Pending report will detail MNLARS woes, place blame

The Office of the Legislative Auditor is putting the finishing touches on a widely-anticipated report about the troubled Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS).

The report, due out in the next few weeks, will provide the first detailed accounting of what went wrong in the development of the faulty system that launched in July 2017.

Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles said the report will also identify who was responsible for the problems.

“The problems have occurred in the executive branch, and it will be up to governor to decide what accountability he thinks is appropriate,” Nobles said.

MNLARS is now in its third governor's administration. Development began a decade ago and total costs have topped $100 million. The agencies in charge of the system, Minnesota IT Services and the Department of Public Safety, have made many improvements and continue to seek additional funding for ongoing repairs.

Last year, an outside investigator hired by Minnesota IT Services blamed a former project manager for failing to address known defects.

Deputy Legislative Auditor Judy Randall, who headed up the OLA special review of MNLARS, declined to provide a preview of the report. But she said it will be informative and useful.

“I think there’s been a lot of interest in identifying the one thing that caused the failure, and I think our report will take a really broad, comprehensive view at everything that contributed to the problem,” Randall said.

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