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Committee on Public Works and the Environment
Public Oversight Roundtable
DMV - Destiny
Tuesday, June 11, 2002, 3:00 p.m.
Council Chamber - The John Wilson Building
Good morning. My name is Carol Schwartz and I am Chair of
the Council's Committee on Public Works and the Environment. The time is now
____ p.m. and I wish to call to order this Public Oversight Roundtable.
With us this afternoon are Committee members _____, _____, and ____, as
well as Councilmembers _____ and _____.
The Committee is meeting today to conduct an oversight
roundtable on the Department of Motor Vehicles' new Destiny computer
system. Implemented since late April of this year in a limited version,
Destiny as I understand it will be in full operation by early Fall.
The Destiny system is perhaps one of the most eagerly anticipated computer upgrade projects this city
has known, and certainly one of the most highly touted projects. I sure know that in recent months, going on 2
years perhaps, anytime I inquired about various customer service complaints, the response from DMV - was always,
"just be patient and wait for Destiny." And I did.
And Destiny is here ó albeit in limited form. And what a mess. Sure DMV has
-- and probably will continue to -- put its most positive spin on the matter. In fact at a press
conference yesterday, Mayor Williams said, "in order
for a pearl to develop, there is always a lot of friction in the process." Boy-oh-boy, is this turning out to be one
While I am certainly far from naive enough to believe that
such a major new system would not have any kinks
needing repair or tweaking, I think that what we have seen so far is a
little more than a few kinks.
To that end, my staff and I began looking into the genesis of the system
we are here to discuss today. What I found out in the midst of our
research is certainly
to me and begs many questions. And, I will be posing those questions to
officials from the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Office of the
Chief Technology Officer.
I would like to now read some press, quotes from citizens about the
computer system now up and running in the District's Department of Motor
After waiting an hour to replace a lost driver's license, a gentleman
"I've gotten out of here in less than a half hour before. I don't
know what the problem is,
because it seems there are the same amount of workers here. It was a lot
faster the last time I came. I have to go back to school now. "
A woman who waited for 6 hours with her grandson to pick up a new
registration for her car said,
"1 was hoping to be done by 5: 00 because
daughter's car is in the shop and I was supposed to pick her up from
work. I know it's not the workers' fault but I wish there was something
to make this faster for people."
- A group of people in line for four hours began applauding every time
another customer got what they needed and could head home.
"We've been here since noon, so we thought we'd do something
constructive with our time. We started clapping for people after they
got finished with their business, but a DMV supervisor got mad at us and said we were distracting the workers."
A 16-year old trying to get his driver's license wasn't going to give
up-no matter what, "I
was here last week and they closed before I could get to the front of
the line. I've seen the stories on the news about how crowded it is,
but I have no choice."
There are countless other quotes I could rattle off. We've all read them
in the paper heard them on the news. As I said, the quotes I just read
were from people disgusted with the new system that the DC DMV - now
has. However, the people being quoted were not talking about the DC DMV. They are residents of the State of Nevada
-- home of Project Genesis, the
state's then brand new DMV computer system -- which debuted in
September, 1999. DC's system is the very same
system tweaked a little to meet the needs of District
laws that caused utter chaos and turmoil in Nevada for almost 3 years. Turmoil that resulted in the replacing of
the DMV Director, and the State Legislature conducting hearing after hearing after hearing, culminating in an
October 2000 Post-Implementation Review of the system that confirmed the failures of the Project Genesis design.
Failures -- I might add -- that are eerily similar to those being seen in our Destiny system. I have copies of that
Review, as well as press articles, which I will now distribute to my colleagues present.
Many in Nevada's State Legislature suggested completely
scrapping Project Genesis, but the Governor refused, saying it would be
too costly and time-consuming to enter the new data from Project Genesis
into the old system-essentially making the State and its citizens captives
of the new system.
Why didn't we know about this?
As I understand it, DC DMV's Destiny system was to have
made our citizens less captive to historically time-consuming visits to
the DMV. I surely hope we are not about to become held captive for three
or more years by a system that failed so horribly in Nevada and took years
to bring resolution to its failures.
I am aware that during the initial phase of training for DMV staff on
the Destiny system that staff were frustrated with the complexity of the
system, and with Deloite for not understanding their frustration. This
frustration was caused by a system which is far more intricate than the
old. While some degree of difficulty is to be expected in learning
anything new, such a night-and-day change to me seems overwhelming.
I understand also that during a conference call between DC
DMV Information Technology staff and their counterparts in Nevada, when
asked what the worst thing was about the system, Nevada's response was,
"that it's here."
Please excuse me for jumping around here and seemingly
straying off topic, but I have to go back to something I said earlier. And
that was, "why didn't we know about this?" According to Chief
Technology Officer Suzanne Peck at the Mayor's press conference yesterday,
the Destiny project has been functional since August of 2000-and by my
calculations, that's nearly one year after Project Genesis' disastrous
debut in Nevada in September of 1999.
I want to know who wrote the specifications for the request-for-proposal
(RFP) on this contract. I want to know who competed for this contract. I
want to know what sort of research was done on the companies that bid. I
want to know how when Project Genesis brought the State of Nevada to its
knees immediately after its debut this government ever considered, let alone bought into
this joke of a system. Now, some of you in attendance today may think
that's awful blunt, but I'm sorry, I intended for it to be. I would also
like to know why with an approved budget of $17.7 million for FY 2003 and 112 employees, why our own Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) could not develop such a system. In the
FY 2003 budget book, OCTO brags about the ranking of
the District's website as the 4th best overall in
metropolitan areas in the country. I would much rather
brag about having one of the best DMV's in the nation,
and I do not think we can ever achieve that ranking with Destiny at
least not anytime soon.
Just when you think this government is actually making progress, and
leaving behind the mistakes of years past, out crops another fiasco, and
friends, this is a fiasco. In that vein, I have written to the DC
Auditor this afternoon and asked that she conduct an audit of the
request for proposal and procurement process
the Destiny system.
I have been alluding to the fact that it took Nevada nearly three years
to resolve its problems with Project Genesis. Based on a phone call to
Nevada DMV Director Ginnie Lewis, and a letter she faxed to me, the
State is finally pleased with the system -- nearly three years later.
Now that Nevada's system seems to be squared away according to its DMV
Director, one would think that my fears would subside. To a certain extent
-- a very minor one -- they have. However, what concerns me most -- and no doubt my colleagues as well
-- is the fact that the District Government procured a system known at the time
to be a colossal failure.
We should have known about the myriad of failures in
Nevada prior to Destiny's procurement. And, if we did know about it and
still pressed on someone has some serious explaining to do.
Mayor Williams, Ms. Newman, Ms. Peck... do the citizens of
the District of Columbia deserve to endure three years of friction so that
Destiny can develop into a beautiful pearl? It is my fervent hope that my
fears can be assuaged today. I hope that the Genesis of Destiny does not become a three or more year laughing stock of our
We do have more to discuss today then just the process
which resulted in Destiny coming online. We will also be speaking today
about the large cache of backlogged parking tickets unknown to DC DMV's
old system, but now in the picture again because of Destiny. Citizens who
have for years renewed drivers licenses and registrations without problems
are now being made aware of old parking tickets some dating back as far as
1980 (22 years ago) -- which DMV is insisting be paid before any further
renewals. This type of public policy, coupled with the cavalier and
sometimes downright uncaring and condescending attitudes of some DMV staff
-- including upper management -- to both our citizens and Council staff
attempting to help those citizens, will be thoroughly questioned.
While I do not think people should not be held accountable for their
tickets, there has to be a statute of limitations established. Some have
suggested three years... some five... some ten. I know that three years
is out of the question for me. I could never support that. As to the
perfect date, I believe that is a discussion that should -- and will be
held -- by the entire Council, after a full public airing of the matter. It
is my hope that those in attendance today will offer their
recommendations for a statute of limitations date.
The normal procedure for this Committee has been to have public
testimony followed by that of the Executive Branch. Today, however, I am
going to reverse that order so that we can hear from the Executive,
right off the bat, how it plans to address the problems now plaguing the
I now turn to my colleagues for any opening remarks they wish to make.
I would now like to ask Sherryl Hobbs Newman, Director of the DMV, and
Suzanne J. Peck, Chief Technology Officer, to come forward.
Good afternoon, Ms. Newman and Ms. Peck. I would like to ask you both
and any member of your staff who will speaking today to stand to be
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OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
OF MOTOR VEHICLES
COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND
"THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES' DESTINY
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2002
Council Chair Schwartz, Councilmembers, fellow DC residents. My name is
Sherryl H. Newman and I am the Director of the DC Department of Motor
Vehicles. I am here today to inform, educate and correct some of the
misunderstandings and misnomers that have prevailed over the last few
months regarding the new computer system and the agency's performance.
With me today are the City's Chief Technology Officer Suzanne Peck, and
the Deputy Director for DC DMV, Angell Jacobs. Together it is our
intention to answer your questions, address your concerns, and leave you
with a sense of what has happened, what is happening and what will be
happening as we continue to move this agency forward.
JOHN WILSON BUILDING
CHAMBERS, ROOM 412
PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, N.W.
Recent media reports have introduced topics such as ticket issuance and
payment, overpayments, faulty computer operations, and dissatisfaction
with service delivery at the department. As is often the case, not all of
the story has been told for there to be a clear judgment on the
situation. Many are jumping at the opportunity to criticize, without being
able to fully understand or appreciate the challenges and issues that must
be addressed. This is some of what we will discuss today.
In addition, many citizens have come here today or were invited to share
their experiences. Their stories speak to the difficulties that they have
faced and the dissatisfaction with the present system. It is unfortunate
that those residents that continue to have good experiences are not here
today, and there are many. In fact, for every one that complains, I can tell you that there are many who have found the
service to be superior and have encountered nothing but professional,
courteous, and dedicated staff.
Today we will discuss some key areas of DMV, past, present and future.
We will begin with the mission of DMV and its operations. We will then
speak to the commitments made and the promises kept. A demonstration of
Destiny and its many attributes will come next. I will address many of
the issues raised here today and in the papers. Finally, I will conclude
with where we are headed and next steps.
Mission and operation of DC DMV
Good afternoon. My name is Angell Jacobs, and I am the Deputy Director
of the DC DMV. As the Director has said, we'd like to use this hearing
as an opportunity to not only answer questions, but as a means of
educating the public about the DMV.
The mission of the DC DMV is a noble one. We strive to fairly and
equitably develop, administer, and enforce the vehicular laws of the
District of Columbia for residents and non-residents in order to ensure
public safety through the safe operation of motor vehicles.
As we follow along the road to complete our mission, there are clear
guidelines about what we do as a department and what we don't do. I will
outline for you what those are.
The DMV issues driver's licenses/non-driver's id cards, conducts medical
reviews, issues driving records, registers and titles vehicles, inspects
vehicles, issues residential parking permits, conducts hearings by mail
and in-person, accepts ticket payments, and administers the ticket
DMV does not boot nor tow vehicles, issue tickets of any kind;
manufacture or post street signs; regulate or enforce metered or
residential parking; manage or administer the photo enforcement contact;
have legal authority to dismiss or waive tickets due to age; enforce the
ROSA program for out of state vehicles, or issue visitor parking
By clarifying what we do and what we don't, we hope to begin the process
of setting the appropriate levels of expectation of our customers.
Starting in July of 1999, under the stewardship of Director Newman, the
agency made certain short and long-term promises to residents.
We promised greater access to DMV services, and delivered three new
customer service centers, which overall provide more operating hours and
more locations to perform full service transactions. Additionally, we
have increased payment options by accepting credit and debit cards at
every window, and allowing ticket payment by phone and internet. We
opened an express office for renewal transactions, and installed
neighborhood drop boxes for tag surrender.
We pledged to provide better customer service and better customer
communication. To that end, we removed the glass from all service
windows to provide a more friendly environment. We provided customer
service and diversity training for all staff. We send out renewal
reminder notices for driver's license, vehicle registration and vehicle
inspection. An updated website, phone system and brochures serve as a
multi-media approach to prepare customers to successfully transact
business at the AMV.
We promised special services. There are senior citizen lanes and a child
car seat fitting station at the inspection station. Knowledge exams in
different languages and the AT&T language line for non-English
We committed to greater security functions; we gave you a digitized
driver's license that is bar--coded and contains other security features
that make it difficult to counterfeit. Computer-generated driver's
license numbers protect the integrity of the citizen's social security
number. The new window registration sticker is intended to reduced theft
of the license plate sticker.
Finally, our biggest promise was to implement a new integrated motor
vehicle information system with enhanced online functions. That system
is Destiny. This computer system will address many of the problems and
difficulties that we have had over the years.
Let us be clear - once again - about what it will and will not do. It
will create an ease of transaction and access to DMV operations. It will
give residents better access to services and a wider variety of methods
to interact with DMV. It will create a greater sense of security for all
documents and inventory. It will help to safeguard against fraud and
theft. it will ensure that the right people are driving the safest
vehicles at all times. It will not solve all of the problems that
the agency or this government faces. It will not be the answer to
all of the past and present issues we are facing, nor was it ever
intended, suggested or designed to do so.
To educate us on what Destiny is and what it can do is Suzanne Peck. The
Chief Technology Officer.
Destiny Presentation (SUZANNE)
Now that you have seen some of what Destiny can and will do, let's talk
about the challenges we have faced in testing this comprehensive system.
As we discussed at previous hearings, Destiny was designed to
consolidate information from 22 previously independent systems. In doing
this, several pieces of information are now available in one place. This
includes the consolidation of the registration and residential parking
permit stickers, the ability to track documents from one location to
another, the ability to make global changes to one's information without
having to repeat inputs, and more. This also has meant the incorporation
of various other systems, including SSN verification, check and credit
card verification, and most notably the ticket collection
system. Knowing that these things were about to happen, we stressed in
hearings and at press conferences, that this testing period would
produce long lines for a short period of time, and this has come to
pass. However, we also said that this would be resolved as we progressed
through the test period and we asked for support, cooperation and
patience. Ladies and gentlemen, as you have heard and many of you have
experienced, no major system of this magnitude can be designed and
implemented without some stress on the staff and the customers. We have
developed a test period that will allow us to implement pieces at a time
and cause the least burden to all, but there is a burden nonetheless.
This is not a reason to declare defeat and state that the system is
faulty and broken/Destiny is working as it was designed to work, and is
performing well. We have found the test period to be invaluable in that
we have determined things that were not developed in design, we have
seen outcomes that were not anticipated in development, and we are
changing things based on customer interactions that were not planned.
What we must do now is respond better to what is now a state-of-the-art
system, and utilize it to its maximum potential. Destiny will take us
further than we have ever been and it will enable us to move forward.
[Sherryl Hobb Newman continuing]
Many issues have been raised about services and operations within the
agency. I would like to take a moment to address some of them.
Often customers have complained that they have not gotten their notice
for the renewal of their license or registration. We have notified the
public and apologized for specific problems that we have had in the
past, and attempted to remind everyone that the receipt of the notice is
not guaranteed. While we would like to promise that everyone will
receive their notices, we cannot. The historical problems of receipt in
some areas of town are well-publicized and documented. This will not
change based upon anything that we do. Everyone must be responsible for
ensuring that their business is up-to-date, regardless of receipt of the
notice. Destiny will now give us the ability to tell you when the notice
was mailed, and even print a duplicate, but it cannot guarantee receipt
of the notice. And now there is even a new Inspection notice that is
going out. Still, the obligation stands, and no violation will be
dismissed due to failure to receive a notice. The message is clear,
though. Keep track of your registration, license and inspection dates,
and be on time, notice or no notice.
- Long lines/wait time increases
With the implementation of
Destiny came the advent of longer lines and outcries about the new
system. Yes, we had a problem on 5/3 that caused us to shut down for a
few hours. However, since then we have had no computer problems. So why
the long lines? The answer has to do with the changes that Destiny has
put in place regarding the payment of all fines and obligations. If you
take a poll, a significant number of people will say that they waited a
long time, but their actual transaction time was short. This is due to
the staggering number of people with outstanding tickets, fines or stops
on their record. In fact, one out of every three people has some type of
issue that needs to be
addressed, whether it be unpaid child support, bounced checks, unpaid
tickets, lack of insurance, violations from other states. DMV was never
before able to determine liability the way it can with Destiny. This is
a good thing. After all, our process says that we will do our own
enforcement by preventing you from conducting business if you have
anything that needs to be resolved. The problem is that this process was
never working 100% of the time, hence the ability of people to renew
year after year. So what is the answer. Two words: BE PREPARED. If
everyone comes to DMV with their correct paperwork, and all of their
obligations fulfilled, there will be shorter waits for every service. We
must get the word out.
To better assist you in being prepared, DMV will:
- Begin a pre-screening process that will allow us to determine those
who have no outstanding issues and move them through quickly. Now this
will mean longer lines at the information desks, but it will mean faster
service in the long run.
- By the end of June, letters will be mailed to all DC residents who
have outstanding tickets. This will allow them to look into their
accounts and take care of their business before they are scheduled to
We are committed to ensuring that those who have done what they should,
are not penalized behind those who may still have things to take care
of. We realize that this is a problem, and we feel that the screening
and notices will address it.
Overpayments and refunds
The 1998 DC Auditor's report spoke to over $17.8 mil in refunds that
were due to customers of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, then part of DPW.
My investigation has revealed that there was an effort made to present a
proposal to refund the monies at that time. It is unclear, however, as
to why this did not occur. In 1999, when DMV became an agency, there
were two officials within DMV who presented a plan to the City
Administrator regarding the process for refunding the movies. This too
was not acted upon, and the officials from both offices are no longer
here. In 2000, DMV began working on an automated process for dealing
with refunds that occur due to various reasons, including double
payments, refunds created as a result of an appeal, double payments made
to ensure time sensitive issues are addressed, etc. This plan became a
reality in November 2001, when the first letters were mailed regarding
overpayments. In January 2002, another mailing was conducted and a third
was done in April 2002. To date, over 25,000 letters have been mailed
informing customers of their overpayments and our intention to refund
the monies. The only requirement of these individuals is to send us
proof of identity, no proof of payment is required. As of June 7, 2002,
11,500 people have responded, and 8,400 checks have been mailed.
The issue of the overpayments is a complex one that needs clarification.
First, this is not a case of over-billing. That would imply that people
are being charged too much. This is a case of over or double paying a
fine or penalty. Second, this is not something that can be eliminated.
As many other jurisdictions have stated, overpayments occur daily for
various reasons. This cannot be avoided. What we must do is create a
mechanism for refunding the monies, and we have done that. Our new
automated process highlights payments that
need to be moved to outstanding tickets, checks all of those for
accuracy before applying them, moves the overpayments, generates letters
to notify customers of a possible overpayment, and will generate checks
for remaining overpayments. This is done before the 10th of each month.
- 1998-1999 DC Auditor's report
The information sited in the
1998 and 1999 audit reports included such things as inappropriate fees
being collected, inappropriate actions by officials in the dismissal of
tickets for citizens and elected officials, and the incorrect imposition
of fees due to the inability to record payments timely. These have all
been reviewed, and our investigation has found that the findings and
recommendations have either been implemented, no longer apply due to
staff or contract changes, or are no longer applicable due to
legislative or policy changes. We have invited the DC Auditor to return
to follow-up on the agency's progress in correcting these issues, and
feel that we have adequately addressed all issues concerning these
Inspection Station lines
Over the past few months, the lines at the Inspection Station have
increased dramatically. In fact, we have seen a 25% increase in vehicles
served over the same period last year. The reasons for the increase
include an increased awareness of the late fees and the increased
enforcement efforts of the parking control aides which has resulted in
more, tickets being issued for expired inspections. To date, we have
collected over $450,000 in late fees over the last 13 months. We believe
that the volume will continue for some time, since many people have not gotten to the end of their cycle for renewal.
However, our new inspection renewal notice should mean fewer late fees
being imposed if people adhere to the deadlines.
To assist residents in getting their vehicles inspected, we are
reopening the new inspection station in NE. The contract for
construction is being administered by DDOT, and we are told that it is
expected to be operational by Summer 2003. In addition, we have again
asked for participation from area gas stations in the re-inspection
program. To date, we have received letters of commitment from 13
stations. Lastly, we will continue to stress that residents can make
appointments if the wait is over 30 minutes, and ask that those who make
appointments keep them, since we have a 50% no-show rate on
appointments. Additionally, everyone should understand that the station
opens at 6 a.m. and is often crowded at that time due to residents
lining up as early as 4:30 a.m. In any case, we have 8 lanes that are
operational (except if down for maintenance) and we have full staff for
the entire 12 hour day. The busiest days are Mondays and Saturdays, and
the peak hours are weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition, now that
the hot weather is here, the station will adhere to the "Code"
days. This means that on Code Red days, the station is likely to close
for a few hours during midday. We will post the schedule on our website
and at the station.
- Services for the handicapped
Just a note to anyone who may
know someone who is handicapped and in need of service. The office at C
St. is available to service anyone in need of a handicap placard, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. In addition, placards may be
renewed by mail. Lastly, the Inspection Station has a special lane for
handicap and Senior residents that is available at all times during
We experienced a delay in processing the work from dealers of
approximately 6 weeks. In early May, we met with a group of dealers and
the Washington Area New Auto Dealer's Association to discuss various
issues. In our discussions, DMV committed to reducing the turnaround
time back to a S-day period, reopening Pennbranch as an office for
walk-in dealer transactions, and communicating changes and new policies
through WANADA. The dealers committed to providing the correct paperwork
at all times, not sending runners to the offices for daily transactions,
and providing correct payment for all transactions. We have been working
with all dealers who have identified outstanding problems, and currently
have a 6 day turnaround time.
A great deal has been said about Brentwood and its operations. First,
there was a misconception that Brentwood was opened to replace H St. In
fact, Brentwood was opened as a fourth service center, not a replacement
for one particular center. Second, Brentwood was opened with full
cooperation and knowledge of the owners of the facility. In fact, part
of our discussions included the issue of volume and parking. At no time
was there an issue raised by management or the other tenants. Third, the
volume at Brentwood is unfortunate, but unavoidable at this time.
Residents have chosen to frequent this
facility instead of Georgetown and Pennbranch, which tend to have
smaller volumes. DMV has done all it can to address the parking and
congestion issues including having our security personnel police the lot
and direct traffic, working with the owners to post signs, and ensuring
that employees are not utilizing spaces. We will continue to participate
in discussions with the owners on what can be done to ease the problem,
but DMV, nor the District government will take full and sole
responsibility for the issues at Brentwood. The owners would have us be
totally responsible for the actions of all customers to the center, even
though we have no exclusive rights to any part of the facility. This is
unfair and inappropriate. In our latest discussions, the owners have
stated that they will hire a towing service to enforce the "No DMV
parking" rules, and they have asked that we close the drive-thru
service. They have also stated that they believe that DMV should pay for
a parking attendant to patrol the retail spaces. We have told them that
we will take the drive-thru into consideration, but will only pay our
share of the parking attendant salary as a tenant in the facility.
Approximately one year ago, DMV asked
MPD to participate in the discussion of the new window sticker. After
many iterations, the new sticker was produced and ready for
distribution. With the assistance of MPD and EMA, the information about
the sticker was distributed to various law enforcement entities,
including FBI, DOD, the National Law Enforcement Association, Montgomery
County PD, PG County PD, Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria PD, Metro, US
Park and US Capital Police, to name a few. Above all else, though, we
notified MPD and DPW that the new sticker was coming and what it
looked like. There have been many complaints from residents regarding
the difficulties they have had with the new sticker, and complaints from
law enforcement about not being informed. While we did make the correct notifications nation-wide,
we will continue to send these notifications again every month until the
complaints are resolved. In addition, we are continuing to work with DPW
and MPD, to ensure that their staff know about the new sticker.
Residents who receive a ticket, but have valid window stickers should
send the ticket in for mail adjudication. By the end of June, we will be
distributing a replacement sticker to be placed over existing plate
stickers. It will say "See Window Sticker" (Show sample.)
Once again we address the issue of
contract monitoring as it relates to the two major contracts within DMV:
ACS Ticket Processing and Ticket Collections, and Destiny. The ACS
contract is monitored in several ways. First, we have a DMV staff person
whose sole responsibility is to monitor the contractor and to ensure
that they are following the terms of our contract. This includes
performance, deliverables, and any new terms that are implemented.
Second, we have created internal monitors as represented by the user
community. They are charged with ensuring that the contractor meets the
standards set forth in the contract. They evaluate these standards
monthly and their findings are sent to the contractor for review,
comment and correction. Third, the contract is monitored by the Office
of Contracts and Procurement for accuracy and compliance to terms of the
contract. Lastly, the contract is now being monitored by an independent auditor hired last year to do a baseline assessment and then
to provide quarterly reports on the contractor's performance.
With respect to the Destiny contract, there are also several parties
involved in monitoring the contractor. First, there is the DMV project
team which is looking at the deliverables and the work being done to our
specifications. Second, there is the team from OCTO which is responsible
for the administration of the contract, and handles all negotiations.
Lastly, there is an independent auditor built into the process, and that
firm has been monitoring the contract from the first day. Contrary to
what has been said, we feel that we have the capability to monitor and
hold our contractors accountable, and we are doing that in the case of
- Duplicate Tags/ Missing Inventory/ Surrendered Tags
these is under investigation by various sources, but now has been
incorporated into the Destiny system as a security feature to avoid
theft and fraud. It is our belief that, when fully implemented, we will
have the capability to track every instrument and determine who and when
a breach of security has occurred. The system is designed to catch
issues such as duplicate tags and phony identification, before they can
As we move forward, we are on schedule to continue testing Destiny and
implement several new initiatives. These include:
- Pre-screening of customers for outstanding violations will begin June
- New inspection renew notices - began 5/02
- Stickers to be used for the license plate to assist law enforcement
in identifying the new window sticker will be ready for distribution by
the July 1
- A commitment has been made by --- gas stations to serve as
re-inspection stations. We expect to have them online in August
- Letters are being sent out to customers who are entitled to refunds
going back to 1997
- Refund checks have been mailed out to 8,400 customers
- Road test notification notices are now being sent
Residents with outstanding tickets will be able to apply for an
installment agreement by August
- Customers can pay their red light and speeding tickets online and
over the phone by July 15
Before I conclude, I want to take a moment to speak to the issue of
customer service, specifically my staff at DMV. I must tell you all that
I am proud of what we have accomplished in this agency. We have worked
long and hard with our partners, the Executive Board of AFGE Local 1975,
to address staff concerns, look at morale and create an environment that
fosters good work and good service. This was essential to moving us
forward, since resources had been neglected and so had the staff. I
firmly believe that the majority of our staff are decent, hardworking,
caring people who can and will make this agency great. We have come a
long way, and although we have a long way to go, I feel good about the
staff's commitment to getting there. I take offense to anyone's global
characterization of the staff as lazy, uncaring, unprofessional, or
rude. Yes, we have situations that arise that are not handled in the
appropriate manner, and we deal with them individually. But I invite
anyone with these criticisms to spend a day with our staff and see what
they think then. I often work along side them in the various offices,
and for the most part, they exhibit courtesy and respect, which is not
afforded to them. They deal with verbal and physical abuse and are
treated as servants. This is not acceptable. This is a difficult job,
and is not one that can be taken lightly. I want to thank them publicly
for all of their efforts, all negativity aside.
I would also like to acknowledge all of the various partners that have
helped us along the way.
To US Airways, for their support in providing various training
opportunities for our staff and managers.
- To several DC agencies, such as OPM, DPW, MPD, DDOT, DOES,
and others, for their support and teamwork in getting things
- To various community leaders and groups out in the wards who
have been encouraging and responsive to our need for assistance
as we moved into the neighborhoods
- To the Executive Board of AFGE Local 1975, for their
partnership and assistance in bringing the agency staff together
- To our private partners who have been helpful in lending us
resources and guidance in our operations
- To the Council for being ever vigilant and ever determined in
their efforts to hold us accountable and making things better
- To the Mayor for being our biggest supporter when that is not
- To the citizens for being honest, upfront, and in most cases
cooperative as we grow
Ladies and gentlemen, the road is not easy, much as I wish it were. It
is filled with many, many potholes that we are trying to fix at one
time. As we attempt to be better and more efficient, we have created
areas that we were not planning on entering. DMV is now positioned to
be a premier enforcement and collection agency. We have built a system
that finally does what it should have all long, and that is not
popular, but very necessary. After all, what is the point of the
Initiative on Child Support, if we do not intend on
holding offenders accountable. What is the point of new parking
control aides to enforce traffic and parking regulations, if we do not
intend on ensuring that everyone is accountable. What is the point of
having rules to protect us from unsafe, unqualified drivers or
vehicles, if we are not going to enforce them. And finally, what is
the point of continuing to accept a system that cannot do what we
need, when we have one that can.
As you know, DMV's around the country are often criticized for
enforcing vehicular laws, mandating adherence to strict guidelines,
imposing strict penalties for noncompliance, placing restrictions on
driving activities and being overall watchdogs for millions of people
each day. This means that many will be denied services and/or
privileges, and are not happy. Hence, the dissatisfied customer, and
my greatest challenge of all, customer satisfaction. I am often asked
whether or not I am satisfied with the level of service being provided
to the residents of DC. Anyone who knows me knows that satisfied is
not a word often used in my vocabulary. I am always looking for the
next greatest thing to make a situation better. However, what I can
say is that I am comfortable that, at this moment in time, we have the
necessary tools to move us forward. Our system is best in class, and
we are now faced with the challenge of making all of these new efforts
work to everyone's benefit.
I clearly recognize that expectations were raised last year as we
reduced wait times and introduced new processes. We did these by
making basic short-term fixes, while having a system that was still
broken. And we did it knowing that the long-tern process meant new
systems soon. We were successful, and it would seem that things were
going smoothly until we started testing Destiny. I now implore
everyone to see Destiny for what it really is, a tool for
greater efficiency. What we now have is a system that will
take us into the future and enable long-term sustainability.
Yes, it has brought us new challenges, ones which we have
always had, but could never address fully. As we continue
down this road, I again ask for patience as we work our plan
for action, and we do have a plan. And also I ask that
everyone understand that resources are not what we would
like, but we get our share as does ever other agency in this
government. We also get more than our share of responsibility whether it is based on new
mandates from other agencies, new laws, or new systems that finally work. This process of
rebirth for DMV will take time, and not just a few years. After all, it didn't get
this way in a few years, and it cannot be cleaned up for good that quickly. I ask that our critics
step back, remember the history, reflect on how far we have come and work with us to do
what we need to do to make it better. We are building something that will last, and it
will take time to happen.
My dedication and that of my staff is clear. We may not solve all of
these issues today or tomorrow, and new ones may crop up over time, but we will move this
agency forward and we will be the best in the nation. Of that I am sure!
As always, I thank you all for this opportunity to serve, for the
chance to speak to you today, and for allowing me to address you
concerns. I am happy to answer your questions.
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GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
OF THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER
Street, N.W., Suite 930 South, Washington, DC 20001 Tel: (202) 727-2277
Fax: (202) 727-6857 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
of the Chief Technology Officer
the Committee on Public Works and the Environment
Carol Schwartz, Chair
Roundtable on the
of Motor Vehicles' DESTINY Computer System
Tuesday, June 11, 2002
Wilson Building, Council Chambers
Good afternoon Chairperson Schwartz and members of the Committee on Public
Works and the Environment. I am Suzanne Peck, Chief Technology Officer of
the District of Columbia. I'm pleased to be able to appear before you
today to present an overview of the DMV's new DESTINY system.
DESTINY is the District's new, $19MM, full-function, integrated motor
vehicle system. DESTINY replaces the antiquated, 30-year-old Motor Vehicle
Information System (MVIS).
DESTINY has been a 21-month project (August 2000 - May 2002) released in 3
phases over a period of 6 months (in November of last year, and March and
April of this). During this period we also installed DESTINY on a new
mainframe platform (9672-R25 IBM mainframe from RS-6000 mid-range
machine), installed a new generation of communications switching services
to all DMV locations (frame relay vs. SwitchedMultimegabitDataServices),
and installed the new network and the new system in one renovated and 3
new service locations. Final test and project closeout phases for DESTINY
are expected to complete by early fall.
During this six months DESTINY has operated well, and exactly as it was
designed to do. Despite the fact that DESTINY had to replace MVIS
seamlessly - the equivalent of having to "make the bed while people
are still sleeping in it"- DESTINY has experienced only one
customer-visible slowdown period - the day of May 3 - during its six
months of initial test operation. This is nearmiraculous for a system as
complex as DESTINY, with over 1 MM lines of COBOL code.
DESTINY is an exceptionally robust customer service system. For residents
it handles all driver's license, vehicle registration, testing,
inspection, titling, tagging and permitting functions. For the District it
creates a single customer identity that allows all information about
drivers and their vehicles to be accessed simultaneously for quick,
efficient, one-stop processing at DMV service locations.
Unlike MVIS, DESTINY strongly supports the District's enforcement
activities as well. Fully integrated with the service functions, DESTINY
Anyone who owes these obligations to the District must square them away
first before receiving new driver .or vehicle authorizations.
- local ticket
- local moving
moving violation stops
- child support
- clean hands
- (in future)
DESTINY also has an outstanding suite of online services. We've
implemented every DMV service possible on the District's web site -
every DMV vehicle, driver, general, and special authorization service
that doesn't require the resident's physical presence (such as first
time driver's license) is now available at www.dmv.dc.gov.
One of DESTINY'S principal resident benefits is that it allows citizens
to "skip the trip" and to renew their driver's licenses and
vehicle registrations on line. Among other features, residents can also
pay their tickets online, request their driver's record, request a
duplicate driver's license, and schedule their road test appointments.
One of the key solutions to the long lines currently being experienced
at DMV locations is to have a high adoption rate for these new online
applications. If 30-50% of residents use these applications to renew
their driver's licenses, renew their vehicle registrations, and to pay
their tickets, a tremendous stress will be removed from the brick and
mortar service location counters.
A list of other resident benefits is listed on the DESTINY BENEFITS
posterboard. This posterboard also lists the principal benefits of
DESTINY in producing a safer, cleaner, more enforcement-compliant
A quick browse of the MVIS/DESTINY Business Capabilities Comparison
posterboard details how much stronger and more sophisticated DESTINY is
in providing integrated service, enforcement, data accuracy, and
security functions to District residents and to DMV counter personnel
who service residents. It is a best-of-class system.
DESTINY is one leg of a three-legged stool - systems, processes, and
people. As Sherryl has said, DESTINY was intended to, and IS solving
DMV's systems problems. In the short term she and her managers are
wrestling with the additional challenges of simultaneously serving the
public AND of learning a new system. They're wrestling with putting into
place agency processes to support the broad new service and enforcement
functions now available in DESTINY. And they're working through the
transition period problems DMV faces in digesting such a broadly capable
With the implementation of DESTINY, a variety of DMV on line services is
now available on the District's web portal. When compared state-by-state
with online DMV functions offered by other states, the District now has
MORE online DMV functions than any other state. In terms of number of
functions available, the District now has 23 DMV functions available
online. Virginia has 15, NY has 12, and Arizona has 11.
As with much else we're doing with technology in the District, we've
been very determined to move from "worst to first" with our
online DMV offerings. And to position our online services to be so quick
and efficient that residents will opt to "skip the trip" and
elect to get their DMV services from their own homes and offices.
And residents have been appreciative of these online services. You can
see on the "Online Registration Renewal" posterboard their
very positive comments about the service. They've also been very helpful
in helping us find problems and repair them early. The "control
number" problems which is the heart of 4 of 5 of the negative
comments has already been repaired.
I'd like to demonstrate the DESTINY system's online vehicle registration
renewal and driver's license renewal functions. [Show the renewal form]
[Don't forget to ask someone to clock the demo] [End by looking at wait
And lastly, I'd like to speak to contract management of the DESTINY
contract. Contract management of this project has been particularly
Since inception, the District obtained the services of a Project
Management and IV&V Contract, called the PCT (Project Management,
Contract Administration, Technical Management). The role of the PCT was
to ensure that all contract requirements were met, review all
deliverables for correctness and to assist the District in providing
technical support and testing.
The District assigned an OCTO Project Manager (Michele Spence), an OCTO
Contract Administration Manager (Allam Al-Alami) and a DMV Program
Manager (Michael Teller). Several DMV and OCTO management and technical
support personnel were located at the project site throughout the
contract, involved for quality assurance.
The project Executive Steering Committee, consisting of myself, Sherryl
Hobbs Newman, and other senior project staff members, held a regular
monthly meeting to review progress and resolve issues, plus held other
meetings as needed.
Regular weekly progress meetings were conducted throughout the project
period (since August 2000) with representatives from DMV, OCTO, Deloitte
Consulting, and the PCT to review all project activities.
A project Risk Review meeting was conducted bi-weekly throughout the
entire project with representatives from DMV, OCTO, Deloitte Consulting
and the PCT to discuss all issues causing, or potentially contributing
to, project quality concerns or schedule delays.
And a project schedule meeting was conducted weekly throughout the
execution of the project with representatives from DMV, OCTO, Deloitte
Consulting and PCT which focused exclusively on schedule matters.
With me this afternoon are Bruce Witty, OCTO's Contracts and Procurement
Chief, Allam AlAlami, DESTINY'S OCTO Contract Administration Manager,
and Paul Cook, the PCT lead, who can answer any additional questions you
have about DESTINY contract management.
Thank you for this opportunity to address the committee and to report on
the implementation of the new DESTINY system.