HARTFORD, CT — A business executive who has served with Fortune 100 companies is Gov. Ned Lamont’s choice to serve as the next commissioner of the much-maligned Department of Motor Vehicles.
Sibongile “Bongi” Magubane of Hartford will begin serving as the commissioner-designate on April 1. Her nomination will be sent to the General Assembly for its approval.
Lamont was critical of the DMV on the campaign trail. He joked during a debate: “You walk into DMV a Democrat, you leave a Republican.”
He said he wants to make sure the agency is responsive to drivers and one way to do that is through technology upgrades.
“For many residents, the DMV is the face of state government — it is an office that virtually every adult needs to interact with and for far too long it has been overly bureaucratic, arduous, and — quite frankly — operating in the 21st century while relying on 20th century processes,” Lamont said. “We need a fresh approach with this agency — one that prioritizes convenience, ease, and reliability for customers, while also delivering efficiency and cost effectiveness for its administrative needs.”
Magubane currently serves as human resources director of Specialty Transportation, a contractor of the Hartford Board of Education that is responsible for providing transportation to the school district’s students.
Her expertise is in technology. The DMV under former Commissioner Andres Ayala included the failed roll-out of a $26 million computer upgrade that involved long delays in 2015, and one year later erroneously revoked the registration of hundreds of thousands of motorists.
Magubane, who recently resigned stepped down as president of the West End Civic Association, is known in the business community for her years of service working at Aetna, first from 1979 to 1994, and then again from 2000 to 2011. She most recently served as the company’s head of information technology strategic planning and was responsible for key components of the enterprise management process that enabled the company’s information technology systems to deliver business capabilities, including technology platforms for critical enterprise functions.
Magubane earned such a prominent reputation in the business community that The Network Journal, a national publication for minority professionals and business people, named her one of the 25 most influential black women in business.
Earlier this month, Lamont introduced legislation that extends the period of time between driver’s license renewals from six years to eight years and the time between registration renewals from two years to three years. He is also proposing to make adjustments that will allow residents in certain situations to “skip a trip” to a DMV office by allowing them to renew their licenses remotely.
“As a lifelong resident of Connecticut, I look forward to restoring confidence in the DMV. We will improve customer service and efficiency by listening to citizens, seeking new solutions, and working closely with all state agencies,” Magubane said.
Lamont still needs to appoint commissioners to the Department of Social Services, Education, and Agriculture.