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Just a warning. This post is a rant!

I’ve just received a letter from the Department of Transport here in the Isle of Man to renew my resident parking permit. Fair play to them, the permits are issued for a year, need to be renewed. There’s no charge anyway, so it’s just a formality to confirm I’m still resident in the area.

The thing that gets my goat is that the form asks me to fill in details about my name, my address, my car registration, it’s make and model, the zone my permit is for and my permit number. Now I’m pretty sure they have all this information about me already, because I supplied them when I originally applied for the permit, so why are they asking me to fill it in again?

To make matters even worse, the form is at the bottom of a standard letter which already has my name and address at the top, so how hard would it have been to prefill the form for me. Not to mention the fact that it is printed on dark green paper making the whole thing really hard to read.

The other interesting point is that there’s a box saying “For Office Use Only” with the steps in the process this paper form is part of. The steps are “Utility Bill Submitted”, “Utility Bill Returned”, “Permit Issued”. Presumably some clerk will have to put initials next to each one as confirmation that the step has been done? Then the paper will be filed away for eons to come. I shudder to think what has to be done if someone wants to find out how many permits are issued at a particular moment in time. Presumably someone will need to spend the day counting dark green papers.

Come on guys, it’s not hard to set up a database to do this, why are we still stuck in the paper world? It wouldn’t be hard to set up a database of permits and some sort of workflow to deal with applications and renewals. You need to start thinking about your client, the citizen and the service you are offering him. This is definetly neither service driven nor customer led, so why are you using such an archiac system.

Okay, I feel better now, rant over


  1. Hi Owen. I enjoyed your wee rant about the department of transport and your parking permit. It seems to me it’s the same old red tape thats raped around everything else in the world. I recently got my reminder that my car was dew for MOT, and had to fill out the same info that I have been supplying to them for the past 6 years. I was thinking that maybe it would be better if they just put a little, check box that I could tick to say that all the details were still the same, and I could just tick “YES” save all that searching for my log book, and filling out long chassis numbers and so on.
    Such is life… found your site while rummaging around on “Ask davd” I was looking up how to get traffic to my blob. Maybe you could drop in and have a look, maybe give me some advice. I only just got it going. So be gentle with me. Its a blog about environmental issues, hope that doesn’t put you off. KEEP BLOGING

  2. Thanks for your comment and sorry for the rant. Just need to vent sometimes.

    I’ll be popping round your blog, no worries

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