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Outages plague secretary of state's revamped business filing system

Riley Snyder
Riley Snyder
EconomyIndyBlog
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A long-planned update to the Secretary of State’s online business portal has resulted in sporadic outages and ongoing difficulties with accessing business records and information.

Over the past few days, visitors to the official website of Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske have been greeted with a red banner stating that the office has been “experiencing intermittent outages with the SilverFlume online business portal,” the online software used by the state for business registrations and other commercial recordings.

According to Deputy Secretary for Commercial Recordings Kimberley Perondi, the outages began after the launch of the state’s new business processing system on July 18. The office had shut down all commercial filing services between July 12 and 18 to prepare for the rollout of the upgraded system, which has been in the works since funding for the upgrade was approved in the 2015 legislative session.

A Nevada attorney, however, said the Secretary of State’s Office didn’t provide much prior notice about the rollout of the new system, throwing firms into a frenzy when they were unable to complete transactions such as forming new corporations or merging companies. Problems persisted through much of this week, but the attorney, who asked not to be identified, said site functionality appeared to be better Friday.

Perondi said that after the launch, the secretary of state’s office had discovered several bugs and issues with the updated software that caused intermittent freezes and difficulty accessing or filing information or documents. She stressed that all business filing services were still available at the secretary of state’s physical office locations in Carson City and Las Vegas and that the office was working to restore the system to full capacity as soon as possible to stave off having businesses decide to register in other states with easy registration requirements such as Delaware.

“This is really only three days or four days old, so I certainly hope that’s not the case,” she said. “We will do whatever we need to do to provide good customer service. Unfortunately with online projects, this is sometimes the case.”

According to a press release announcing the update to SilverFlume, the new system allows for “improved and easy to use forms, step-by-step workflows, a progress bar, a ‘save for later’ option, expanded search capabilities and online help,” plus online copies services, notary, trademark and Universal Commercial Code filings. 

Perondi said the new system expanded the number and types of business filings available through the online portal, but that many would remain inaccessible until the internal issues were resolved.

Several law firms contacted by The Nevada Independent confirmed they were experiencing issues with the online portal but declined to comment further.

This story was updated at 11:05 a.m. July 26, 2019, to include comments from an attorney.

Jackie Valley contributed to this report.

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