Update – DVLA rejects Durkan’s interpretation of Coleraine jobs consultation document

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mark hThe Driver and Vehicle Licensing  Agency says it has not claimed that moving public jobs from Northern Ireland to Wales would reduce the chances of religious discrimination.
The North’s Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan says he was absolutely amazed with the reference, which is included in a consultation document regarding the proposed transfer of over 300 Driver Vehicle Agency positions from Coleraine to DVLA headquarters in Swansea.
The consultation document states that “centralisation at the DVLA will in fact remove any possibility that Northern Ireland services may be biased to any particular religious group, since these transactions will no longer be serviced by staff based in NI, who could themselves hold particular beliefs.”
However, Minister Mark H Durkan hundreds of DOE staff in Coleraine who face the loss of their jobs have now had insult added to injury. He says the implication that there could be any bias by staff in in the delivery of services to customers is outrageous.
This totally inappropriate comment by DVLA, he adds, is reflective of the poor quality of this consultation. Not only is it wrong that a consultation on such an important matter is being carried out in the middle of summer and for the shortest possible period of eight weeks, the whole exercise is one-sided, amounting more to a statement of intention by DVLA rather than a proper and meaningful consultation.
In a statement this afternoon, a  DVLA spokesperson said:
“There is no truth in the suggestion that the consultation on Northern Ireland services implies that DVA staff may be biased in the way they deliver services.
“The consultation document clearly outlines  both the benefits and impacts of the proposals.  The impact assessment published alongside the consultation also outlines other options that have been considered.  Comments have been invited on these documents as well as on the consultation document itself.  No decision about the proposals in the consultation will be taken until all responses received have been considered.”

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