Who should own SOV's, as far as the V5 is concerned


Someone has asked , when it comes to the V5, who should be the registered owner of the vehicle?

If you have an MT Officer, should they be the owner - so that any documents , reminders goto them?

Can anyone other than civcom or trustee “own” anything anyway - in the same way as CFAV shouldn’t handle cash etc, should they have the responsibility of owning a Sqn asset? In the past i think its generally been accepted that the OC is the one?

Does the insurance require permission from the “owner” for you to use and be insured on the vehicle?

Thoughts? what have others done?


Surely it will be some member of the civilian committee that is the owner and contact for related matters…

You can register the vehicle with the “Company name”. This could be 9999 Anytown squadron. You would then have to provide a name for the person responsible for any correspondence/management of the vehicle.

This in theory can be anyone, Committee/OC/MT officer etc etc. As the asset would be owned by the squadron you can just change the name of the person responsible if they leave. It doesn’t give them any rights to the vehicle and does not run the risk of them trying to take it with them if they so decided.

*****This is how it works in my work, i do not know if a SOV is any different as we are not LTD companies *****

Our sqn has it listed in the Squadrons Name on the V5 and with the insurance company.

The Sqn Cdr is the one responsible for its use, approval of drivers, MT orders etc as they hold the Health & Safety Risk and so are the decision maker. This means that the Sqn Cdr is the point of contact for the insurance Company as they are the ones who will deal with any claim and authorising of any drivers who have conditions/age/speeding points etc and ensuring compliance with ACP 150.

Civilian Committee just deal with the financing, monitoring use etc. in the same way they would do so with any other piece of equipment e.g. Radios, Stoves, Privately held weapons etc.


Actually the SOV is a charity owned asset; it is purchased by the Civcom/Sqn Charity from monies raised by them. The Charity is also the only entity legally entited to undertake fundraising.

However it makes sense for the OC or MT Officer to be responsible for use etc, but as the Civcom arrange and pay for insurance certain elements of the formalities must remain with the Civcom. After all this comes with the realm of non public funding, which according to HM Treasury guidance is required to be handled by independent means ie no-one who is remotely accountable to the Treasury - correct me if I am wrong, but CFAVs and others receive payment from public funds which is what disqualifies them from being independent.

In the last six years there has been considerable blurring of parameters of responsibilities, which is beginning to disguise the legal niceties.

It is immaterial what name is on the V5, although this will be the point of contact for traffic violations, but the Civcom will have paperwork which provide proof of ownership or the arty behind the transaction, it is an asset and remains so until they decide to dispose of it.

My Civcom Sqn decided to purchase an SOV, because it became obvious that participation in such things as Wing events and flying, were dependent upon parents taking Cadets to the event, at their on expense of fuel and time. It seemed more sense for the squadron to travel as a Unit.

One example of where the Civcom and the OC worked together. I did not notice any offers from HQAC to provide vehicles for squadrons. So if you have an SOV, well done the Civcom because it is probably the biggest outlay a Civcom can make.

Where did you read that? There are many many many non-public fund accounts maintained throughout the Armed Forces.

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i have always been of the understanding that the V5 is proof of ownership??

are you aware of the Pheonix/Clarity system which is available?

The V5 is details of the registered keeper, not necessarily the owner. It refers to ‘Keeper’ all over it. Proof of ownership would be an invoice or a receipt.

thank you for the education…

that fills in a gap of why insurance companies have asked me “are our the registered owner and keeper” - my confusion being how can the two be different?

My fleet manager is named on all the V5’s on our trucks (over 100). He cant just go off and sell them as he is just the registered keeper, the company owns them and has paperwork that proves the ownership.

Its silly, but just the way it is.

You need to consider firstly whether the matter relates to Armed Services or not, and without question the RAFAC does not come under the Armed Forces Act. It is a civilian organisation, and although sponsored by the MOD, it is civilian. Any monies originating from the Treasury are required to be accounted as such, whereas non-public funds are entirely different, and as is evident the Civcom only handles non public funds. It is also relevant to point out that Civcom do not receive any allowance from HQAC for their work.

That is why the ATC function has always been supported by Charities, which are supposed to be independent - ie a separation between those who manage the organisation, and those who fundraise and manage what are non-public funds being monies not accountable to the Treasury.

I am sure you will agree that all CFAVs are recompensed out of public funds or they are salaried, which does not make them independent, in as much as they have the full range of responsibilities in managing Cadets.

There is good illustration of Treasury requirements with the SCC. Each year the MSSC is given a grant in aid by the Treasury. This is then public funds and the Treasury has to be assured that it is managed and applied properly. So the MSSC is a registered charity and all SCC units are also registered charities with the equivalent of a Civcom - charity law thereby providing certain safeguards that there is proper management because there are Trustees who are accountable under that Law.

If you read ACP11, CFAVs are specifically excluded from being an active member of the Civcom and having voting rights, on account of the fact they are aid out of public funds, and it is this which ensures independence for the Charity.

Yes some service personnel have responsibility for non public funds - RAF Mess Funds for example where acting as a Trustee is a secondary duty, - but they are still subject to the requirements of the Charity Law. The Charity Commission was required to open a public inquiry over some issues which arose - alerted by a failure to properly account for monies.

Whatever, if the source of monies is not from the Treasury, it is not accountable in that direction, and what is more, no part of those funds (including assets) can never be transferred to the Treasury or its servants (or sequestrated) and that has been proven in court in the recent past.

This is why I referred to blurring - it is not entirely clear where boundaries lie and in some ways the RAFAC is to blame for that, because as Charity regulation has moved on to protect donor and beneficiary interests, and to promote transparency, the RAFAC has moved in the other direction.

Also not changed is the definition of what constitutes public funds if HM Treasury is to be believed.

I think you will find the V5 is worded details of the registered keeper, which is a bit different owner. If you lease a vehicle you are the registered keeper but it will actually belong to the company providing the finance - you can never own it unless you pay off the finance.

Yes of course Phoenix, but they were not involved when my Squadron first wanted an SOV. We had Civcom members in the industry anyway, so they were able to look after the whole package. It was also an advantage that we had it on site, and they would handle service maintenance and inspection sparing CFAV time. -as I said all working together.

If it is so good, why do I see SCC units running around with really old vehicles and that also applies to some ATC units.

Probably because the Phoenix/Clarity contract can only supply vehicles for certain activities - i.e. those which are allowable at public expense - so many units decide the have their own; and they’re not made of money.

It’s good if you’re doing the right activity, have a responsible, facilitating budget holder, you have the correct and current FMT600 in place (which can be challenging for CFAVs anyway) AND you can jump through all of the correct hoops in the correct order in a timely fashion. The second one of those things is missing - or appears to be missing - the system breaks.

Hence why people still have SOVs. However, with the new “WO MT governance” (or whatever that new role is!) In post generating more hoops, I can see SOVs becoming more problematic as well - and that’s without the “who even owns the bus” question being asked!

Is it the SOVs which will be problematic, or the new MT chap?

SOVs dont write risk assessments. #justsaying

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Interesting point - allowable at public expense.

SOVs get expenses and that comes from the public purse. A Squadron able to access Service MT then has transport provision provided at public expense - use of vehicle and fuel. The only thing is that Service use has priority, so self drive MT may not always be available.

Service requirements usually expect drivers to have a full set of entitlements, and those vehicles are also covered by an operators licence, which brings with it certain other requirements such as CPC training.

So how come over the years has an element of public expense crept in, and why do the powers that be not support the idea of paying leases for Sqn use - after all they are in a position to negotiate good terms.

And linking this to a previous thread, there is this week a judicial hearing on the use of Section 19/22 permits. That should bring into focus the case of the school teacher driving a minibus, who fell asleep and killed herself and 13 children, having been either driving or supervising children. She had not had rest breaks and had overrun the provisions of the working time directive.

Not all relevant, but I wonder if there will be spin off implications.

But only for those same activities where a white fleet vehicle might be supplied via Phoenix (or indeed, from station MT). You can’t claim fuel costs for everything.

Surely you have an SOV purely for Cadet activities. All activities are subject to a PIPE to get authorisation to ensure Cadets are covered by Insurance, which happens to be funded from non public funds is it not?

I can understand that use of SOV in connection with bagpack is not a cadet activity; they are covered for public liability whilst at the bagpack, but that does not extend to the transit phase hence the PIPE.

Interesting that no-one at Station MT questioned use when they were given a signed MT request, but they were civilian contractors and might have been under the impression that the RAFAC is part of the RAF- they were remunerated indirectly from the public purse and only too happy to help empty the public purse.

Well, no. Not really… There is no “insurance” therefore there are no costs. The MOD self indemnifies so unless a claim is made it hasn’t cost them anything; and indeed there are certain activities which are not covered by MOD indemnity.

Regardless… authorised and indemnified or not, not all activities attract public funding. You cannot for example claim for transport costs (which includes costs incurred in the use of an SOV) for sport, welfare, or any social activity.
So driving the cadets to the local sports centre for an evening cannot be claimed. Nor can taking them for a monthly social trip such as bowling.

Public funding is basically limited to certain core activities. ACTO 150 lays that policy out pretty clearly. ACTO 11 and ACP 300 lists the core activities and stipulates which can be publically funded, which can sometimes receive funding from the ATC GP Fund (non-public) and which attract no funding and thus must be covered from Squadron non-public funds.

With regards your station MT guys… That’s slightly different depending on the situation - for example an annual camp - That would certainly include elements such as “social events” in the evenings but I dare say that costs are paid there to cover the whole “camp” experience as a core activity.

The regulations place the responsibility upon the claimant not to make unauthorised claims against public funds. Where MT are presented with a signed request they’re happy - it’s not their job to make sure that we don’t use the bus for something we shouldn’t - it’s ours.