The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has posted 62,000 duplicate tax discs to drivers as a result of a glitch in an IBM-run system.
Drivers who had applied for a tax disc on 11 April were sent a correct disc, then days later received a second disc.
The problem was with a system run by IBM that controls the automatic processes, from drivers making applications online to processing and sending out the discs. IBM referred comment to the DVLA, citing client confidentiality.
It is understood the problem was identified and fixed on the day, meaning customers who ordered tax discs after that did not experience the problem.
The DVLA said the extra discs had been cancelled, and that “once the problem was identified, swift action was taken to rectify it”. All of those affected are being sent a letter of apology.
The Department for Transport has struggled with its IT systems. Last December, a powerful committee of MPs accused the Department for Transport of “stupendous incompetence” in an IBM-based shared services scheme, which was based around existing SAP systems at the DVLA. It found the scheme could cost the taxpayer £81 million instead of making planned savings of £57 million.
In 2007, a supplier to the Driving Standards Agency, Pearson Driving Assessments, lost the details of three million learner drivers on a hard disc.