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September 03, 2009

Management Contracts Awarded for Bethany, Creve Coeur, Marshfield, Palmyra, Steelville & Warsaw License Offices

JEFFERSON CITY - A new competitive bidding process put into place by Gov. Jay Nixon has been used to select the agents for six more local motor vehicle/license offices.

The offices awarded today are in Bethany, Creve Coeur, Marshfield, Palmyra, Steelville and Warsaw.  This brings to 75 the total number of offices granted under the new system.

Debra J. Kinnison of Ridgeway will operate the license office in Bethany.  Ms. Kinnison, who has previous experience working in business and at Graceland University, is a new agent for the office.  The location of the office will remain at 4114 Miller St.

Alternative Opportunities, Inc. of Springfield has been awarded the Creve Coeur License Office.  The not-for-profit-corporation, which provides employment services and assistance to young people, the disabled and families in crisis, is a new agent for the office.  The location of the office will remain the same - 12943 Olive Street Rd. 

The Marshfield Public Schools Foundation, which contributes to services that benefit local students, is the new agent for the Marshfield License Office.  The location of the office will stay at 101 E. Jefferson St.

Larry Markley of Hannibal is the new agent for the Palmyra License Office.  Mr. Markley has a variety of experience in business and with the U.S. Army.  The office will remain inside the Marion County Courthouse at 100 S. Main St.

The Steelville License Office will continue to be operated by Cynthia R. Brinkman of Steelville.  Ms. Brinkman has been the office agent since 2008.  The office will remain at 207 W. Main St.

Wanda Brown of Lincoln has been awarded the right to operate the Warsaw License Office. Ms. Brown has been the office agent since 2005, and the office will stay at 237 W. Main St.

Details about any changes in office operations, if any, will be announced by the agents.

The six offices awarded today are the latest to have their management chosen using a comprehensive bidding process that was implemented when Gov. Nixon took office on Jan. 12.  The process calls for people or groups to submit detailed bids to obtain the management contracts to operate the offices.  The Palmyra License Office received one bid; Bethany, Marshfield, Steelville and Warsaw each received two bids; and Creve Coeur received six bids.

This new process was codified in state law when Gov. Nixon signed legislation on July 1 that made the new system a permanent part of state law.  The bill endorsing the change passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in the Missouri Senate and House.

"This new system takes the politics out of the system," Gov. Nixon said. "In addition, those bidding on the offices have an incentive to improve customer service since better customer service plans will more likely result in a winning bid."

Alana M. Barragán-Scott, acting director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, also noted that accountability of local license offices will increase.

"In the past, office agents had no incentive to improve their operations because they knew their status would not change as long as their political benefactors were in power," she said.  "Under the new system, however, incumbent agents can't be complacent because they are likely to have competition to manage the offices.  The result will be that both incumbent office agents and new bidders will compete to discover new ways to increase office efficiency and improve how customers are treated."

Some winning bidders have chosen to return part of their estimated office revenues to the state.  The Creve Coeur License Office will return 5 percent ($15,722) of its first-year revenues, Marshfield will return 4 percent ($7,007), Palmyra will return 1 percent ($586), Steelville will return one-half of 1 percent ($222), and Warsaw will return one-half of 1 percent ($583).  There was no return to the state bid from the Bethany proposal.  The cumulative amount of estimated funds that will be returned to the state in the first contract year from the 75 license offices that have been awarded so far is $473,598.

"The willingness of agents to return some of their revenues is a great cost-efficiency measure for the state, and the amount returned to the state will undoubtedly grow as more bids are awarded," Barragán-Scott said.  "This money, once kept as profits by office operators, will now be able to be used for a variety of vital state services."

Of the 183 license offices, 75 have been awarded and the bidding time has closed for another 83.  For a list of winning bidders for license offices, please go to http://oa.mo.gov/purch/awardedfeeoffices.pdf.

All local license offices provide services that are overseen by the Missouri 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, applying for titles for motor vehicles, and the issuance and renewal of registration for motor vehicles, boats and outboard motors.

Additional information on the bids will be posted by the Missouri Office of Administration within the next few days.