Pandemic and management problems continue to plague the Phil Murphy New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. A legacy DMV computer system developed with a 60-year-old programming language is also failing.
As of Friday, thirteen of the state’s MVC offices remain closed. A few are reopening this week, a few are not. It has not only been the virus that has hampered the commission and New Jersey’s ability to schedule appointments and get service, but an antiquated computer system is also getting in the way.
Now, legislators who are tired of Murphy’s meandering on the topic say it’s time the state addresses the core problems, instead of providing more of the governor’s knee-jerk band-aid fixes.
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Murphy had a chance to address those computer problems in his 2022 budget, but he did not. Now, Senator Anthony M. Bucco expressed disappointment that Governor Phil Murphy failed to offer details of plans to modernize and fix critical computer systems in his State budget proposal for FY 2022 that was unveiled today.
“Over the past year, millions of New Jerseyans have suffered due to broken and outdated State computer systems that are responsible for unemployment benefits, MVC transactions, and scheduling vaccine appointments,” said Bucco (R-25). “When Governor Murphy is sitting on a multi-billion dollar budget surplus, it’s beyond disappointing that he was unwilling to detail any planned investments in upgrading these critical systems that people depend upon.”
The problem lies with systems developed decades ago in COBOL, a 60-year-old programming language more common during the Apollo era than the Internet era. There are few programmers left who understand this outdated language or the 40-year-old mainframes that run our unemployment system.
“We now know that the budget surplus is much bigger than we anticipated,” added Bucco. “Fixing the broken systems matters to New Jerseyans, it should matter to Governor Murphy, too. If he really plans on funding these projects, he shouldn’t hide the details.”
In the age of cloud computing, when businesses are accustomed to having the ability to quickly scale up capacity with a few mouse clicks to meet demand, our unemployment system should have the same capability.
Instead of fixing the MVC systems, Murphy has invested millions into marketing new technologies for contact tracing, mask wearing including dedicated phone apps. No phone apps exist for NJ DMV registrations.
Murphy MVC Mayhem
Which MVC offices are closed?
Springfield Vehicle Center- Monday, Mar 22.
North Bergen Licensing Center- Monday, Mar 22.
East Orange Vehicle Center- Tuesday, Mar 23.
Oakland Licensing Center – Tuesday, Mar 23.
Newton Vehicle Center – Thursday, March 25.
Wayne Licensing Center – Friday, March 26.
Bakers Basin Licensing Center – Saturday, Mar 27.
Trenton Regional/Vehicle Center, this includes closing the IFTA/IRP walk-in services – Saturday, March 27
Paterson Regional/Licensing Center – Saturday, March 27.
Rio Grande Licensing Center – Monday, March 29.
Jersey City Vehicle Center – Thursday, April 1.
Randolph Licensing Center – Friday, April 3.
Salem Licensing Center – Friday, April 3.