What went wrong? Lawmakers discuss investigation into MNLARS problems
(KMSP) - The man fired for the disaster of the new vehicle registration system, MNLARS, ended up in the hotseat. Now, lawmakers are trying to get answer into what went wrong.
Though the investigation was centered around the director, it also exposed a number of problems, particularly with the leadership structure that the MN.IT commissioner says she is changing.
On Tuesday, lawmakers dove into the Department of IT Service's outside investigation into the leadership of former Chief Business Technology Officer Paul Meekin.
The investigation found Meekin acknowledged "there were flaws in the MNLARS software that resulted in its inadequate performance."
It also found that "Meekin failed to exercise reasonable managerial oversight to ensure that MNLARS was adequately tested prior to release."
The new IT commissioner Johanna Clybourne fired Meekin, and on Tuesday, Meekin disputed the findings.
"I disagree with the premise of this investigation and the allegations against me," Meekin said.
Meekin pointed right back at IT Services, warning lawmakers and the governor that they need to dig deeper into the roots of many problems at the agency.
“There are things that work and don't work in state IT. Until we fully understand what these things are, it is the people of Minnesota who are the most at risk," he said.
But it still leaves lawmakers wanting to know if the MNLARS system can ever be fixed.
"Can you in 25 words or less give me confidence today that that's going to be able to happen on a go-forward basis? As the new leader in this infantry, in this command?” Rep. Tim O’Driscoll asked.
“Failure is not an option, representative," Clybourne replied.
The state is digging deeper into MN.IT, and the legislative auditor will conduct a review of the agency. He promised that the audit will be ready by the time the legislature comes back next year.