Inside state government ineptitude

by CalWatchdog Staff | March 6, 2013 8:27 am

March 6, 2013

By Katy Grimes


The State of California has a serious backlog of new business filings, so says Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

“Secretary of State Debra Bowen[2] is concerned about the backlog, said spokeswoman Shannan Velayas, and intends to replace the current paper filing system with an online process akin to that used by the California DMV for vehicle registrations and license renewals,” the Sacramento Bee reported[3].

That’s just what California’s taxpayers need — another billion dollar computer system which doesn’t work. Remember?  The State of California has spent hundreds of millions dollars to overhaul its antiquated computer system, which didn’t work.  The $200 million effort to overhaul the Department of Motor Vehicle’s 40-year-old computer system was chucked. Seven years and $135 million taxpayer dollars, only the driver’s license portion ever was completed and actually works.

In January 2012, blogger Joe Mathews[4] reported California Secretary of State Debra Bowen was in the middle of a political storm growing over technology, access and the state of California. “She is facing serious criticism[5] over how she manages technology,” Matthews wrote[6]. “The state’s Cal-ACCESS system — which provides the public with vital data on campaign contributions and lobbyist activist — went down three weeks ago. A database that verifies voter registrations also went down.

“These problems come on top of earlier criticism that Bowen’s office was not moving fast enough to enable on-line voter registration.”

Just who is clamoring to open a business in Taxifornia?

All taxing aside, the supposed backlog at the Secretary of State’s office is entirely self-imposed through bad management, the worst kind of bureaucracies, and unnecessary government employees filing space and collecting paychecks.

How do I suspect this? My husband still runs a business in California. Every year he receives notice from the Secretary of State requiring him to re-register his California corporation. It’s hardly a daunting task, and one which only requires filling out a two-sided form, and sending in a $25 check.

But the employees at the Secretary of State’s office don’t like how he did it this year. They have sent the form back to him four times, each time with a new picayune requirement. This has taken the better part of one year.

Instead of putting a box at the top of the form that allows the business owner to indicate “No Change,” the business owner must fill out a new form. This hasn’t been a problem in past years since most business owners know their business addresses, phone numbers, and who sits on their Corporate Board of Directors, if they have one.

Perhaps all of the new state employees working at the Secretary of State’s office haven’t receive the basic Forms 1A training they needed.

The Sacramento Bee reported today[7] the secretary of state’s office has a six-week business-registration backlog. “It’s the kind of story that out-of-state business poachers, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, use to kick dirt on California’s business climate. Similar business transactions in the Lone Star State take less than a week.”

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