UPDATE: State Again Delays Major Kansas Driver’s License IT Project
This story was updated at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 27.
The Kansas Department of Revenue announced another delay Wednesday for a major state information technology project involving about 2 million drivers’ records.
State officials said in a news release Wednesday that the system known as KanLicense — formerly called KanDrive — is still not ready and that they would delay the official launch, which was scheduled for Jan. 2. The program already is six years behind schedule.
"My position from the beginning has been that this computer system will not go live until it is ready, and our testing indicated it needs a little more work to get it there," Revenue Secretary Sam Williams said in Wednesday's news release. "In addition, our original launch date of January 2 was going to require county officials and hundreds of employees to work on New Year's Day to prep for the rollout, and that is no longer necessary."
The news release said further testing of KanLicense is needed to determine the length of the delay.
Legislative auditors have been reviewing the project’s progress on a quarterly basis because of its troubled history. KanLicense involves migrating records from an aged mainframe. A smooth transition is critical to ensuring uninterrupted access at driver’s license exam offices and by law enforcement agencies.
The latest audit, released this month, said “it is unlikely the project can be deployed” without again pushing back the launch date or experiencing quality problems.
"Our priority is a successful launch, and all of our efforts are placed squarely on making that happen," David Harper, director of vehicles for the Department of Revenue, said in a statement Wednesday. "Our teams are working very hard to ensure the system is ready to go and that the public will not experience any delays when the system goes online."
KMUW news director Tom Shine and KNS reporter Stephen Koranda contributed to this story.
Celia Llopis-Jepsen is a reporter for the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and KCUR covering health, education and politics. You can reach her on Twitter @Celia_LJ.
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