After court ruling, Georgia reopens state driver license bid process

SSN Staff  - 
Thursday, December 30, 2004

December 30, 2004

ATLANTA - The Superior Court of Fulton County, based here, has disallowed a contract awarded to Viisage to update the state’ driver license, finding the evaluation process was improperly handled by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicle Services and the Georgia Technology Authority.
The court decision overturns a $20-million contract initially awarded to Viisage to digitize the state’s drivers license systems. The state had requested bids to update its digitized drivers’ license system in May 2002, and three companies submitted bids for the contract: Digimarc ID System, the incumbent provider since 1996, Viisage and SoftLead.
Viisage won the contract, and Digimarc sued to terminate the deal claiming an unfair selection process.
As a result of the ruling, the state will reopen the bidding process. The court decided the bidding should begin over, instead of basing any approvals on earlier submissions, because of technology advancements since 2002.
The court found the Department of Motor Vehicle Services and the Georgia Technology Authority prematurely opened price proposals and inappropriately contacted Viisage during the evaluation process.
This year, Viisage entered into an agreement with the Department of Motor Vehicle Services and the Georgia Technology Authority, agreeing to end the contact under a $2.5-million settlement. The amount included the sale by Viisage of $500,000 worth of equipment.
The court also ruled the state does not have to pay $2 million of the settlement to Viisage. The court found any payment to Viisage would be an unfair advantage in the re-bid process. Viisage issued a statement disagreeing with the ruling, saying it intends to appeal.