Tech error hits DMV places of work Monday; officers says regular service has returned | Information

CHARLESTON — A West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles spokesperson said offices statewide are back up and running after workers discovered a technology error Monday morning.

Some appointments at DMV locations were complicated early Monday due to an error resulting from a weekend software update, agency spokesperson Natalie Holcomb wrote in an email Monday afternoon.

“A software update was implemented this weekend by one of the WV DMV’s 3rd party vendors that caused our server/systems not to ‘restart’ today. As soon as the DMV was made aware, we took immediate action, and by 10:30 a.m., everything was fully functional and resolved,” Holcomb wrote.

The lapse was not caused by a planned software changeover by many state agencies and offices also scheduled for Monday, Holcomb wrote.

Gov. Jim Justice announced an $8 million contract with tech giant Google Oct. 15, which he said would move nearly 22,000 state employees in the executive branch from using Microsoft programming at work to Google Cloud.

Employees made the switch Monday, but that did not cause the DMV technology error, according to the state.

“The Google Workspace changeover/launch (Monday) was just a coincidence and not the cause of the system outage,” Holcomb wrote.

West Virginia DMV offices are still encouraging appointments for in-person business, a process that was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Justice said the state was expected to save approximately $11.5 million with the switch from Microsoft to Google — a claim Microsoft disputed in a letter to the governor after his announcement, according to a November MetroNews report.

The tech giant also took issue with Justice’s move because it had inked a similar deal not two months before.

“We were surprised to learn through your press release that, six weeks after awarding Microsoft a contract to provide these services, the State entered into a contract with Google for more than $8 million for services already included in the State’s Microsoft contract,” wrote Jamie Harper, Microsoft’s vice president for education, state and local government. “We were also surprised that, despite this duplicative spend, the State communicated this decision as a net $11.5 million cost savings.”

Justice’s news release claimed Google’s programming allowed state workers to work remotely with less difficulty and provided better security measures.

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