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House committee members upset with lack of answers

By Brad Johnson, Reporter, bradj@kmiz.com
Published On: Jul 23 2013 06:37:56 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 23 2013 06:43:16 PM CDT
Committee questioning

The House Committee on Privacy Protection questions members of Gov. Jay Nixon's staff about procedure changes at licensing bureaus.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -

State lawmakers are getting frustrated trying to find out who is responsible for procedure changes at licensing bureaus.

ABC 17 News has been following developments for months. Lawmakers have tried to figure out why the Department of Revenue started to require scanning of personal information like birth certificates or mortgage statements to get a driver's license.

Lawmakers believe it was to comply with the federal program REAL ID. DOR officials have maintained that is not the case.

Several members of Gov. Jay Nixon's staff voluntarily testified Tuesday. Many of them were responsible for decisions made in the DOR.

The questions started off direct and to the point and committee members quickly became upset because nobody could remember important details or point out who was in charge of making decisions.

Lawmakers spent the majority of the day talking with DOR's former liaison and former legislative liaison. They were supposed to have knowledge of the inner workings of DOR. Lawmakers asked them to remember specific conversations or actions. Neither was able to give them specifics.

Almost every answer came back to a central theme: they weren't trying to comply with REAL ID because the state passed a law to prohibit it. Committee members say they're starting to get upset because everyone they talk to doesn't have information.

“No one to this point has told us, after the general assembly passed the law and the governor signed it, the Department of Revenue stopped doing 1,2,3,4, no one,” former DOR director and current committee member Omar Davis said.

Committee members say the ultimate goal is to find the person who gave permission to make procedure changes. Everyone testifying has said they weren't the one making the decisions, and they don't know who was.

Witnesses say even though it appears changes were made to comply with federal law, that's not why they were done. But nobody was able to provide details about why the changes were made.

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