Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Gary S. Schaer on Monday called on the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to provide an updated plan of action to modernize the agency’s computer systems in light of new reports of mounting frustration from customers forced to wait hours in sweltering heat at many MVC sites throughout the state.
The issue has been of particular concern to Schaer and the Assembly Budget Committee dating back to 2008 when the MVC began replacing their 30-year-old computer system with a new state of the art system called “MATRIX.”
During annual budget hearings, updates provided by the administration made it clear that the process was plagued by problems, with the timeframe for important deliverables getting pushed back by several years. In January 2015, the state finally terminated the MATRIX contract with HP after having paid $21 million, and an additional $16.2 million to an oversight vendor, with little tangible progress to show for it.
“These delays are unacceptable, especially when customers are forced to wait hours outside in this oppressive summer heat. It is time for the Motor Vehicle Commission to assume greater ownership over the issue and demonstrate that there is, in fact, a plan in place to overcome the setbacks caused by the HP contract.
“The Assembly Budget Committee has continually asked, year after year, for a timeline of proposed fixes to the system. For years, MVC repeatedly told us that the MATRIX program was on track to come online and be successful only to end up completely scrapping the program.
“It is time for the Motor Vehicle Commission to provide an updated plan of action to modernize their computer systems. Our residents are the ones who are ultimately footing the bill and they are being penalized in the process. This is unacceptable and they deserve better,” said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic).