Rep. Cook Calls On ADOT To Address MVD Third-Party Service Provider Issues

August 31, 2023

By Daniel Stefanski |

A legislator is speaking out and demanding action just days after the release of a concerning report from Arizona’s Auditor General about the Arizona Department of Transportation’s oversight of Motor Vehicle Division’s third-party service providers.

On Monday, Republican Representative David Cook, who is the Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, transmitted a letter to Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Director Jennifer Toth, outlining his fears over the issues raised by the Auditor General’s report and demanding action to address the matters.

In a statement that accompanied the release of his letter, Cook said, “When state agencies outsource their important government functions to third parties, and those third parties fail to meet their legal obligations and are not properly supervised as required by law, Arizonans suffer the consequences. In this instance, those consequences are particularly severe and threaten the public safety.”

Chairman Cook, in his letter to Director Toth, expressed alarm over the report that was published last week by the state’s Auditor General, who found that the “Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) failed to ensure authorized third party companies consistently issued vehicle title, driver licenses, and identification cards only to qualified or authorized individuals and entitles, increasing public safety risks such as unsafe drivers, vehicle and identity theft, fraud, and terrorism.”

The lawmaker noted his appreciation that the Department “agrees with the Auditor General’s findings and plans to implement all the recommendations.” Yet Cook was unwilling to allow ADOT to fall back into its shortcomings over a lack of oversight, stating his belief that “it is imperative that you exercise your statutory authority to take immediate remedial action to prevent an increase in the public safety risks that the Auditor General has already identified.”

Cook highlighted that ADOT’s proposed changes to the Auditor General’s findings were “drafted and are in the pilot phase,” pointing out that “it does not appear that MVD made any significant process during the six months following the Auditor General’s audit.” He asked Director Toth why MVD “hasn’t simply adopted its previous oversight procedures that were consistent with the Auditor General’s 2015 recommendations.”

The Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee didn’t hold back his feelings, writing that “these astonishing results are unacceptable and require an immediate response.” He requested that ADOT “(1) suspend or cancel the authorization of the three third-parties deemed ‘high-risk’ in the Auditor General’s report; (2) direct your Office of Inspector General and/or another appropriate division in your office to investigate all third party companies for compliance with A.R.S. Title 28, Chapter 13, article 1; (3) rescind the defective quality assurance process adopted by MVD in February 2022; and (4) immediately implement a revised oversight process per the Auditor General’s recommendations.”

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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