California lawmakers reject DMV audit for second year

Bay Area

For the second year in a row, state lawmakers killed an effort to launch a state audit of the DMV.

“Californians, if they were hoping if somehow their experience at the DMV was going to be improved pretty soon, would be disappointed today, what we saw was politics got in the way of really doing the right thing,” Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno).

Despite years worth of drama from technical outages, long wait times, Real ID issues and failures with the motor voter program, some lawmakers in the audit committee Wednesday said the timing just isn’t right.

“We have a lot on our plate right now,” said DMV Acting Director Kathleen Webb. “I don’t dismiss the value of an audit I think what I’d rather have is just go ahead and give me the chance to implement the things we’ve been working on and them come measure the impact of those implementations.”

The DMV is already under review by the Department of Finance, the governor’s strike team and a private firm called Ernst & Young.

The state auditor would’ve dissected issues with the roll out of Real ID and errors made in more than 100,000 voter registrations.

“To walk away from the kind of history and success Elain Howell has is to suggest there’s something to hide,” Webb said. “She is highly regarded, and a real asset to those elected to serve the public and that’s the big difference.”

The DMV’s acting director says its working to improve, especially when it comes to technology.

“We are already working with some potential solutions to go ahead and improve our networking system, and our capability in each of our offices, and there’s a lot of advancement in that space and it’s important for DMV to capitalize on that,” she said. 

The next oversight hurdle for the DMV will come next month when that private firm releases its findings on the department. 

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