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City auditor: Issues surrounding searches of state database resolved

I-TEAM uncovered initial audit reports during 2017 investigation

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Two follow-up audits by the city of Jacksonville's council auditor have found that issues surrounding city employees' use of a state database of confidential personal information have been resolved, two years after audits initially uncovered the issues.

In 2017, the I-TEAM reported on questionable searches of the state's DAVID system, a database that contains driver's license numbers, home addresses, license plates, Social Security numbers, driving histories and driver's license photos. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles oversees the database, which is used by law enforcement and government agencies at the state and local level - more than 900 agencies statewide have access.

As the I-TEAM looked into questionable use of the DAVID system, we discovered two reports by the council auditor, one looking into its use by the Duval County Clerk of Court's office and another looking into use at the city's Neighborhoods Department.

WATCH OUR 2017 REPORT: I-TEAM: Unauthorized searches made on state database

The audit into the clerk of court's usage found one of the office's employees had misused the system, performing 25 searches on eight individuals, including themselves, which appeared to be unauthorized. After these searches were uncovered, the employee's access was terminated. The auditor's report also found activity wasn't regularly monitored, there was a lack of evidence of quarterly quality control reviews, access permissions for former employees weren't removed in a timely manner and system administrators had more access than was necessary. The May 2019 follow-up audit found all five of the issues identified in the original audit had been resolved.

The initial audit into use at the Neighborhoods department found two issues. The audit found the department's employees used the DAVID system in connection with the application process for ice cream truck permits. While that was considered a legitimate business use, it was not specified in the department's agreement with the state, which outlined use in connection with code enforcement work. The report also found quality control reviews were not being done quarterly. When the auditor's office tried to follow up on the audit this year, it learned the Neighborhoods department had stopped using the DAVID system in 2017.

If you would like to find out if you have been searched on DAVID, you can submit a public records request via email to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Send your email to DAVIDPublicRecordRequest@flhsmv.gov, and be sure to include your full name, driver's license number and the time period you wish to request. Keep in mind, your request can only include a time period dating back four years.

VIDEO: How to find out if you've been searched

Depending on your request, there may be a fee associated in order to pay for the time it takes to process your request. The agency will notify you of any fees before fulfilling your request. It's the same fee the I-TEAM had to pay in order to have requests processed in connection with our original 2017 investigation.