Two Years Later: Yell Loud Enough, And State Gov't Might Pay Attention

Bmvlogo It took two years and a federal lawsuit, but Gary residents are finally getting a full-service license branch back in their community:

"The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has reversed course on one of the most contentious actions of former Commissioner Joel Silverman and will again operate a full-service license branch in Gary starting this spring.

"'We just say, 'Kumbaya,'' said state Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, as he stood shoulder to shoulder with current BMV chief Ron Stiver on Broadway on Friday.

"'Without a doubt, we are happy we will have a full-service branch at the largest city in the region.'"

To A Branch Near You: BMV Issues RFP For Digital Signs, Advertising

Bmvlogo If you want more information on the Bureau of Motor Vehicles' plan to put digital advertising in its branches, you can check out the full request for proposals here. From the summary of the scope of work:

"BMV is seeking a qualified contractor that can develop, install, implement, service and maintain a comprehensive digital signage system for its statewide branch network. The selected contractor must be experienced in all areas needed to implement and maintain this digital signage system. The BMV is looking for a model that is fully capitalized by the contractor and, therefore, requires no capital outlay or operating funds by the BMV.

"The business model envisioned by the BMV is one whereby the contractor solicits and sells advertising time on the system to companies and organizations that would benefit from advertising to BMV’s customers. Note that the BMV will reserve the right to reject any advertising at its sole discretion.  The BMV is not currently utilizing this type of service."

News In Brief: Around The State In Five Minutes, Half A Dozen Stories

Newspaper2 State Sen. Sam Smith was just kidding about resigning his seat in that legislative body. He now plans to serve out the remainder of his term.

Indiana University officially has a new leader with a very cool accent. Yay.

The Marion Chronicle-Tribune, formerly a Gannett paper, has been sold to Paxton Media Group.

Bureau of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Ron "Phil" Stiver met with South Bend officials to discuss whether or not to move the local license branch.

The Guv appoints a new political hack public access counselor. She has experience working for Secretary of State Todd Rokita. Insert your own joke here.

The wingnuts over at the Indiana Family Institute have kinda figured out what a blog is and started one. Next up on their procurement list: a clue.

News In Brief: Bureau Of Motor Vehicles, Gaming Lobby, Kelty Under The Gun

Newspapers The gaming industry is spending beaucoup bucks to influence legislation and lawmakers at the Statehouse. And the sky is still blue.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles wants to move the South Bend license branch to the far edge of the city. The South Bend Tribune is ticked.

Tracy Warner of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette makes several more arguments for why Fort Wayne mayoral hopeful Matt Kelty's shady pass-through "loans" to his campaign should have been subject to public scrutiny at the time they were made, not months after the primary.

The Star's "Behind Closed Doors" column went out Saturday night, had too much to drink and couldn't find its way into the paper this morning.

Fix The Glitch: Saving Silverman Cost $6 Million, More Than A Year

BmvlogoCleaning up after dim-witted corporate goofball former Bureau of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Joel Silverman has been a time-consuming and expensive affair, according to this update from the Star:

"The majority of problems created by the BMV's new computer system should be resolved by year's end, officials said today.

"There were more than 2,500 problems and changes needed in the sytem after the conversion. Eighty percent have been addressed, BMV Commissioner Ron Stiver said. Average wait times continue to fall and most of the problems in registrations are no longer an issue, he said.

"The fixes have cost nearly $6 million. The contract initially was for $32 million, he said.

"Stiver's presentation came just days before the one-year anniversary of a botched, $34 million computer system upgrade that threw license branch operations into disarray for weeks and left thousands of customers fuming over long lines and having to make multiple visits to complete basic transactions."

Lost In The Fray: BMV Still Coping With Problems From Last Year's Overhaul

BmvlogoThe Bureau of Motor Vehicles apparently is still feeling the effects of last year's problem-riddled computer system upgrade and other assorted administrative woes.

One TDW reader writes to say that he received his motor vehicle registration renewal form in the mail, but the BMV never sent out a renewal notice for his personal watercraft. When he inquired about the problem, the BMV told him that they're still dealing with information lost during the technology transfer. He was told to bring his registration into a branch so an employee could re-enter the registration into the system.

A minor inconvenience in the whole scheme of things, but one more sign of the times under this administration.

Is anyone else still having BMV-related issues?

Holding Pattern: More BMV Apologies For Months Of Late Renewal Notices

Bmvlogo_45The Bureau of Motor Vehicles is getting really good at this apologizing to its customers thing, which is a marked improvement over Joel "Perfect Is Absolutely An Adjective You Can Use In Conjunction With My Title" Silverman's way of running things. Still, it'd be nice if they could keep the trains running on time.

"The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is apologizing to customers for computer-related delays in mailing license plate renewal courtesy notices, a spokesman said Thursday.

"Greg Cook said he didn't know how long it would take before the agency could meet its goal of getting notices to customers 30 to 45 days before their expiration dates.

"'We definitely strive to meet an earlier internal timeline,' he said. 'We obviously apologize for any delays.'

"The BMV is running behind because it still is cleaning up customer data in its new computer system to ensure its records are accurate, Cook said.

"'We're continuing to diligently review customer data,' he said, adding that the process of merging different databases has proven 'challenging.'

"The agency switched to a new computer system in July as part of a $32 million upgrade, the first in about 20 years. But glitches immediately left customers with problems, including long waits at license branches."

BMV Progress, Please: It's Time For The Backup Agency Head To Show Results

Thumbdown_3Apologies for the lack of updates yesterday; the TDWs were working hard to pretty up a house. So, what's been going on in the world?

First off, the Lafayette Journal and Courier wants the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to shape up. For real. And it looks like they're not buying those "legacy of neglect" talking points. No more blame game, Guv. Your second-string players need to start moving the ball forward.

"Problems continue to plague the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which apparently can't keep proper track of its finances and the amount of cash it has on hand.

"An audit by the State Board of Accounts, which oversees the books of state and local governments, has identified a number of deficiencies in the agency's record keeping.

"Last summer the BMV spent $32 million to upgrade its computer system. Yet technical problems from the upgrade resulted in the bureau's inability to service customers promptly. Hoosiers waited in line for hours at some branches. In September, former BMV Commissioner Joel Silverman resigned.

"It's encouraging -- and predictable -- that the new BMV Commissioner, Ronald Stiver, has promised the agency will swiftly address the problems identified in the audit released last week. Lawmakers should make sure that he follows through.

"He should hold accountable BMV employees responsible for what he calls the 'chronic deficiencies,' that have repeatedly appeared in previous audit reports.

"That's taxpayer money that is unaccounted for - or at least poorly accounted for. While it's encouraging that the State Board of Accounts has given Stiver specific information on these fiscal disparities, the real test will be what happens six months from now."

Better Late Than Never: 250,000 Vehicle Renewal Notices Slow To Get Out

Bmvlogo_2 In other Shocking Saturday News, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles screwed up again.

"Time-consuming computer work has forced the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles to delay mailing out thousands of license plate renewal courtesy notices.

"BMV spokesman Greg Cook said the delay was caused by computer work to clean up data to make sure motorists' addresses were consistent with the agency's new computer system. The double-checking caused an estimated 250,000 January renewal notices to be delayed.

"'The timeline was a bit later than we normally see,' he said.

"Cook said January renewals consist primarily of freight and fleet vehicles, so not many individuals are affected by this month's delays.

"'We did contact our 25 largest fleets to let them know,' he said.

"Most personal vehicles begin the renewal process in February, with individuals whose names begin with an 'A' or 'B.' Those motorists must complete their renewals before February ends.

"Cook said the BMV is working on the February mailings right now, and those motorists are likely to see some delay in notification.

"He said all of the January notices have been sent and the agency doesn't expect the backlog to linger much further into the year."

The Fraud Squad: More Details Emerge About Bureau Of Motor Vehicles Audit

Bmvlogo_43The Indy Star provides more details about a recent Bureau of Motor Vehicles audit showing that the potential for fraud still exists within the agency, despite the Guv having sprinkled Magic Fraud-B-Gone Dust all over the place. Bonus: Guberflack Jane Jankowski can't resist taking a whack at the days of yore.

In a sick sort of way, you've got to admire this administration. They've developed a really good system of tearing down and selling off. It's just a shame that they're doing it at our expense.

"Forgotten bank accounts. Discrepancies in accounting ledgers. Disregard for basic contracting rules.

"State auditors found those and dozens of other record-keeping problems at the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, deficiencies that resulted in errors in tax payments to local jurisdictions and mistakes in the tracking of cash transactions at license branches.

"The inadequate safeguards leave the agency -- responsible for more than $900 million in transactions in fiscal 2006 -- vulnerable to fraud and malfeasance, according to the State Board of Accounts audit.

"Sen. Timothy S. Lanane, D-Anderson, characterized the audit's findings as 'alarming' and called on state and local prosecutors to make sure no crimes had occurred.

"'The clerk-treasurers of the smallest towns are required to keep records of every penny that comes into their protection,' Lanane said. 'Those same principles should apply to the BMV. We need to get to the bottom of that.'

"BMV Commissioner Ron Stiver said there is no evidence that any fraud or wrongdoing took place or that any money was missing from state accounts."

Except for this. And this.

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