Category Archives: Licensing

DMV Computer Error Means 50,000 Will Receive Incorrect Car Tax Bills

Source: Jon Lender, Hartford Courant, June 8, 2016

The Department of Motor Vehicles admitted Wednesday that about 50,000 incorrect car tax bills will be mailed to Connecticut drivers as a result of its continuing computer nightmare, which has sent faulty information to municipal assessors about what vehicles are in their towns. … Local tax officials complained early this year of errors on tax lists after the DMV switched to an upgraded, supposedly improved computer system for vehicle registrations. Wednesday’s announcement served notice that the fears of those officials are about to become a reality. … The foul-up with the tax bills is the latest result of the problem-plagued $26 million computer upgrade performed for the state by contractor 3M Company. When the new system for registrations went live last summer, near-chaos descended on the DMV as customer wait times tripled and customers waited as long as eight hours for service. In January, the DMV commissioner in charge of the change, Andres Ayala Jr., resigned after apologizing to motorists whose registrations were revoked erroneously. …

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Malloy hires corporate customer-service expert at DMV
Source: Mark Pazniokas, CTMirror, March 16, 2016

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy named a new team Wednesday, including a retired corporate executive with experience fixing customer service systems, to oversee the outsized headache the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles has become. The governor, who accepted the resignation of the DMV commissioner in January amid chronic computer problems and near-nightly television stories about long lines and angry customers, named Michael Bzdyra as commissioner and Judeen Wrinn as deputy. Wrinn’s title, however, is a misnomer. The former executive of Aetna, ING and Voya will have one full-time job: to diagnose and repair a customer-service disaster that DMV officials blame on a new computer system that went live in August.

DMV Head Says Privatizing Services May Reduce Waiting
Source: Alban Murtishi, Hartford Courant, February 29, 2016

At a public hearing of the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee Monday, Acting Commissioner Dennis Murphy detailed a few ways the DMV can further reduce wait times. One strategy would be to allow the DMV to enter into contracts with independent contractors and delegate simple transactions to them and provide motorists with more options. For example, the American Automobile Association already processes some driver’s license renewals, and the proposal could expand their services to process vehicle registration. This would include a $5 convenience fees for the transactions. … One potential roadblock facing the proposal is that some DMV processes require special licensing and regulation that would be difficult to implement at AAA, such as license registration. Additionally, some DMV employees are opposed to more privatization after the fallout from glitches with the $26 million computer system, which was installed by a private company, 3M.

Editorial: Outsourcing more Connecticut DMV services is a worthy idea
Source: New Haven Register, February 11, 2016

But drivers who spend hours waiting in line to conduct business at the DMV probably could not care less about who is providing the service as much as whether it can be provided efficiently and expeditiously. The answer to that right now is a resounding no. … According to the America Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, at least 18 states outsource some of their DMV services and at least 10 states outsource driving tests for licenses to private companies. Allowing the state to enter into contracts with private contractors — such as AAA, which already provides non-commericial drivers license services — will reduce frustration at DMV branches, allow people to get things done more quickly and relieve stress levels for overworked DMV employees and cusotmers.

Malloy proposes expanding outsourcing of DMV services
Source: Mike Savino, Journal Inquirer, February 10, 2016

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Tuesday that he is proposing a bill that would expand the services Connecticut outsources from the Department of Motor Vehicles. The proposal, “An Act Decreasing Wait Times,” would allow outside contractors like AAA to provide vehicle registration services — currently the drivers’ club provides only non-commercial license services. … While Malloy said the changes are needed to make the DMV more efficient, state AFL-CIO President Lori Pelletier said the performance of the software, purchased by 3M, should serve as a warning to those calling for more outsourcing.

Malloy Proposes Bill To Outsource Some DMV Services
Source: Christine Stuart, Connecticut News Junkie, February 9, 2016

Malloy introduced legislation last week that allows the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to contract with a third party to offer vehicle registration services, postpones issuance of vessel titles until 2018, and permits residents to register their vehicle even if they haven’t paid property taxes or parking tickets. The title of the legislation is called “An Act Decreasing Wait Times at the Department of Motor Vehicles.” … “The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles is already an outsourcing disaster,” Lori Pelletier, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, said. She said over the past year the public has witnessed what happens when work is outsourced and there’s no data on whether it will save the state money in the long run. …

Privatizing DMV Bill Passes Senate, Heads To House

Source: CBS4, May 3, 2016

A bill that would privatize the Division of Motor Vehicles has passed the state Senate and will now to to the state House. The measure would allow $200,000 to be used to study how to outsource things like the renewal of driver’s licenses and license plates. …

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Senate bill would commission study on impact of privatizing DMV services
Source: Liz Gelardi, ABC7, March 16, 2016

One lawmaker says he has the answer to end the dreaded DMV wait and it could involve privatization, and it comes in the form of a senate bill that would fund a $200,000 study to look at the impact of privatizing DMV services. … The study would review and make recommendations regarding DMV services including issuing and renewing driver’s licenses, vehicle registration and titles. According to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, approximately half of the DMVs in the U.S. outsource some of their services to private entities. In many cases, the outsourcing is restricted to vehicle registration and titling activities, but some also have private partners performing driver licensing services.

Costa Mesa opts to stick with ambulance system some had labeled ‘inefficient’

Source: Jordan Graham, Orange County Register, January 20, 2016

When someone has a medical emergency in Costa Mesa, three vehicles arrive on the scene: a fire truck, a city-owned ambulance and an ambulance from a private service. But no matter how significant the person’s injuries, no matter who gets there first, the patient always leaves in the Care Ambulance Service’s private vehicle, which is then followed to the hospital by the city’s patient-less ambulance. That system – which City Council members, firefighters and an independent city-hired analyst all have called inefficient – was close to being changed early Wednesday morning, until the council’s majority balked at the idea of turning over a portion of ambulance services to the public sector. … The report stated that the public-private system could bring in an extra $1 million to $1.6 million to the city in the form of “cost recovery” from ambulance rides.

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Based upon questionable savings Costa Mesa Council votes to Outsource two service areas
Source: Joe Hill, The Liberal OC, May 16, 2012

[T]he Costa Mesa City Council majority led by Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer, voted to outsource two city services to private contractors. Those decisions will be prevented from implementation until the lawsuit, filed by the Costa Mesa City Employees Association–the union representing most of the affected city, is resolved. The council voted 4-1 to contract out street sweeping and jail services…..Based upon contractor and city estimates, the contracting out of street sweeping services will save about $88,000 a year along by contracting with Athens Services… Opponents of the outsourcing of jail services have raised concerns that the savings projected by the contractor, G4S Secure Solutions, are exaggerated and unrealistic.

Judge halts Costa Mesa layoffs
Source: Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times, July 6, 2011
Costa Mesa City Council OKs First Proposals for Outsourcing
Source: Norberto Santana Jr., Voice of OC, September 21, 2011

Outsourced: City Council Votes To Privatize Costa Mesa Jobs
Source: BS Local Media, March 2, 2011

City Council members took the politically-unpopular step of approving a plan to outsource perhaps dozens of key city services in Costa Mesa in the hopes of trimming a mounting tide of red ink. Councilwoman Wendy Leece cast the only dissenting ballot in a 4-1 vote before midnight Tuesday that could mean graffiti removal, park and street maintenance, jail operations, 911 police dispatch calls, building inspection and the city’s print shop could be privatized, Councilman Jim Righeimer said….The city is facing a $1.4 million deficit for this fiscal year and a projected $15 million deficit for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, said City Manager Tom Hatch….

Kansas to outsource new, used vehicle dealer title services in January

Source: Tim Carpenter, Topeka Capital-Journal, October 5, 2015

The state of Kansas is preparing to save an estimated $200,000 annually by outsourcing vehicle title work on behalf of new and used automobile dealers, officials said Monday. General title services will continue to be available to individuals in county offices, but the bulk of dealer transactions handled by the Kansas Department of Revenue’s office in the Docking State Office Building in Topeka will be managed by the Kansas Automobile Dealers Association. … The five-year contract, not yet announced by the agency, won’t result in layoffs at the revenue department, according to Lisa Kaspar, the state’s director of vehicles. State employees could join Kansas Vehicle Title Services or move to a different position in the agency, she said. …

Case Study: Ousting the Outsourcing Misconception

Source: SAFEbuilt, March 2014

There are many myths about the complex subject of privatization. This feature article highlights the common misconceptions of privatization, and the potential benefits, as they relate to the “new normal” environment for local government.

Using the analogy of a lemonade stand, SAFEbuilt, a private provider of community development services, helps to squeeze out truth from fiction.
Related:
City of Troy, Michigan
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Centennial, Colorado
City of Roswell, Georgia
Powder Springs, Georgia
Bay Village, Ohio
Leesburg, Virginia

Blowing up the benefits package

Source: Robert Barkin, American City and County, February 25, 2014

Without the financial ability to deliver on benefit promises made to employees, local and state governments are changing the rules of the game. ….

…. Adding contractors rather than employees

In Rancho Cordova, Calif., outside Sacramento, the city of 67,000 residents has more contractors for its services (90) than it has full-time employees (68), says Stacy Peterson, the HR manager. “It gives us flexibility to reduce contracted services when development is down,” she says.

The city has private companies maintaining roads as well as providing city planners and inspectors, she says. Many of the contract employees have served the city for five or even 10 years, but their employers handle all of their pay and benefits….

Franklin County websites being consolidated, updated

Source: Roxann Miller, Herald Mail, December 26, 2013

Franklin County (Pa.) is about to get a new look. The Franklin County Commissioners on Thursday approved spending $56,000 to update and consolidate the county’s websites. During a presentation, Chief Information Officer Sean Crager said the county currently maintains five websites, including the main site, and ones for the Department of Emergency Services, the Franklin County Jail, the Franklin County Adult Probation Office and the Franklin County Drug Task Force. …

…Adding e-commerce functions to the updated county website also is part of Crager’s plan. Currently, the county spends $2,000 in hosting fees to allow people to register for dog licenses online. “We can bring that in-house and eliminate third parties that we currently pay today to do these services,” he said….

BMV center on Hilltop, last run by state, to close

Source: Alan Johnson, Columbus Dispatch, December 11, 2013

The last state-run Bureau of Motor Vehicles customer service center, at 1970 W. Broad St., will close next year, to be replaced by a private deputy registrar licensing agency. … Bureau of Motor Vehicles Registrar Mike Rankin said yesterday that closing the location in the state Hilltop office complex and converting the operation to a private registrar, the same as at other locations, will save taxpayers about $1 million a year. Displaced employees will be moved into other jobs in the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the parent agency, he said. …

OMV testing privatized drivers’ license renewals

Source: Associated Press, November 18, 2013

Office of Motor Vehicles has started a pilot program that allows outside contractors to handle drivers’ license renewals. The privatization program is being tested in Baton Rouge and Metairie. In each city, a public tag agent — a private business that processes vehicle title registrations — is also able to renew state drivers’ licenses. …. Each of the two locations charges an extra $18 fee to renew the license, on top of the regular fees charged at a state-run motor vehicles office…. The public tag agents don’t get any money from the state for doing the license renewals, but they can charge up to an $18 transaction fee, which is what both locations have done in the pilot program, Edmonson said. …

Anatomy of a Government Outsource

Source: ban48, Daily Kos, September 22, 2013

…I came across SafeBuilt, a company that specializes in outsourcing building inspection departments from local governments. One of their posterboys of success is the city of Troy, Michigan….

…First a little bit on Safebuilt. It isn’t rocket science what they do: You fire your building inspectors, they hire them, they sell you their service. All of the expertise they boast of is yours that you threw away, so when you read about their seasoned vets, well, you know. Anyway, they also claim to have saved Troy millions, which is at-first curious because how do you save millions on people reviewing building plans and checking construction sites…???

Oh, it turns out that part is easy – they fired 2/3 of them. Safebuilt took Troy’s building inspection unit of 22 full-time city employees and retained only 8. Ok, no real rocket science here on the savings. Now, number of inspections hasn’t gone down. It did dip during the recession but has since returned to pre-recession levels. So you have 8 people doing the work of 22. Again, no rocket science. But this isn’t the fun part.

The fun part is when you examine the cost. Troy’s building inspection budget slowly rose from 2002 to 2010 (when the outsourcing occurred) from just over $80k per person to just over $90k per-person. That is about a 12% rise over 8 years. Understand that this is budget, not take-home pay, so it includes payroll taxes, benefits, all that good stuff….