Major Computer Glich WA state : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Posted this yesterday but not much reaction with GPS and Navy papers. Miscommuications between two computer departments This a major Glitch, so thought I would repost with the newspaper article. I also recieved a duplicate renewal.


License Dept. can't keep tabs on licenses 460,000 drivers sent erroneous renewal bills

Saturday, August 21, 1999


OLYMPIA -- If you got a bill in the mail yesterday to renew your license tabs and you think there's a mistake, you're probably right.

More than 460,000 Washington motorists received erroneous renewal notices from the state yesterday, the Department of Licensing said.

Instead of mailing out bills to drivers whose tabs expired in October, the state inadvertently sent them to drivers whose tabs ran out last June, said department spokesman Mark Varadian.

Varadian figures about 98 percent of those folks, most of whom got the bills yesterday, are already up to speed on their plates.

"They can just go ahead and rip up that letter if they've already paid for those tabs," Varadian said.

The blunder cost taxpayers about $191,000 in printing costs and postage, officials said.

Apparently the mishap can be blamed on miscommunication between two state bureaucracies.

The state Department of Information Services stores vehicle license records. Each month, it transfers a database of who owes money onto a tape, and the Licensing Department sends the tape off to the printers.

This month, because of a mix-up with the tapes, the wrong information was sent to the printers.

Does that mean that a simple human error foiled the computerized accounting process?

"It seems that way, yes," said Varadian.

Concerned drivers can count on computer technology -- if not state workers -- to protect them from actually paying twice for tabs.

"Fortunately, the DOL's automated system will not accept a duplicate transaction," said Nancy Kelly, assistant director for vehicle services for the Department of Licensing.

Take note: The nearly half a million Washington drivers whose tabs expire in October are not off the hook.

Genuine renewal notices for those drivers will be mailed out next week.

The state hopes to head off future human errors by eventually sending the information electronically.

-- Martin Thompson (, August 21, 1999


A human error ofcourse. The states send erronerous bills all the time. I'm sure it happened to several of us here during the past ten years, hasn't it?

-- Chris (%$^&^, August 21, 1999.

I received one of those notices.

Unfortunately, it doesn't indicate doomsday. It merely indicates that someone made a mistake.

If you want to extrapolate your own meaning out of a trivial error, be my guest.

Miss Steak

-- Miss Steak (, August 21, 1999.

Major Computer Glich WA state

person makes a mistake and you scream "major Computer Glitch". Good!

Keep up the good work. That way all the new people reading this board because of the recient publicity will take this forum as a joke because you title it one way while the story shows it was not the computer but someone taking the wrong tape to be printed out.

I certainly hope you did not think you were going to fool anyone with this.

-- Cherri (, August 21, 1999.

460,000 people and $190,000 is not a minor ding.What would you call major?

-- Martin Thompson (, August 21, 1999.

There will be different rections to this story by different people. Some here will say it is off topic and has nothing to do with y2k.

Others will say that while it is not a y2k glitch it does show the consequences of computer glitches. (i.e. magnify this problem a million times and you have an idea of the problems we will face early next year).

Then there will be those who insist that it is a y2k glitch unless we can prove with a hundred percent assurance it is not. Those in this category do not seem to understand why they are not treated with the same respect that the first two groups are treated with.

-- Butt Nugget (nubuttet@better.mousetrap), August 21, 1999.

Note there was no mention of Y2k in this article. It is up to the reader to determine if this is a problem and make their own determination. If this happens again in October as the article mentioned then maybe there is a problem at the State level. Major or minor is in the eyes of the beholder. Time will tell.

-- Martin Thompson (, August 22, 1999.

A person did it. A person took the wrong tape to be processed. How does this translate into a "Major Computer Glich"?

"The state hopes to head off future human errors by eventually sending the information electronically." Geeze...

-- Cherri (, August 22, 1999.

Oh shucks - Cherri, you beat me to it! THAT is the most hilarious quote up there.

The rest is merely indicative: it's starting folks. These guys just got y2k'ed.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, August 22, 1999.

Miss Steak: Do you mudwrestle?

-- King of Spain (, August 22, 1999.

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