Guinn takes up the DMV standard saying the system will work

Gov. Kenny Guinn took up the DMV standard Thursday, saying the agency's much-hated new computer system is getting better and he has no plans to order it pulled off line.

"Now is not the time for us to duck our heads and run from this program," he said of the state Department of Motor Vehicles' $35 million Genesis computer system.

With emergency staffing and a temporary blind eye from law enforcement, it will get fixed, he said.

Guinn said he's sticking with what opponents are calling "Genocide" despite the recommendation of a legislative subcommittee earlier this week that suggested the state go back to the old system while Genesis is fixed. Guinn said the long lines that have angered customers for 23 days since the system replaced the old DMV computer are getting shorter. He added that errors in handling drivers' license and registration renewals progressively fewer.

''The program's inability to serve the people of Nevada is extremely frustrating to the public, the staff at DMV and to me personally,'' Guinn said. ''It most certainly has not reached an acceptable level and it has a long ways to go.'

"Even though the program is improving, it is certainly not at the category where it will or should be," said Guinn.

But he said he has made some emergency moves to help get it there quicker including an emergency order to hire 42 temporary staffers. Most of them, he said, will start work on the mail-in backlog, now more than 60,000 pieces. Mail-in processing will go to 24-hour shifts with more than double the staff to catch up.

But he also admitted that the DMV is so far behind that some registrations and licenses are expired even though a renewal was sent in more than a month ago.

Guinn is asking law enforcement agencies in the state to give people driving with expired tags or licenses a 30-day break if the expiration is less than 30 days old.

He said the state is also setting up a DMV hotline for consumers - to answer questions and possibly save time or avoid a trip.

Guinn said the new simplified screen for processing simple mail-in renewals is working beautifully and will also greatly help.

"If nothing has changed, all they have to do is push one button and it's done," he said.

And Guinn said new technologies that allow Internet and phone renewals statewide and registration renewal at smog test stations in Washoe and Clark counties will be speeded up.

He said Genesis is getting better with fewer computer glitches all the time. After the news conference, he was asked about possible litigation should a down-the-road analysis of the Genesis startup suggest that Deloitte & Touch Consulting or Best Consulting didn't meet terms of contracts worth more than $13 million to them.

Deloitte had a contract for about $10 million to create Genesis and fix any bugs once it started up. Best had a $3.6 million contract to troubleshoot the system.

''Oh sure, you can always take them to court,'' said Guinn. ''I want to do what we're doing and keep making progress. Then, when we get there, I'll say, all right, the smoke has cleared. Now let's sit down and see what happened to us, and why, and who did what to who.''

''We've got the contracts to see what they were supposed to do,'' he added. The final date for meeting contract terms is Dec. 7.


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