The Disposal Services Authority (DSA)

The Disposal Services Authority (DSA).


The Company

The Disposal Services Authority (DSA) is responsible for managing the sale and re-use of redundant MoD assets. The Disposal Services Authority (DSA) is part of Defence Equipment & Support within the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and rapidly growing a business in managing the sale and re-use of assets across the MoD, central and local government and public sector agencies.

The Challenge

The DSA acts as the broker between public sector organizations and specialist private sector companies that handle the sale or re-use of assets and, where required, the ethical and environmentally sound disposal to comply with UK and EU environmental regulations.

Since the DSA’s re-launch, the Authority has seen a steady growth in demand for its services. Originally formed to manage the sale and disposal of large capital items, the DSA has steadily expanded its remit to encompass the management of a huge variety of surplus or redundant assets ranging from uniforms to obsolete fire engines and military aircraft.

Solution And Approach

Parity developed a new database and application for DSA to handle the very high volumes of disposals using Microsoft.Net and SQL Server technology.

The ultimate goal of the DSA is to maximise the return to The Treasury by minimising the cost for disposal of redundant assets. In many cases, using the DSA can turn a large potential cost into a profit. Les Taylor, the DSA’s Director for Business Development and Information Services, gave a good example of how the Authority is helping to save tax payers money through its work:

“During a recent office move by Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK Communications Industry, we were able to turn what was initially a projected cost for disposal of old assets into a £370,000 return to the Treasury.”

The DSA is the only public sector organisation that is currently providing this total service. In the face of growing demand for its services averaging 20% growth annually with an annual turnover of over £60 million, the Authority was looking for more efficient back office control systems to monitor the disposal of the increasing volumes of surplus assets through the DSA.

In addition, the Authority wanted to maintain their 92% customer satisfaction levels without increasing headcount and put in place more efficient systems to help them make progress towards a goal of increasing their turnover significantly over the next two years.

With only seven customer service staff dealing with upwards of 10,000 disposals a year, the DSA recognised that a much higher degree of process automation was needed to keep up with the rapid growth in demand for the Authority’s services.

Following a competitive tendering process the DSA selected Parity to develop a solution to automate the disposals process. They saw Parity as a safe pair of hands given their long track record in supplying applications development and management services to the MoD. This was an important consideration as a key requirement was that the new application had to meet the MoD’s stringent security standards.

Parity developed the new eDART database and application using Microsoft.Net and SQL Server technology Parity designed eDART to be able to handle very high volumes of disposals efficiently as well as providing a tracking facility and access to reporting tools. This enabled contractors and government departments to audit the efficiency of the disposals process by providing them with a picture of how rapidly assets were being processed from the initial notification.

Les Taylor commented:

“eDART is making a big difference on the Authority’s ability to quickly and efficiently deal with a far higher volume of disposals despite the small size of our team. As more government bodies realise we can help them turn lengthy disposal times, incurring potentially high costs, into a quick and safe disposal with lower costs and even the potential for a return to the asset owner, we anticipate further increases in the volume of requests we need to process. The new eDart system enables us to process a higher number of requests far more quickly and efficiently than we could have done in the past and still provide a high quality service to all of our customers.”

Final Outcomes

The DSA is now in a position to confidently meet a much higher demand for its services despite having little additional resource at their disposal. eDART is allowing the disposals team to focus their efforts on providing a high-quality service to their clients with the aim of reducing the burden of high volumes of administration that has been the experience in the past.

Andy Ogg, MD of Parity Consultancy Services commented,

“This is a good example of a project that has made a major impact on both improving efficiencies and saving tax payers money. We have very much enjoyed being part of such a successful project and contributing to the future success of the DSA’s business plans.”