Why am I being called to Public Inquiry? What is this all about & what’s caused this Public Inquiry to be called & why is this happening now? Are words often heard from Operator Licence Holders & CPC Holders acting or have acted as the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operators Licence. When first receiving formal notification from the Traffic Commissioner’s Office, having to attend a Public Inquiry. So why is that?
There are many answers to the above question, but the most common answer is that. The Operator’s Licence Holder or a CPC Holder acting as a Transport Manager. Has not noticed, forgotten, or failed to take action regarding compliance to the Operator Licensing Regime, which could have happened weeks or months earlier.
These possible failures in compliance most likely have then been picked due to an interaction with the Regulatory or Enforcement bodies, such as (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency) DVSA or the Traffic Commissioner’s Office. The interaction with either the enforcement or regulatory bodies may have occurred weeks or even months previously.
The result, as stated above, is the Operators Licence Holder or a CPC Holder acting or served as the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operators Licence. By having to attend a Public Inquiry many weeks or even months later.
This time lag, so to speak, will sometimes mean an Operator’s Licence Holder or a nominated Transport Manager, who is the holder of a Certificate of Professional Competence being caught by surprise. On receiving a “call up” letter requesting attendance at a Public Inquiry. Hence, the comments mentioned above, when the call-up letter for Public Inquiry is received & being read.
Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency
A DVSA (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency) will visit an Operator Licence Holder’s Operating Centre. They have the power under the Operating Licensing Regulations to enter any premises named on an Operators’ Licence, known as the Operating Centre. Once on-site, they can inspect the vehicles present on-site. Plus, those records relating to those vehicles being operating, listed against the Operator’s Licence.
The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency is no different from any other government enforcement agency. Not only does it have an enforcement capability, but it also has an intelligence capability. It uses to gather intelligence on those parties it believes are not being compliant with the Operator Licensing Regulations & uses that intelligence to target those parties for enforcement action.
On such visits, the DVSA Officer(s) may wish to informally question the Operator’s Licence Holder or employees, such as the Transport Manager. If the questions asked are informal, it is prudent to make sure that all parties understand the basis; all questions are asked & answers are given under. I.e. There should be no formal record made by either party, as it is an informal conversation.
Or the interview is a formal interview under caution, usually done under what is known as PACE (Police & Criminal Evidence Act); this is used where the DVSA. Believe that there are possible issues concerning none compliance.
Those parties being interviewed, commonly being the Operator’s Licence Holder, CPC Holder acting as the nominated Transport Manager. Any party being interviewed under PACE is allowed to have a party for consultation purposes with them, at the time of the interview, if they wish.
Oplas Transport Consultancy is happy to attend such an interview if requested by parties wishing to have a party with them at a DVSA interview.
In addition, the DVSA Officer(s) will most likely want to look through vehicle & driver records being kept by the Operators Licence Holder. To check that everything is in order, as per the Operator Licensing Regulations.
If records are being checked, those records need to be up to date & available for inspection, if requested.
Office of the Traffic Commissioner (OTC)
It is not only interactions with the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, which can lead to attending a Public Inquiry if not handled correctly. The same goes for the Office of the Traffic Commissioner, although its role is a regulatory one, not an enforcement one as per the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency. It also has an intelligence capability. However, it is not a gathering one as per DVSA; it is more collating intelligence from several sources. To be used in its regulatory role.
The interaction(s) with the Office of the Traffic Commissioner can lead to a Public Inquiry. When this happens, it is mainly in the areas connected to Operator Licence administration. Such as when a CPC Holder leaves their position as the nominated Transport Manager.
In this situation, it is a statutory obligation that both the Operator’s Licence Holder & the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, acting as the nominated Transport Manager. Notify the Office of the Traffic Commissioner within twenty-eight days of the Transport Manager’s leaving date. It is not uncommon for either one or both parties to forget to do this.
This failure in itself may not trigger a Public Inquiry. Still, a record will be kept & in the future, and the Operator’s Licence holder was to apply for a change to the Operators Licence held, then this previous failure in compliance. It may have a bearing on the decision to grant that change or even trigger a Public Inquiry.
The same also applies to the Transport Manager CPC Holder if their name was put forward to be the nominated Transport Manager on a different Operator’s Licence. The previous failure in compliance could influence whether their nomination is accepted by the Traffic Commissioner’s Office or even trigger a Public Inquiry.
Please Note: The Office of the Traffic Commissioner & Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency are the two main bodies. That Operator Licence Holders & CPC Holders acting as a Transport Manager interact with, leading to them being called to Public Inquiry.
But there are other bodies such as the Police, HSE (Health & Safety Executive) & Environmental Agency. An interaction with them can lead to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner convening a Public Inquiry.
So, a Public Inquiry has been convened by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.
The Operator’s Licence Holder or Transport Manager CPC Holder has received the “call-up” letter, & it states the legislation under which they are being called to Public Inquiry under
So, what are the actual reasons for the convening of the Public Inquiry? The reason(s)can be many, very diverse &, in some cases, involve complex areas of law. Therefore, the list shown below is not a final or exhaustive one. It is just a list of the more common reasons that have been known to cause the Office of the Traffic Commissioner to convene a Public Inquiry.
Please Note: Listed above is typical examples of why a Public Inquiry may be called. It, not an exhaustive list; no party should rely on the examples shown as the reasons for convening a Public Inquiry. It is for the Office of the Traffic Commissioner only to determine if a Public Inquiry should be convened
Oplas Transport Consultancy has understood that formal legal representation & professional transport knowledge & experience both have a part to play in Public Inquiry Process, make up the best combination, & achieve the best possible results for clients. Who has been called to attend a Public Inquiry? In many cases, it is not a choice of one or the other, but using the skill sets of both the formal legal representation & professional transport knowledge & experience. That have delivered the best results for its clients.
Therefore, Oplas Transport Consultancy Public Inquiry service & the range of solutions offered gives its clients access to both professional transport experts & qualified legal representation. In delivering the best possible results for our clients, when having to attend a Public Inquiry.
Oplas Transport Consultancy offers a full Public Inquiry Service for Operators Licence Holders & CPC Holders who are/have acted as the nominated Transport Manager & called to Public Inquiry. This service includes consultation, public inquiry preparation, & representation.
For more information on this service & you are an Operator’s Licence Holder, please go to our Contact Page.
For more information on this service & you are a Transport Manager CPC Holder, please go to our Contact Page.
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This Website and the information shown on it, has been produced as a basic guide, to show the relationship between a CPC Holder, & the Operator Licence Regime. Therefore, it cannot be considered as formal legal advice.