197148)

The following US registered service providers have been engaged by the Department for Transport to manage aspects of personal data—this list only incorporates contracts under which services are still being provided;

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

International Business Machines Corporation is a registered US company with subsidiaries all over the world. The DVLA’s contract is presently with the UK subsidiary, IBM United Kingdom.

DVLA's prime IT service provider is IBM.

As the prime IT service provider, IBM has been engaged to manage all aspects of DVLA IT, including responsibility for DVLA's core driver and vehicle databases which contain UK citizens’ personal information, including names, addresses, dates of birth, disclosed medical conditions (in relation to the driver's ability to drive) and driving licence photographs. All this information is maintained within the UK.

IBM is also supporting the programme to migrate the Department to a shared service centre initially covering the Department's financial and Human Resources back-office functions. This includes personal data for the Department's civil servants and the Department's financial data.

Driving Standards Agency (DSA)

The DSA contracts Pearson Driving Assessments Ltd to provide theory test services. Some of these services involve data processing, which is carried out in the US by NCS Pearson, Inc., a US registered company in the same corporate group as Pearson Driving Assessments Ltd. These companies manage data on candidates’ personal information (name, address, date of birth, gender), payment information, driver licence number, details of the test taken and the result.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)

The MCA has a contract with GroupLink, a US registered company which provides a customer relationship management (CRM) system for part of the MCA. Grouplink managed the migration of the CRM data in 2007 to the new system and currently only provides support for this system without having access to the data which include contact details of MCA customers.

As part of the Communities and Local Government Framework Agreement, which the Department and its agencies call off, some parts of the Department use Iron Mountain, a US registered company, for file storage, retrieval and destruction of registered files. Among these files are standard departmental personnel records, which include:

reports, personal, leave and attendance, medical, conduct and discipline, pay, travel and subsistence, long term detached duty, permanent transfer and secondment files.