Griffo Wants Contract for State Driver's Licenses Re-bid

Joseph A. Griffo

November 14, 2012

Griffo: State Wrong to Pay More, Get Less on Driver’s Licenses

State Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-C-IP, Rome) today called for the state to reject all bids for the contract to produce driver’s license for New York State, saying that the current decision to award the bid to a firm whose bid was $38 million dollars higher than its closest competitors puts taxpayers in the situation of paying more but getting less, because the licenses would no longer have color images that are vital to agencies that use the license for identification purposes.

“What we have is a situation where the state said they needed to reduce costs, but are spending more, and will be replacing the color photos on license with black-and-white images.  Awarding a bid to a company that is $38 million higher than its nearest competitor flunks the test of common sense. Awarding a bid to get less than what we are getting now but paying more also flunks that test. Additionally, color photos on license play an important role in their use as ID documents. From stores to buildings that require these as proof of identity, the photo alone will not show if the person using the card is the actual person to whom the license was issued.”

Griffo said that he is aware that vendors who lost the bid believe that the state was not fully forthcoming with vendors about the state’s specifications for the new licenses, but that vendor displeasure alone is not the reason he wants a re-bid. “State government does not have the money to spend to award a contract that is significantly above what we are paying now and one that provides a product that may be inferior to what the state wants and needs. Rather than enter into a contract on such an important matter with this kind of uncertainty, I believe the state has the obligation to re-draft its specifications to ensure that the product funded will be equally secure and of equal quality to what we now have. This will ensure that the people get what they deserve. Before taking any further steps to sign a contract that could last for eight years, the DMV owes it to the people of New York to avoid making a bad process worse.”