Customers continue to wait at the DMV (update)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
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Customers continue to wait at the DMV RENO, NV September 20 The Genesis computer system that was implemented two weeks ago at the Department of Motor Vehicles has caused customers to wait up to 8 hours.
The computer has not run properly since it was installed and it crashed on Friday. Customers are aggravated by having to wait so long to complete their transactions. DMV officials say some of the problems include printing transactions and calculating fees. John Drew, Director of the DMV for Nevada has had to answer a lot of questions since the state put in the new system. What were hoping for is the initial rocky road if you will, is 30 to 40 days. If after 30 days we have the majority of the bugs fixed its still going to have to take another five months, said Drew. Over the past two weeks DMV officials have been urging customers to mail-in their transactions and now that system is backed up too. Normally the mail-in process takes 2-3 days, currently the turn around time is 2-3 weeks. The new $34 million computer system was implemented to better serve customers, but DMV officials say it could take up to 6 months before all of the bugs are worked out. The new system is supposed to help save taxpayer costs for new buildings and cut back on the need for new employees.
-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), September 21, 1999
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Today: September 21, 1999 at 9:23:08 PDT
Lawmakers hear more gripes about DMV computer delays
By Brendan Riley ASSOCIATED PRESS
CARSON CITY - More gripes are being aired about the state's "Genesis" computer upgrade that's supposed to speed up paperwork at the Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety.
A panel that reports to the Legislature's Interim Finance Committee was told Monday of long delays in getting vehicle title changes, registration renewals and other paperwork that car owners and sellers must have.
The $35 million Genesis system booted up Sept. 7. Since then, a public outcry has been mounting despite assurances from the DMV of day-by-day improvements. The upgrade project began in 1996 and is scheduled to be fully operational by 2003.
Future plans include digital driver's licenses, Internet transactions and perhaps even registering cars at dealers or smog emission stations.
The DMV is also asking the finance committee for approval to speed spending on transition to the new program.
The state agency is seeking authority to spend $1 million budgeted for the entire fiscal year in half that time. It will go toward help from Deloitte and Touche, a key consultant on the project. The DMV also wants to spend another $600,000 on its contract with BEST Consulting, which was deeply involved in the Genesis project.
Assemblyman Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas, chairman of a finance subcommittee on the project, said testimony would be taken at an Oct. 5 hearing.
Acting DMV chief John Drew said money is needed faster because "we can't drag this out for 24 months."
He and other DMV representatives warned that without an intense push through December, consumer complaints and employee morale problems will continue.
Drew also said longer delays in mail-in vehicle registration renewals - three weeks instead of the previous 5- to- 7-day wait - will continue for "a few weeks."
Temporary paperwork is being handed out, so people who cannot get new tags for their vehicles should not get tickets if stopped by police, DMV officials said.
-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), September 21, 1999.
...and getting worse...
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Today: September 21, 1999 at 11:11:43 PDT
Genesis of DMV system: Chaos
By Jerry Fink
LAS VEGAS SUN
In the book of Genesis, God created order out of chaos.
In the project Genesis, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety has created chaos out of order.
It took God only seven days to create the world, but then he didn't have to deal with computers -- if he had, Eve would still be in line waiting for her rib.
At a subcommittee meeting Monday, state legislators were briefed on the DMV's two-week old Genesis Project that is supposed to streamline the paperwork process for Nevada motorists but so far has created delays for thousands of drivers, frustrated the auto industry and tried the patience of harried DMV workers.
The DMV believes the new computer system will eventually make getting car titles, drivers licenses and other auto-related forms simpler and more efficient in the future.
But for the present, it has created long lines, long waits and short tempers.
"This meeting is scheduled for two hours. Expect to be here four-to-six hours," Assemblyman Bob Beers said at the start of the meeting, which was held in Carson City but simulcast in Las Vegas.
No one was sure if Beers, chairman of the Subcommittee on Project Genesis, was kidding.
Since the Genesis computer system went online Sept. 7, now called "Black Tuesday" by some, politicians have been hearing a steady stream of complaints from people who have had to wait as long as six hours to conduct business at a DMV office or who have had to return to the office several times after long waits.
Monday the subcommittee heard from a number of people who described how their businesses have been brought to a near standstill because they can't get automobile titles.
"We've got 90 titles on hold right now. We've sold 15 cars that we can't get titles on," said Rhonda Dean, who works for a salvage yard in the Reno area.
Sonya and Brent Pack, who own a company that processes car titles, told the subcommittee their business has almost come to a standstill because they haven't been able to get a title from the DMV in two weeks.
"This is affecting my business. If I can't get a title, I'm broke," Sonya Pack said.
She said without titles, finance companies can't repossess vehicles, auto auction companies can't get money for cars they have sold and car dealers can't complete sales on cars.
"This is going to bring the automotive sales industry to its knees in this state," Brent Pack said. "We have not processed any titles since Genesis went on line."
A number of Las Vegas salvage yards, auction companies and car dealers said the process is slow, but they realize it is a temporary situation and things will get better.
DMV officials assured the subcommittee, who will report today to the Legislature's Interim Finance Committee, that things already are getting better.
Virginia Lewis, with DMV's administrative services said as of Friday 6,000 vehicle titles had been prepared and were being distributed.
DMV acting Director John Drew said there is improvement with each passing day.
"It was a rocky endeavor from the start. It's not anything we didn't anticipate," Drew said. "The staff has worked extremely hard in identifying the problems and correcting them."
He defended Project Genesis.
"I do not believe what we did was wrong or that we are going down the wrong road," he said. "This system is the future of the DMV."
Drew said on the first day it sometimes took an hour to get a screen to appear on a computer, now there are 20-25 transitions per second.
He said technicians are identifying critical "bugs," problems that keep transactions from taking place, and correcting them while employees are "becoming more comfortable" with a system that consists of more than 600 separate programs.
"Time (to complete transactions) have been dropping on a daily basis," Drew said. "That does not mean we are not having problems, but we continue to forge onward."
He gave examples of improvements in transaction times, the time it takes for an employee to begin and end a transaction.
When the system first went online, it took 11 1/2 to 12 minutes to complete an application for a new license. As of Saturday, it took 8 1/2 minutes.
License renewal took 6 1/2 minutes a week ago and 5 minutes as of Saturday.
New automobile registration took 20 minutes initially, and now it is down to 11 minutes.
Drew said in pre-Genesis days it took about two minutes for a driver's license renewal. The new system will never be that fast, he said, because so much more information is being collected, "but we do see a three-minute transaction."
Donna West, who oversees the project in Las Vegas, said you can't compare the old system with the new because of the amount of additional information being gathered.
Lewis said as of Friday 100-125 "bugs" had been brought to the attention of technicians -- 31 of them urgent or critical.
John Lemelin, with Deloitte and Touche, the company that developed Genesis, said the problem on the first day was with a connection that was being shared with other users, thus slowing down the processing of information. Larger lines designated for Genesis were created to speed up the transferring of information.
On the second day, a major problem was discovered in the way the system was storing and retrieving information. Lemelin said the problem was easily solved by creating an "index."
Another major problem cropped up in the printing out of information, such as titles.
"We had a program that was inefficient," he said.
A second index was added to solve the printing problem.
Lewis said preparation for going on-line was intense, but there were inevitable problems.
"We had employees trying to learn an application that was evolving every day," she said. "We did the best we could with what we had."
There have been few complaints against employees.
Committee member Assemblywoman Vonne Chowning, D-North Las Vegas, said "the employees deserve a lot of credit and a lot of praise. The employees went out of their way to be courteous.
"But we have people who are just livid -- they are madder than hell, and they aren't going to take it anymore. It's not a six-minute wait, it's 45 minutes."
She said the public is driving in fear they are going to be stopped by police for driving with an expired registration.
"People are being told to stay away from the DMV offices, but a person who has purchased a vehicle can't stay away."
Chowning said she has people "praying for the pre-Genesis time when the wait was only two hours, not six."
-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), September 21, 1999.
I wonder what all of this "new" information will be used for or be given to? I'll bet it's to lower the cost of the registration!
-- simon (email@example.com), September 21, 1999.