Julie Lennard discusses how the government agency managed a full plate of projects in 2018
The annual perm secs round-up published by PublicTechnology sister publication Civil Service World sees Whitehall’s senior leaders open up on their biggest challenges and opportunities – as well as their thoughts on how best to mark the festive season. Here Julie Lennard (pictured above), chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency discusses the challenges of data protection while managing Brexit and transformation work.
What was your highlight of 2018?
For the first time in 2018 we completed one billion transactions, with 90% of those online. It has been a real highlight to see first-hand the many examples of great work the teams do across the organisation to continually improve all of our services. We deal with many millions of customers every year online and via other channels, and have a 91% satisfaction rate, so we’re clearly on the right track!
What was the hardest part of being a leader in 2018?
The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation in May required a great deal of planning. As the record keeper for more 85 million vehicle and driver records, we take our responsibility to protect information extremely seriously. Ensuring we were ready from day one was a priority and the preparation that went into this across the organisation was a great example of a virtual team coming together.
What are the main challenges facing your department in the coming year?
Clearly, finalising our preparations for the UK’s exit from the EU will take a lot of focus. At the same time, we’ll continue delivering on the transformation of our digital services and IT network, which is both exciting and challenging. Our strategy is long term and at a significant scale, to ensure our services are the best they can be. While we already provide a number of award-winning online services, we still have further to go in transforming the underlying technology that drives them, which will enable us to do even more. Our transformation isn’t just about digital services, however. It’s a business transformation that will impact on our customers and our staff, so making sure that people are at the centre of our change programme is key for us.
Which celebrity or historical figure would you choose to turn on the Christmas lights in your town, and why?
If choosing a historical figure to turn on the lights in Swansea, it would have to be Nye Bevan in this year of the 70th anniversary of the NHS.