Dear Keystone Board Member,
Since Keystone is officially one of the plaintiffs in the unconstitutional extension of the Modified Business Tax by the Democrats in the last legislative session, you as a Keystone member, should have a basic understanding of the issues (see points to the right).
See the Nevada Policy Piggy Book story (below) that explains why the DMV is short on money.
The DMV: It’s all foreign to me
The Nevada Piggy Book
Nevada Policy Research Institute, 2018
One has to hand it to the DMV: For being the poster-child for government inefficiency, the agency has recently been making some bold attempts to modernize.
It likely won’t shock anyone to learn that the agency’s computer system is less than modern. To fix this problem the Legislature approved a $75 million contract to upgrade the Nevada DMV’s outdated and inefficient computer system in 2015.
It had until 2020 to get with the times, and implement a “new and improved” computer system.
The $75 million comes directly from an added fee tacked on to all DMV transactions — so yes, you’re paying for it.
But at least we’re paying to modernize government, right?
For reasons that are still unclear, the Legislature awarded the contract to Tech Mahindra — a multinational technology company headquartered in Mumbai, India.
In hindsight, choosing a firm a bit closer to home would have been a much smarter move.
According to an audit released in late 2017, it was revealed that the program was months behind schedule. The audit cited the DMV’s failure to “ensure compliance with requirements, protocols, and procedures” — aka providing basic oversight — as the primary cause for the delays.
(Of course, the DMV didn’t have any trouble implementing the new fee. But that’s not really surprising.)
There were a few other failures, however, that rested solely with the Indian-based multinational firm. First, Tech Mahindra had only delivered 6 employees to begin work, despite originally promising that 25 members of its so-called “A-Team” would be deployed on the project.
The second, and admittedly much larger problem, was that not all of the employees could speak English.
Naturally, the language barrier caused some issues.
Under the section of the audit entitled, “Contractor Did Not Provide Personnel Proficient in English,” we learn that the “DMV had to edit project documentation and meeting minutes provided by the contractor for grammar and spelling because they were not written in a clear manner and were not useable.”
Imagine awarding a $75 million technology contract to a foreign company, then receiving the meeting minutes written as if they were translated through Google — because that’s basically what the DMV seemed to be facing.
After the audit was made public, Tech Mahindra was finally fired.
One thing the DMV readily admitted would be a complete waste of taxpayer funds, was the $25,000 spent on a customized communications plan between the Nevada DMV and Tech Mahindra.
That’s right: A $25,000 communications plan with a firm that couldn’t even provide reports in a language that DMV personnel could read! Ensuring someone at Tech Mahindra was fluent in basic English probably would have been a better place to start.
“The $75 million comes directly from an added fee tacked on to all DMV transactions” Of course, that wasn’t the only loss.
By the time the state had terminated the contract, roughly $17 million had already been spent with the firm.
Of that, about $12 million is considered a complete loss. Another $4.7 million is considered “salvageable” and will be usable by a future contractor for the modernization project.
“We are also still working to sell back some of the remaining equipment, although of course the return value isn’t as much as the paid value,” DMV spokeswoman Alex Smith told The Nevada Independent.
So, for now, the DMV continues to use antiquated technology, the project continues to miss deadlines and we continue to pay an extra fee every time we are required to make a transaction with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
But at least they give us our bills in a language we can understand.