To consider a report by the Chief Officer, Elections and Regulatory which seeks the approval of the Committee for a new policy for Taxi & Private Hire Licensing to use the national database.
The Chief Officer, Elections and Regulatory submitted a report which sought the approval of the Committee for a new policy for Taxi & Private Hire Licensing to use the National database.
The report explained that the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing service had finalised its arrangements for using the national database of refused and revoked drivers. The new register would allow licensing authorities to record details of where a hackney carriage or PHV drivers’ licence had been refused or revoked, and allow licensing authorities to check new applicants against the register and help prevent people found to be not fit and proper in one area from securing a licence somewhere else through deception and non-disclosure, and adhere to UK GDPR regulations.
Members were informed that the database would only include basic information: name, date of birth, address and contact details, national insurance details, driving licence number, decision taken, date of decision and date decision effective. Any authority searching the database and finding these brief details may then decide to submit an information disclosure form to the original licensing authority.
Commenting on the proposal, Members queried if Licensing Officers ever used the services of a third party tracing company.
Members were informed that such companies were used to obtain witness information but not used for Licensing issues, and this would be considered for checking the current addresses of people whose licences were refused or revoked some considerable time ago.
Members asked if Enforcement Officers on patrol, would be able to access the NR3 database using a hand held device.
The Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Manager explained that currently access the NR3 database using a hand held device was not available to officers in Leeds, but contact would be made with the National Anti-Fraud Network to see if this was possible.
Members queried how further information could be obtained if there was insufficient detail on the national database and there was a suspicion around an individual.
Members were informed that a Declaration Request Form would be sent to the local authority who previously registered that driver, explaining there was a concern about an individual and could further information be provided.
The Chair queried if there would be problems or gaps in the system should drivers choose to appeal against their details being on the national database.
It was reported drivers not wishing their details to appear on the register could appeal to the council, and would have an opportunity to take their appeal to the Information Commissioner if the council refuses to uphold their appeal.
Members asked if other neighbouring local authorities were introducing similar policies to use the national database.
Members were informed that all neighbouring local authorities were looking to introduce access to the national database at the same time (November 2019 – January 2020)
Members queried if access to the database would be more time consuming for officers.
The Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Manager said that checking the national database as part of a number of background checks may be more time consuming, currently there would be no extra resource required, but this may need to be kept under review.
In drawing the discussion to a conclusion the Chair suggested that Members appeared to be supportive of the proposed new policy.
RESOLVED – To recommend to the Executive that the new policy for Taxi and Private Hire Licensing to use the national NR3 database be approved (with effect from 1st November 2019)