TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas will be holding back its final payment to a Minnesota company handling the state's new motor vehicle system until the program's problems are resolved.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports on Monday that the state previously said it was withholding the final 10 percent of its payment on the $25 million contract with 3M CO. until all the known problems with the system were rectified.
Department of Revenue spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda said the final $2 million payment is being held until the system is free of issues.
"We still have a significant part of the contract left to resolve," Koranda said. "We're just being cautious and keeping all our options open."
Kansas was supposed to launch the new system for residents to register their vehicles in October 2012. A series of issues caused a delays leading to long lines and sharply increased overtime in many license offices.
The system was rolled out in phases starting in May 2012, with the final payment due June 30, 2012, following an evaluation process. The evaluation period was extended after multiple problems with the system were discovered. Koranda said a specific date for the system to go live hasn't been determined.
Koranda said the system has stabilized over the past year and the state works with 3M daily "to make sure the system is running at peak performance."
"The system is running within normal parameters, and any issue we're seeing now are localized," she said. "You aren't seeing the lines we had this time last year."
Many of the problems were experienced in Sedgwick and Shawnee counties, which processed fewer vehicle tag renewals from May 2012 through April 2013 than they did in 2011. Statewide, county offices processed 13,000 fewer vehicle tag renewals and 22,700 title registrations than were handled in 2011.
"It's important to keep in mind that title and registration activity varies based on consumer activity more than anything," she said. "If people are buying and selling a lot of cars, the number of transactions will go up."
Overall, Kansas spent $40 million on the new vehicle system, aimed at increasing efficiencies and better coordination of information between the 105 counties and the state. Initially, the changes led to long lines at county offices as staff worked through the new system and frequent computer issues. The state paid the counties additional money to compensate for the additional workload and any overtime worked by local staff.
Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com