On Wednesday, January 24, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles announced that it is ending its contract with the technology company hired to help upgrade the computer systems.
Tech Mahindra, the company working with the NV DMV, was hired in April 2016 after lawmakers approved a $114 million system upgrade during the 2015 legislative session.
“Due to a number of varying concerns, we have determined it is best to part ways,” said DMV Director Terri Albertson. “We will continue to dedicate ourselves to a modernization project. Without this upgrade, our ability to serve Nevadans will always be limited.”
The IT company signed a contract for $75 million in order to upgrade the DMV’s outdated computer systems.
In efforts to land the contract, the company claimed to have experience in developing other DMV computer systems throughout the country and promised to put its team of experts in charge of project development on Nevada’s modernization.
After DMV officials asked for an audit more than a year later, they came to realize that the project was way behind schedule. Auditors of the project wrote, “the contractor has not provided a cohesive project delivery team with the level of expertise proposed in its RFP response.”
According to the contract, Tech Mahindra promised a team of 25 experts to handle the modernization of the computer systems. However, auditors later reported that only six tech “experts” were actually relocated to handle the project in Nevada, and three of them didn’t begin until after April 2017, which was a year into the contract.
The audit also found that two other employees were said to have been removed and returned to the project more than once, and one of the employees had to assume multiple responsibilities at once.
Some of the personnel provided by the IT contractor were found to not be so proficient in English, which made communicating with DMV personnel much more difficult during stages of the installation.
DMV and state administration officials have been negotiating over the contract ever since the audit results were released last week. After days of deliberation, the DMV announced that the contract with Tech Mahindra would be terminated in 60 days.
As of July 2017, the NV DMV had spent a total of $13.5 million on the contract, most of which was attributed to the hardware and software which can be utilized by whomever the IT contractor is.
Auditors on the case still blame the DMV for failing to ensure compliance requirements, protocols and procedures in the contract, including failing to impose due dates for completing steps within the developing project.
“There are a lot of details still being worked out, but our goal to improve service delivery remains the same.” Director Albertson stressed the importance of moving forward, “We will spend the next few days and weeks winding up affairs and assessing our options for the future.”
The funding for this project was largely distributed from assessing a $1 “technology fee” on all NV DMV transactions.