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CALIFORNIA'S DMV ACCUSED BY NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS OF GROSS INCOMPETENCE IN AWARDING DRIVER LICENSE CONTRACT

 CALIFORNIA'S DMV ACCUSED BY NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS
 OF GROSS INCOMPETENCE IN AWARDING DRIVER LICENSE CONTRACT
 BURLINGAME, Calif., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was issued today by National Identification Systems Inc.:
 California's Department of Motor Vehicles was accused today by National Identification Systems Inc. of "gross incompetence, dereliction of financial responsibility and blatant disregard of state regulations."
 Ending two frustrating years of silence, National Identification Systems Inc. also criticized the Department of Motor Vehicles and the state of California for "committing to a five-year $28 million contract for a new magnetized drivers' license system that doesn't work," and rebuked Gov. Pete Wilson for inaction in the face of Department of Motor Vehicles' transgressions. The high-tech company is warning the deficit-burdened governor not to "cry out for more new taxes before correcting this fiasco."
 National Identification Systems said the fiasco in question involves the awarding of a multimillion-dollar contract to NBS Imaging Systems to revamp and operate California's driver license and identification card system, explained National Identification System's President David Hodges. The Burlingame firm, along with other major bidders such as Unisys and Polaroid, were among those vying for, but not awarded, the contract.
 Hodges also asserted, "The Superior Court has ruled to suspend the contract, ruling, among other things, that the Department of Motor Vehicles failed to follow its own rules. Earlier on, the state's auditor general filed a scathing report condemning the state's conduct of the procurement process.
 "The process is legally questionable," Hodges charged. "It also resulted in an inferior system and product." Hodges' contention was recently underscored by the state's having hit NBS Imaging Systems with a fine of $10,000 per day for failure to comply with the contract.
 National Identification Systems maintains that the bidding process did not follow the state's own guidelines in awarding the contract to NBS Imaging Systems. NBS Imaging, which has controlled the processing of California drivers' licenses for 30 years, maintains long-standing personal and business relationships with key officials and lobbied heavily for the lucrative contract.
 "An apparent new development makes matters even worse," added National Identification Systems' David Hodges. "According to our sources, the Department of Motor Vehicles currently is seeking to purchase equipment from outside companies to verify the license data and to mail drivers licenses. The verification function was originally required of the successful bidder. Thus, the verification system will cost California taxpayers close to a quarter of a million dollars, and residents may still have to wait months to receive their licenses in the mail."
 Ironically, he continued, "The state is fighting decisions of the state Superior Court and criticism from the auditor general, spending millions more to defend NBS Imaging, the company that was unfairly and illegally awarded the contract, the company which could not demonstrate its ability to perform and which has been fined for noncompliance. Meanwhile, the Department of Motor Vehicles continues to spend tax dollars to appeal the court order to suspend performance of the contract."
 What was conceived in 1987 as a means of modernizing the state's archaic licensing system, thereby leading the nation into the 21st century, has "degenerated into a debacle, laden with questionable maneuvers," said the president of the four-year-old company that specializes in high-tech driver license systems.
 "It's obvious from the $10,000 daily fining that the people in the Department of Motor Vehicles' ivory tower know they blew it," he added, "but instead of cutting their losses and following the court's ruling, they have decided to circle the wagons around a bad decision in order to save face."
 -0- 12/11/91
 /CONTACT: Sherri Fishman for National Identification Systems, 708-215-0065/ CO: California Department of Motor Vehicles;
 National Identification Systems Inc. ST: California IN: AUT SU:


CH -- LA007 -- 1430 12/11/91 11:37 EST
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Date:Dec 11, 1991
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