• Now, DMV Reportedly Halts Major $210 Million IT Project…

    February 13th, 2013 by admin Categories: Blogs Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    The California Technology Agency’s  IT Project Tracking web site has for several consecutive months posted ominous project status reports, replete with bright red warning signs indicating serious implementation problems on the DMV’s IT Modernization Project.

    Today the DMV announced that it was apparently halting its $210 million project. The LATimes Chris Megerian alerted TLTV today that DMV had officially notified the project vendor HP of the contract’s termination.

    TLTV subsequently received a statement from Acting DMV Director Jean Shiomoto which was not as blunt:

    “We appreciate the work of Hewlett Packard in helping us complete important upgrades to the state’s driver license system. Minimal work has begun on the vehicle registration portion, so this is a natural breaking point for the project. We will now work with the Technology Agency to develop a new plan for finishing the last remaining part of this project.”

    This event occur less than a week after the State Controller announced similar actions involving his $375 million 21st Century Payroll Project which TLTV reported here: California Controller Kills SAP Contract for Statewide Payroll, Jeopardizing $375 million Project, Frightening Spokesman.

    In DMV’s project documentation it describes how the Department is dependent on 47 year-old technology for driver license, occupational license, and vehicle registration processes which are essential to California’s public safety, revenue collection, and economy. As a result, through this project the DMV was going to “modernize its technology environment to minimize the risk of catastrophic failure of the systems supporting these processes.”

    This DMV Project has an interesting but troubling background. Its predecessor, a modernization effort which began in the early 1990’s has the infamous distinction of being the first major IT project failure to really register in the public’s and the media’s minds. Stories about the state’s subsequent IT problems often include de rigueur mention of this so-called “DMV debacle”, though it “only” involved a $40 million project, a figure which has been dwarfed by the cost of more subsequent failures.

    For those of us in the “industry” It’s unfortunate to see these developments. Let’s hope the investigations, the examinations and the hearings which are certain to follow will have a positive effect on future state IT endeavors, providing real lessons learned. The state spends literally billions on IT each year, absolutely critical to the operations of state government and its services to tens of millions of Californians. State government would not function without successful IT projects which outnumber failures a hundred-fold.




    Anonymous Commenting is Welcome. To have your name or website appear with your comment, fill out the form below. All Comments are moderated to prevent spam. Thanks for joining in the discussion!