Emergency loan may ease nasty lines at DMV (computer problems)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Today: February 03, 2000 at 11:39:34 PST
Emergency loan may ease nasty lines at DMV
By Cy Ryan
SUN CAPITAL BUREAU
CARSON CITY -- An emergency loan was received by the state Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety Wednesday but only after the agency promised that the public would not have to wait longer than one hour for service after April 1.
The Legislative Interim Finance Committee authorized a loan of $216,716 for the DMV to hire an additional 57 employees.
The department will start an eight-week training course for 20 of the workers on Monday.
Gov. Kenny Guinn appeared before the committee and said the wait of two hours or more that motorists in Las Vegas and Reno must now endure is unacceptable.
Guinn said the current staff is tired and in some cases undertrained and underpaid.
The extra workers will allow full staffing of the service windows. The loan will see the department through the end of the fiscal year, June. 30.
Assemblywoman Vonne Chowning, D-North Las Vegas, said employees have to correct many problems in the new Genesis computer system that came on line in September.
"I agree these employees need help desperately but we need accountability," she said.
Assembly Majority Leader Richard Perkins, D-Henderson, said he hasn't seen the benefit of the new computer system for which the state has spent more than $20 million so far. He said the Guinn administration should report back when the lines are reduced to less than one hour.
Perkins said the loan would give the agency the tools to do the job.
After the hearing, Assemblyman Morse Arberry, D-Las Vegas, who is chairman of the finance committee, said he did not know what would happen if the DMV did not live up to its promise of better service by April.
"I don't know what we have as a hammer to derail this runaway train," Arberry said.
Ginny Lewis, deputy director for the department, said service is getting better but is still not at an acceptable level. She said the employees are burned out. They have not been able to have two consecutive days off since the problem arose last September.
Perkins said that when the computer system was promoted, there were promises there would be savings. So far, he hasn't seen any.
Assemblywoman Chris Giunchigliani, D-Las Vegas, also wondered where the savings are. This problem, she said, is eight or more years old. The Legislature had approved more help in the past and the lines were down to 30 minutes. But along came Genesis and the problem magnified.
The new workers will be coming on line just as the department rolls out its new technology to allow motorists to renew their vehicle registration and driver's licenses by telephone or Internet. And those in Clark and Washoe counties will be able to renew the vehicle registration when getting their annual smog checks.
Sen. Joe Neal, D-Las Vegas, praised Guinn for the plan to add extra workers.
"The proposal is a good one. I don't think anybody can disagree with it," Neal said.
Although the loan will last through the fiscal year, the department will have to either turn to the committee again in the fall or turn to the 2001 Legislature to get additional money for the next fiscal year.
Lewis wants to station 23 of the employees in Clark County, with 17 at the Henderson office, to allow it to offer Saturday service. There would be 24 at the Reno office, which is the worse trouble spot now.
-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), February 03, 2000
If this was private enterprise, would they be in big trouble?
-- Earl (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 03, 2000.
This is called going manual. Perhaps someone can post a link to some of the earlier threads on the Nevada DMV and how the entire computer system is fubar'd. And wqs it not in Nevada that the systems were crashing statewide just a few days ago? Think so.
-- Squirrel Hunter (email@example.com), February 03, 2000.