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Report Cites Agency Failures In $100 Million MNLARS Rollout

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesota's troubled licensing and registration system has been causing headaches for more than a year.

On Thursday, we are learning who's being blamed for the botched rollout.

Nine years and $100 million should have been enough to produce an effective MNLARS system

"In other words, a lot of things didn't go well. It wasn't just one thing, it was a lot of things," said Deputy Legislative Auditor Judy Randall.

That's the main message of an 80-page long report detailing the confusing and at times chaotic process of debuting the state's new driver and vehicle registration system.

The system caused massive delays for customers like Judith Johnson. She has been waiting for more than two months for a new driver's license and had to have her car tabs issued twice.

"I hope they are transparent about what went down and why this system failed the way it did because we haven't had any transparency on it," Johnson said.

The Legislative Audit Commission reviewed the report Thursday night, which cites failures in oversight from 2007 on. Those include supervisors repeatedly ignoring warning signs that the system was not ready for the rollout, and inconsistencies in the way that code was written for different parts of the system.

Newly-appointed Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington pledged that this would be a catalyst to inspire change in the future.

"We will push out a system that has been tested and worked through so that we know this system will function the way it should," Harrington said.

MNLARS is asking for $15 million in immediate emergency funding to help fix some of these problems. It is still unclear if that request will be met or even discussed.

The legislative auditor is planning on releasing another report specifically on Minnesota IT Services and their role in all of this in a few weeks.

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