Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Doubts over New System for Licenses

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Doubts over New System for Licenses

Article excerpt

Auditors have again cautioned that a computer system handling more than 2 million driver's licenses may not be ready to go live in early January because of missed deadlines and security concerns.

Kansas is working to replace its aging mainframe system for processing driver's licenses and identification cards with a more advanced system, called KanLicense, but the project has been delayed multiple times. It was supposed to launch in early 2012, but still isn't online. It's now expected to launch Jan. 2, but the Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit has placed the project on "caution" status in its last three quarterly reports.

"We think there is a significant risk the project will not meet its January 2018 completion date without affecting the quality of the project," the audit says.

The audit, released earlier this month, took issue with several deadlines in building and testing the system, and it cautioned the system's security may be lacking. The Kansas Department of Revenue has said it's monitoring and testing the project, but it's unclear whether it will go live on Jan. 2.

KanLicense was supposed to launch in January 2012 following a new system replacing the state's system for issuing vehicle titles and registrations. Both systems have been rife with difficulties. The title and registration system was scheduled to launch in July 2011, but didn't come online until May 2012 when it spurred long lines at county treasurers' offices. KanLicense has been delayed several times, and the state severed its contract with 3M, which was originally supposed to build the system.

Rachel Whitten, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Revenue, said in an email the KanLicense team had been meeting with auditors weekly.

"The audit presented to the committee is three months out of date, and now the focus is on the homestretch and the launch," Whitten said. …

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