Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (546)

Thomas P. Broughan


546. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the data and information on the national vehicle drivers file will be made available via direct feed to An Garda Síochána for their handheld devices; when the process will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51711/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

My Department, through the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF), currently transfer data daily to An Garda Síochána’s (AGS) Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system. This dataset contains details of untaxed and untested vehicles (private and commercial) only.

The data extracts to AGS and other relevant stakeholders are provided by legacy systems which do not support easy implementation of 24x7 high availability real-time data. My officials in the Driver Vehicle and Computer Services Division (DVCSD), who manage the NVDF, are currently developing an Application Program Interface (API) solution which will allow for specific real-time data to be shared with requestors in a controlled fashion, and which will provide for increased access security and data protection requirements. This will cater for many of the interface requirements for the NVDF in the future such as the Garda Mobility Project, as referenced here.

The API is scheduled to be available to NVDF stakeholders from May 2020. My Department are currently working with An Garda Síochána with regard to the use of this API to enable their handheld devices access real-time driver and vehicle data. While the technology is being developed, both the AGS and my officials are in the process of determining the data that is required, and ensuring all the relevant legal and data protection provisions are in place. While rollout of the handheld devices is ultimately a matter for the Garda Commissioner, my Department recognise the significant role it will have in the enforcement of driver and vehicle regulation, and are very supportive of the initiative.