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Saturday, August 30, 2014
Audit: Honolulu Motor Vehicle Division Does Not Care About Long Lines
By News Release @ 3:45 PM :: 4731 Views :: Honolulu County

Audit of the Department of Customer Services' Motor Vehicle, Licensing and Permits Program

from Office of City Auditor August 29, 2014 (excerpt)

A copy of our final report on the Audit of the Department of Customer Services' (CSD) Motor Vehicle, Licensing and Permits Program is attached. The audit was conducted pursuant to Council Resolution 13-27, which requested the city auditor to conduct a performance audit of the CSD and its Motor Vehicle, Licensing and Permits (MVLP) Division. The audit was performed in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards from September 2013 to July 2014.

The audit objectives were to

(1) determine the efficiency of staff to process various motor vehicle licensing and permitting transactions;

(2) provide detailed statistics on daily and monthly transactions and provide recommendations on streamlining processes at motor vehicle licensing locations; and

(3) provide recommendations for legislation that should be introduced to assist with motor vehicle licensing location efficiency.

To address these objectives, our audit assessed the efficiency and effectiveness of staff processing drivers licensing and State identification cards transactions at drivers licensing offices; assessed the management practices related to processing drivers licenses and State of Hawai'i identification cards; and identified recommendations for improving operational efficiency at drivers licensing offices.

Background: The Customer Services Department (CSD) is responsible for providing motor vehicle, licensing and permits, and State of Hawai'i identification card services to the residents of the City and County of Honolulu. These services are provided through its Motor Vehicle, Licensing and Permits (MVLP) Division at five full service driver licensing offices throughout the city.

Many residents of Honolulu who deal directly with the MVLP Division in the Customer Service Department will form their opinions about city government operations based on the efficiency and effectiveness of their experience with MVLP. The Customer Services Department and MVLP must therefore provide the highest quality of service to the public, whether the interaction is in person, on the phone, or electronically.

Audit Results: We found the Department of Customer Services Motor Vehicle, Licensing and Permits Division needs to improve customer service in its operations. The CSD and the office of the mayor initiated several projects for reducing the long lines and long waits at its satellite city halls and motor vehicle, licensing and permit offices. However, the MVLP Division did not support the initiatives for improving customer service; did not consider the long lines and long waits as valid concerns; and did not support or fully implement initiatives to reduce waiting times and lines.

MVLP priority was on correctly processing licenses and identifications and efficiently completing each transaction. Customer service and reducing long waits was not a priority. As a result, customer long lines, long waits, and complaints continued. Improving MVLP customer service could mitigate many public complaints.

The CSD and its MVLP Division also could have prepared better for the city’s assumption of the State of Hawai‘i identification card program by accepting all the resources offered by the State of Hawai‘i Department of Transportation prior to January 2013.

We believe MVLP could reduce lines, waiting times and the effects of waiting if MVLP managers were more proactive (versus reactive); applied queuing concepts to anticipate demand and improve window coverage and staffing; and accumulated quantitative data for analysis. Waiting lines could also be reduced if MVLP provided better public information; improved office facilities; and filled existing vacancies. The MVLP Division also needs to adopt attitudes, practices and customer-service related procedures similar to those of the CSD Satellite City Hall Division. The management comments are responsive to our audit recommendations.

PDF: Audit of the Department of Customer Services' Motor Vehicle, Licensing and Permits Program

CB: City Auditor Slams Long Wait Times at Oahu DMV Offices

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