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BT Operate: Field Engineering and GPS

21 October 2009

BT Operate will be piloting a GPS system for Field Engineering in the North West.

The pilot is part of the "New Ways of Working" programme and is a result of the conflict created by field engineers criss-crossing routes or having a second engineer attend a site. This waste resources lead to Field Engineering to take an interest in what Openreach was doing with ILM.

The CWU has negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding for the use of the GPS system with BT Operate. The primary objective of the Memorandum is to provide a clear understanding of the underlying principles for the ways in which data produced by GPS will be captured, managed and utilised. Management and CWU jointly acknowledge that the governance for the introduction and future management of GPS needs to ensure that it delivers the right balance between meeting Business and member needs. The Joint Memorandum of Understanding has been produced to ensure that data derived from GPS technology is used in a consistent manner across Field Engineering.

BT Operate have made the commitment that:

“Field Engineering reaffirms that the system is not designed nor intended as an employee surveillance system or as a discipline tool and it will not be the sole basis for instigating performance or disciplinary proceedings. The introduction of GPS will not result in changes to the performance management process currently used in FE. The current metrics and their source will remain the same.”

Safeguards and Requirements

  • Alerts will be generated in real time to flag potential jeopardy to customer service.
  • Line Managers will not have direct access to tracked vehicle movement data in real time.
  • Access to driver data is protected under the Data Protection Act and will be restricted to individual team members whom will only have access to their own data. This will be available retrospectively to the individual’s line manager.
  • In the event of a vehicle being involved in a serious or fatal road traffic accident the police and vehicle inspectorate can request telemetry data related to the specific incident. The authorities may also require Field Engineering to release all data relating to a specific vehicle or driver as part of civil or criminal investigations.

All Team members will receive appropriate training and their Line Managers will also undertake training to develop the necessary skills required for implementing the programme and to ensure that they fully understand how the data should be used.