RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A call for a delay, with 19,000 errors and counting. That is what North Carolina DMV Commissioner Wayne Goodwin says his department is dealing with since the pilot launch of eCourts.
eCourts is a new court computer software that is supposed to make the job easier.
Commissioner Goodwin told CBS 17 he asked for the next launch in Mecklenburg County to be delayed because of public safety.
The issues he is concerned about have arisen since eCourts was implemented February 13th. “Ever since then there’s been a deluge of errors coming in, I think nineteen thousand errors that we’ve had to manually correct. And by all indications the errors from the four pilot counties alone are over double of what they are for the other 96 counties that aren’t on the eCourt system. One of the more concerning errors is thousands of people have had put on their record that they have had a fatality in an accident, that they’ve caused a fatality,” said Goodwin.
Both Goodwin and local attorney Trey Fitzhugh said it doesn’t stop there. “Your clients gotten a letter in mail from DMV saying that their license is revoked through no fault of mine and no fault of theirs, just simple data entry error because it takes so many steps to conduct this process,” said Fitzhue.
Goodwin recently met with the NC Administrative Office of the Courts, which oversees the project, urging them to delay the Oct. 9 Mecklenburg County launch. The DMV had already expressed their concerns and outlined the issues for months.
“The DMV subject matter experts who have received the records every day, they’re not comfortable with the expansion into Mecklenburg County, and we stand by that. Right now, it’s not ready,” stated Goodwin, who said it’s unfortunate his request is not being granted.
Mecklenburg was supposed to launch in May, but that was moved to October because of the problems in the pilot counties of Wake, Johnston, Lee and Harnett. At some point, the rest of the state’s counties will also make the transition.
NCAOC, which speaks on behalf of software developer Tyler Technologies released the following statement in response to the DMV’s concerns:
“NCAOC is not providing erroneous data to NCDMV. NCAOC and NCDMV began work on a new data integration in October 2019 and have held regular meetings in preparation for the eCourts transformation. NCAOC has long forecasted an early fall 2023 Mecklenburg go-live date to NCDMV and other partners. NCDMV’s State Automated Drivers License System (SADLS) is a functionally obsolete mainframe system that NCDMV has been attempting to replace for nearly a decade. SADLS is limited in what data it can automatically process and has required remediative efforts (such as manually keying in portions of some records) for many years. An instance of SADLS not being able to automatically ingest a data element from NCAOC is not an “error.”
NCDMV claims that eCourts is causing an additional 1-2 hours of daily manual entry. At NCDMV’s request, NCAOC has developed and installed several modifications to the shared data integration to reduce instances of manual entry. In contrast, NCDMV has not made corresponding updates to SADLS despite NCAOC’s offer to provide additional data elements and crosswalks. NCAOC also offered to provide NCDMV with a full-time temporary employee during the transition period to absorb the alleged 5-10 weekly hours of additional manual entry. NCDMV has not accepted this offer. NCAOC continues to assist NCDMV throughout the eCourts project to mitigate the limitations inherent in the SADLS system.“
Goodwin doesn’t agree with that assessment.
“This has nothing to do with DMV systems or any other systems. We’re not asking for the end of the program at all. We just want to make sure it works because it has such a devastating impact on DMV customers and not only DMV customers—which is seven plus million of the 10 million citizens of the state—it impacts the courthouses, it impacts law enforcement,” Goodwin said.
He also asked, “What harm is it in pausing and getting it right?”
“This is about this new process that is not ready for primetime in my opinion,” Goodwin said.