November 25, 2009
Management Contracts Awarded for License Offices in Branson, Cabool, Hermitage, Louisiana & St. Louis
JEFFERSON CITY - Five more local license and motor vehicle offices have had their management contracts awarded through a reformed bidding process that was implemented by Gov. Jay Nixon.
"The reforms accomplished since the beginning of the year have opened up a process that used to be secretive and highly political," Gov. Nixon said. "Under the new system, anyone is allowed to bid to run an office, and the winning bid is awarded to those that emphasize customer service, financial stability and a good office location."
The five offices awarded today are in Branson, Cabool, Hermitage, Louisiana and St. Louis. All of the offices will remain at their current locations, except Cabool.
Bidders have the option of returning a portion of the office's revenues to the state. One of this week's winning bidders will return some of their revenues. The estimated amount of money that will be returned to the state in the first contract year from the 147 offices that have been awarded so far under the new bidding process is $776,371.
The Branson License Office has been awarded to Barbara Ghan, doing business as BT Express. Davis' bid was one of two submitted. Ghan, of Republic, has been the interim agent since 2008, and she was also recently named as the agent for the Branson West (Lakeview) License Office. The Branson office is located in Cedar Ridge Plaza at 1447-C State Highway 248. A 1.5 percent ($2,889) return to the state was included in the bid.
Gregory Financial Services, Inc. of Cabool will be the new agent for the Cabool License Office. The corporation is associated with Scott A. Gregory and Theresa Lewis-Gregory of Cabool. The Gregorys operate a tax/accounting and office supply business in Cabool. The license office, which has been closed since Nov. 12 due to the retirement of the former agent, will move from its former location of 348-D Ozark Ave. The new office will be at 519 Spruce Ave. The winning bid was one of two submitted, and no return to the state was included in the bid.
The Hermitage License Office will continue to be operated by Hickory County Farm Bureau Services, Inc. The local Farm Bureau affiliate has been the agent since 1976, and it submitted the only bid. No return to the state was included in the proposal. The office is located at 504 W. Highway 54.
The City of Louisiana, which has operated the Louisiana License Office since 1982, will continue to be the agent for the office. The city submitted the only bid for the office, which is located at City Hall, 202 S. 3rd St., Suite 113. No return to the state was included in the bid.
The St. Louis Eastside (City Hall) License Office will continue to be operated by the City of St. Louis Collector of Revenue's Office, which has been the agent since 2000. The winning bid was one of two submitted, and no return to the state was included in the bid. The license office is located at 1200 Market St., Room 111.
Details about any changes in office operations, if any, will be announced by the agents.
Although Gov. Nixon authorized the Missouri Department of Revenue to implement the new bidding system in January, it didn't become part of state law until legislation was signed by the Governor this past summer. The new law was overwhelmingly approved by both Republican and Democratic members of the Missouri Legislature.
Of the 147 offices awarded so far, 83 have gone to incumbents or groups associated with incumbent agents. Sixty-four of the offices have been awarded to new agents. Of the 183 total offices, bidding has closed on 181, and two remain open. For a list of winning bidders for license offices, please go to http://oa.mo.gov/purch/awardedfeeoffices.pdf.
Alana M. Barragán-Scott, director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, said the goal of the reformed system is to spark innovation by opening up the process to more people.
"With more groups and people bidding, there will be new ideas on how to improve customer service and make the offices more efficient," she said. "Even when an incumbent agent is awarded an office, that agent has had to face the possibility of competition for the right to run an office, and the agent has had to re-examine how it provides service to area citizens."
All local license offices provide services that are overseen by the Department of Revenue, but each office is operated by an independent contractor. Transactions that are conducted at these offices include the issuance and renewal of driver licenses, issuance of titles for motor vehicles, and the issuance and renewal of registration for motor vehicles, boats and outboard motors.
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