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Archive for Monday, August 27, 2012

State withholding final 3M payment for new DMV software

August 27, 2012, 2:42 p.m. Updated August 27, 2012, 9:52 p.m.

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— Topeka (ap) — Kansas Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said Monday that the state continues to withhold part of the payment to the company responsible for the new motor vehicle registration system while problems are being resolved.

Glitches have forced residents throughout Kansas to wait in long lines to renew their tags since the $40 million system went online in May.

Jordan told the Topeka Capital-Journal the final 10 percent of a $25 million contract with 3M Co. is being withheld.

“3M is working to get those cleaned up,” Jordan said. “The system seems to be stabilizing and doing good, except for these localized issues.”

There’s no timetable for making the payment. However, the Department of Revenue is delaying the next phase of its computer modernization that involves driver’s licenses. That contract is also being handled by 3M.

“We obviously want to get this first phase where we want it before we start talking too much about that,” Jordan said of the driver’s license system.

The division rolled out the upgraded system in early May, and county treasurers had to stop taking vehicle registrations, driver’s license applications and other related business for about a week during the installation, creating backlogs. Other problems with the system have hampered counties’ efforts to deal with the backlog, even as residents come in with new business.

Jeannine Koranda, spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue, said part of the problem was that 73,000 vehicle records didn’t convert correctly to the new system. Issues with pieces of missing or incorrect information on records that were allowed under the old system weren’t accepted by the new software.

She said those problems took time to fix but were being worked out.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration inherited the project — the first overhaul of the division’s computer system since the mid-1980s — from the administration of his Democratic predecessor, Mark Parkinson. The problems have sparked a debate over whether the project was flawed, Brownback’s administration rolled it out too quickly or some county treasurers neglected training and staffing.

Members of the Legislative Post Audit Committee authorized an investigation in July to examine the entire contract and implementation of the new system. The bipartisan request for an audit reflected frustration legislators were hearing from constituents and county officials.

Comments

ksrover 2 years ago

That's nice, but is it really their fault? It sounds like KDOR went live with an untested system. Why isn't there any inquiry to the actions, or lack of actions, on the KDOR?

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Larrytown 2 years ago

Below is wording from the Topeka Capitol Journal Article. Doesn't look good for the KS government. If I were 3M and I didn't receive my final payment of $2.5M timely...I would begin charging interest to the State of Kansas.

"Other than the conversion issue — 73,000 records didn’t convert correctly to the new system because they weren’t entered correctly in the old system — the office is moving along “pretty well,” he said. The office will battle the conversion problem, which requires clerks to create entirely new titles, for a while".

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Slowponder 2 years ago

I could never be Secretary of Revenue in the State of Kansas. I am just not dumb enough.

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riverdrifter 2 years ago

I went to a satellite county office and was the first one in. It still took over 15 minutes to get it done for two vehicles. Pathetic. Guvnor Brokeback at yer service.

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TechGeek 2 years ago

Withholding the final payment on a contract is standard operations for major projects, be it a house or a technology upgrade. It assures that the vendor/contractor will complete the work to spec and/or customer expectations as per contract. Thus, the state is within its rights on that aspect. However, the matter of the approximately 73,000 database records not able to be converted over due to improper data entry is on those who made the mistakes, not the technology vendor. In that respect the government has to fix the mess it allowed to be created.

The real problem is the previous system allowed improper data to be entered. Data entry clerks either were not properly trained or they made errors which were allowed to be accepted by poor system design. All properly entered data transferred to the new system, so the new design and the transfer project worked as expected. It is not rational to expect poorly entered data to port over to a new system, which the new system should not allow if it is designed properly.

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jafs 2 years ago

Isn't part of the designers' job to help make the transition to the new system, which would include some training on how to use it correctly?

That would include giving the information that some records wouldn't transfer, if they had been poorly entered, I would think.

After that point, if the employees screw up, I say it's on them.

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