Mark Taylor
Johnson County is backfilling nine vacant positions in the Motor Vehicles Department.
Eight of nine of those positions were eliminated earlier this year as part of the county’s early retirement incentive program.
The county is also adding an additional eight positions to help fill out staffing at the two motor vehicle buildings.
The combined cost of the new positions is more than $800,000 per year.
Hannes Zacharias, county manager, said the action was “in light of recent issues associated with the implementation of the Kansas Department of Revenue’s new motor vehicle system.”
Long lines and long waits have continued to plague the Motor Vehicles Department and its customers since a new $40 million state computer system went live last month..
Tom Frazen, Johnson County treasurer told county commissioners May 24 that the new system has been unstable and the state is working ever since to fix deficiencies.
In the meantime, customers have been cut off at mid-day because of capacity problems with the
new system.
The problem is spread throughout the state. Other counties, including Shawnee in Topeka are experiencing a backlog of work.
Compacting the problems, Frazen said, has been training employees to use the new system and the state having to transfer 6.8 million records that were on the previous, 30-year-old mainframe system.
Frazen said the fundamental difference between the old computer system and the new system is that previously, motor vehicle offices stored data on their own servers during the day and then transferred it to Topeka after doors closed.
Now each piece of data is sent to Topeka directly.
Until the bugs get worked out of the new system, transactions are taking two to three times as long to complete.
“This is a different process than what we had before,” Franzen said. “As the transactions go back and forth we are experiencing longer times for processing those transactions.”