A Performance Audit
An Audit Report on Complaint Processing at the Department of Motor Vehicles
The Department of Motor Vehicles (Department) investigated complaints it received in accordance with applicable requirements.
When it identifies violations, the Department imposes administrative and civil monetary penalties, issues written warnings, and can suspend, revoke or deny registrations. However, the Department should develop processes to help ensure that it (1) maintains sufficient documentation to support the reasons it did not take action on certain complaints and (2) consistently notifies the parties to complaints regarding the status of complaints with the frequency that statute requires.
Between September 1, 2015, and November 30, 2016, the Department reported that it completed 17,111 investigations of complaints it had received and collected $5,120,272 in penalties. However, in addition to reporting complaints it receives from external parties, the Department also records and reports all of its investigations and other enforcement activities—such as performing inspections, providing advisory services, and sending insurance expiration violation notices—as complaints in its complaint tracking systems. That increases the risk that the Department’s reporting on complaints could be misinterpreted.
To improve the effectiveness of its complaint investigations, the Department also should address significant weaknesses in access to and the input of data into its complaint tracking systems.
Between September 1, 2015, and November 30, 2016, the Department reported that it completed 17,111 investigations of complaints it had received and collected $5,120,272 in penalties. Of the amount collected, 77 percent resulted from complaint violations related to insurance cancelations, oversize/overweight motor carriers, failure to transfer title, and violations of advertising requirements.
The Department had evidence to support its investigation of the 30 motor vehicle and Texas Lemon Law complaints tested and the 30 motor carrier complaints tested. For some of the complaints tested, the Department assessed and collected penalties. Those penalties were within statutory limits, and the Department accurately recorded them in its complaint tracking systems.
The Department Should Strengthen Its Reviews of Complaint Investigations and Certain Documentation to Support Its Complaint Investigations
Auditors identified certain weaknesses in the Department’s processes for reviewing complaints and a lack of documentation to support compliance with certain statutory requirements related to voided complaints and required notifications.
The Department Should Review the Accuracy of the Information That It Uses to Measure the Timeliness of Complaint Investigations and Evaluate the Information That It Uses to Report Complaints
The Department processes motor carrier complaints (including oversize/overweight complaints) in its Complaint Management System (CMS) and processes motor vehicle and Texas Lemon Law complaints in its Licensing, Administration, Consumer Affairs, and Enforcement system (LACE). Inaccurate information in the date fields in both systems prevented auditors from being able to calculate the timeliness of complaint investigations. In addition, because the Department records all enforcement activities as complaints, information that the Department reports regarding complaints could be misinterpreted.
The Department Should Address Significant Weaknesses in Access to and the Input of Data Into Its Complaint Tracking Systems
The Department uses two systems to record and track complaint data: (1) the Complaint Management System (CMS) for tracking motor carrier complaints and (2) the Licensing, Administration, Consumer Affairs, and Enforcement (LACE) system for tracking motor vehicle complaints. At the time of the audit, the Department was in the process of replacing LACE; therefore, auditors did not test general controls for that system and were able to perform only limited application control tests.
Auditors identified significant weaknesses in access controls, change management, and application controls for CMS.
Graphics, Media, Supporting documents