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HHS Inspector General Reports on Healthcare.gov Spending

In the wake of the troubled launch of the Federal Marketplace for health insurance, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for Health and Human Services (HHS) is reviewing the planning, acquisition, management, and performance oversight of the contracts associated with the effort as well as aspects of Federal Marketplace Operations. The first in a series of reports on the findings of the review was released in August 2014.

On December 10, 2013, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2009 to 2014, issued a letter to the department's Inspector General. The letter requested review of several aspects of the contracting process including:

  • the acquisition process for the contracts that supported the October 1st launch,
  • contractor selection, contract administration, and project management of the development of Healthcare.gov,
  • contractor performance, supervision of the development contracts, and payments to contractors throughout the process, and
  • whether contract specification were met.

Between January 2009 and January 2014, some sixty different contracts started work on the development and operations for the Federal Marketplace. One third of the contracts started before 2012. Just over one third of the contracts started during 2012. Most of the remaining began in 2013, and a single contract started in 2014. These contracts covered a range of goods and services including health benefit data collection, consumer research, cloud computing, and website development.

OIG found that the development of the Federal Marketplace primarily leveraged two types of contracts: fixed-price and cost-reimbursement. In the former, the contractor assumes the risk of cost overruns. In the latter, the government carries the cost overrun risks (as far as prescribed in the contract). This is worth noting because combined obligations for the federal marketplace grew from $86 million in September 2011 to over $294 million in February 2014. This rise was related to cost increases, schedule delays, and lagging system functionality related to changing requirements. With contract values spanning from under $700,000 to over $200 million, the original value of these contract totaled $1.7 billion. Through February 2014, one third of these contracts exceeded the estimated value of the awards. Over ten percent of those contracts surpassed the estimated value in excess of 100 percent.

Not long before HHS OIG released its first report on the review, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a study on Healthcare.gov that had been requested by Congress. GAO's study assessed selected contracts from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for acquisition planning, oversight of cost and schedule, system capability changes, and actions to regarding contactor performance. Among other things, GAO recommended that CMS take immediate actions to assess ballooning contract costs and that required oversight tools be used.

This first report from HHS's Inspector General offers an overview of the contracts such as basic financial information. HHS OIG reports from additional, ongoing reviews related to contract procurement and oversight are expected in 2014 and 2015. These reports will offer more detailed analysis, findings, and recommendations.

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Originally published in the GovWin FIA Analysts Perspectives Blog. Follow me on Twitter @FIAGovWin .

 

Spending on GSA’s Email-as-a-Service BPA

In last week’s post we took a look at lackluster spending on the GSA’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service BPAs.  This week’s post provides some analysis of spending on the GSA’s sister vehicle to the IaaS BPA, the Email-as-a-Service (EaaS) BPA.  With a ceiling value of $2.5 billion, the EaaS BPA was awarded to 20 vendors at the end of August 2012.  Unlike its IaaS predecessor, the EaaS vehicle was established at a time when the federal cloud computing market had already begun taking shape.  Federal agencies had awarded cloud contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars in fiscal 2011 and 2012 and the GSA sought to get in on the action.  Many agencies identified email as one of the simplest systems to move to the cloud and so the GSA put together a vehicle that would facilitate the expansion of cloud-based email across government.  The $2.5 billion ceiling of the vehicle offers an indication of how much work the GSA expected to flow through the EaaS BPA.

Despite the optimistic projections, use of the EaaS contracts was not forthcoming.  As the most recent data below shows, federal government customers have largely ignored the BPAs.
  • Commerce - $975K
  • Smithsonian Institution - $17K
  • Treasury - $13K
Impressive, eh?  Since their inception at the tail end of FY 2012, three federal agencies have obligated a grand total of $1 million on the contracts.  Arranged by vendor this spending works out as follows.
  • Unisys - $975K
  • Onix Networking - $30K
The obligations to Unisys are related to the installation and maintenance of a unified messaging system for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The obligations to Onix Networking are for the Smithsonian and Treasury cloud-based email projects.
 
How does spending on the GSA EaaS vehicles stack up against the overall adoption of cloud-based email/messaging systems across the federal government?  Regular readers may remember the chart from a June post entitled Cloud Trends: Feds Buy Communications and Collaboration Solutions which showed that since fiscal 2010, federal agencies have implemented 27 instances of cloud-based email/bundled communications.
 
What I didn’t provide in the June post is a dollar value for these implementations.  That total, based on awarded contract value, not obligations, is $2.8 billion.  Anyone see the irony in this figure?  The ceiling value of GSA’s EaaS BPAs is $2.5 billion and agencies have awarded contracts worth $2.8 billion.  It turns out the GSA wasn’t far off in its estimate of market demand.  The trouble for the GSA vehicle is that federal customers went elsewhere to procure the service.
 
Why they chose not to use the EaaS BPAs is a mystery.  In part, a lack of awareness of the vehicles is probably to blame.  The ubiquitous availability of cloud-based email via other procurement avenues is likely another factor contributing to the lack of use.  For example, since FY 2010 agencies have used GSA’s IT 70 schedule to award contracts for email/bundled communications solutions totaling $2.5 billion in value.  Contracts totaling an additional $200 million in value for these solutions have been competed and awarded on an unrestricted basis over that span of time.  For the EaaS BPA this total is $2 million.  Remember, this figure is contract award value, not obligations, explaining its difference from the $1 million mentioned above.  Even using awarded contact value as a measurement the conclusion is the same – very little money is flowing through the EaaS BPAs.
 
What this data tells me is that overworked and understaffed agency contracting shops use the easiest, most available avenue for procurement.  In this case that avenue is GSA’s Schedule IT 70.  Notice that full and open competitions are second in line.  Given the fact that almost every vendor has an IT 70 schedule, I see those competitions as roughly the same as unrestricted competitions.
 
In conclusion it is easy to see why no one uses the EaaS BPAs – they don’t provide advantages over other potential procurement options.  In competing and awarding BPAs for an emerging technology all the GSA did was attempt to split off work that is easily available on its standard schedule.  In doing so they cost vendors precious bid and proposal dollars that could have been put to better use elsewhere.  Finally, note that GSA is now proposing a new Special Item Number (SIN) to help agencies acquire cloud services on IT 70.  It seems the agency has also noted the use of its standard IT schedule in preference to its cloud specialty vehicles.

Lackluster Spending on GSA’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service BPA

 

Remember back in 2010 when the cloud computing hype-cycle was shifting into high gear?  Articles appeared every day describing the benefits of moving to the cloud, industry partners anticipated high agency demand, and then federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, announced his 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT Management.  Based on Kundra’s plan, the Office of Management and Budget mandated that agencies move 3 systems to the cloud.  This motivated the GSA to spend time, money, and effort putting a Blanket Purchase Agreement in place for vendor-provided Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions.  By all indications the great migration was off and running.  Analysts projected the swell of cloud adoption would become a wave and the wave a white-topped crest that drove federal IT into a new paradigm of utility-based computing, unlimited scalability, and vastly increased savings.

This is what was supposed to happen.  The reality is that agencies dragged their feet and the cloud wave evaporated into puddles that dotted the federal technology landscape.  Among the flotsam and jetsam littering the market shoreline was GSA’s IaaS BPA.  Once anticipated to be THE way that agencies entered the cloud, the IaaS BPA became instead just another little used contract vehicle with poor ROI for the GSA.  You can’t fault GSA for trying to capitalize on a trend.  After all, as an agency driven by the fees it collects from government customers, it was doing what any investor does – try to front-run the market.  Alas, the data below showing spending on the vehicle has been the result.

  • DHS - $2.7M
  • DOE - $579K
  • NEH - $124K
  • Labor - $13K
  • DOJ - $11

By my calculations, federal customers have awarded cloud contracts worth approximately $24 billion since fiscal 2010.  In comparison, 5 agencies have obligated a total of $3.4 million on GSA’s IaaS BPA.  Prefer to compare spending to spending and not to TCV?  According to OMB’s data federal agencies spent $2.1 billion on cloud computing in fiscal 2012.  This number rose to $2.3 billion in fiscal 2013.  By any measurement the amount of money obligated for cloud solutions on the IaaS BPA has been very, very low.  The numbers break out as follows by vendor over the same period of time.

  • CGI Federal - $3.3M
  • Autonomic Resources - $124K
  • AT&T - $13K
  • Verizon - $11K

CGI Federal’s earnings have come from hosting Department of Energy and Department of Homeland Security data, while Autonomic Resources’ earnings from a single hosting project at the National Endowment of Humanities.  Curiously, both AT&T and Verizon won business providing cloud-based mobile telephony services for the Department of Labor and Department of Justice, respectively.

It’s anyone’s guess why spending on the IaaS BPAs has been so low.  Deltek’s cloud contracts data shows that from FY 2010 through FY 2014, federal customers have awarded IaaS contracts worth close to $13 billion dollars.  Most of these contracts have been awarded via Full and Open ($11 billion), GSA IT 70 ($299 million), and Alliant Large Business ($249 million) competitions.  It’s clear that agency customers prefer to compete cloud infrastructure contracts on their own using more expensive unrestricted competitions and other acquisition avenues provided by GSA.  Therefore, the problem with the IaaS BPAs can’t be too high a fee structure.  It can’t cost more to compete contracts unrestricted than to compete them via a BPA, can it?

My guess is that most agency contracting shops simply aren’t aware that the IaaS BPA is available.  In the end they’ve chosen to use the methods they know best and the contracts that are most familiar.  This conclusion is reinforced by the similarly poor use of GSA’s Software-as-a-Service BPA for email.  Spending on it too has been lackluster, but I’ll save this tale for next week.

Cloud Spending on GSA’s Alliant Large and Small Business Contracts

Last week’s post provided a brief analysis of spending on cloud products and services procured through four Army-specific contract vehicles.  This week expands the view a bit to examine spending on cloud services through the General Services Administration’s massive Alliant Large and Small Business Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts, or GWACS.

Since their inception in fiscal 2009, federal agencies have obligated more than $8.6 billion for IT services through the Alliant GWACs.  Procurements for cloud services over that time span total more than $199 million (2.3%) of this spending.  Two-plus percent isn’t a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but it is a significant start considering that the broad adoption of cloud services by federal agencies didn’t really begin until fiscal 2011.  Nit-pickers are asked to keep in mind that “broad adoption” is a relative term used here to denote growth in government cloud spending from practically nothing in FY 2009 to nearly $1 billion overall in total awarded contract value in FY 2011.

Returning to spending on cloud services that has gone through the Alliant vehicles specifically, the chart below provides a look at the available data sorted by fiscal year.


As we can see, spending on cloud services jumped significantly in fiscal 2011, establishing a pattern of overall higher annual spending per year that continues to this day.  In fact, with data for the Department of Defense still trickling in for Q2, it looks like fiscal 2014 will end up seeing the highest spending on cloud services ever through the Alliant vehicles.  This spending breaks down as follows in the large vs. small business contracts.


Surprised?  I was.  The talk in industry circles holds that government customers often issue market research for cloud procurements to Alliant large businesses and then compete the respective contracts to Alliant small businesses.  The chart above demonstrates, however, that much more money goes through the Alliant Large Business vehicle than Alliant Small Business.

How did this spending break out by agency?  As the chart below shows, both Defense and Civilian market sector customers make use of the Alliant GWACs.  The EPA’s spending here is the Central Data Exchange (CDX) program, which is in the process of integrating cloud computing concepts and strategies to gain operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and increase agility.


Finally, slicing the data by vendor, we see that CGI Federal has been the biggest earner on Alliant.  This isn’t surprising given that it is the prime for the EPA’s CDX Program.  An interesting trend worth nothing is the weighting on the chart of large vs. small businesses.  The top six vendors on the left of the chart are all large businesses while ActioNet, Phacil, Quality Technology, SBD Alliant, Janus Research Group, and AAC are all Alliant small businesses.  Intermingled with them are Booz Allen Hamilton and Verizon, which owns Federal Network Systems.


So, what does this data tell us?  It says that cloud spending on the Alliant GWACs is growing.  In this sense it mirrors overall growth in the procurement of cloud services across the federal government.  When compared to other data on the cloud market that FIA has provided elsewhere (see our
Report on Cloud, Data Center Consolidation, Big Data, and Mobility), the Alliant data also tells us that agencies are relying on Alliant to procure cloud services in conjunction with several other acquisition approaches, including unrestricted and GSA IT 70 competitions.  In short, striving to position cloud offerings on GWACs like the Alliant II follow-on should be part of every vendor’s business development strategy.  Federal customers will look to Alliant II for the cloud solutions they need.  The question is will your company be positioned to compete when they come knocking.

 

Deltek Pulse: Health and human services month in review, June 2014

The month of June saw people across the country kicking off the summer with long-anticipated and consistently warm weather. As the temperatures increased, Deltek’s health and human services team also saw a dramatic rise in the overall number of solicitations released in June across states and localities. According to GovWin IQ’s State and Local Opportunities database, 1,709 new solicitations with health care or social services as a primary vertical were released, which is up from May’s 1,170. With the end of FY 2014 in many states and localities, it seems likely that governments are beginning the FY 2015 contracting cycle with a bang.

The word cloud below represents the most common words among June’s solicitations. Unsurprisingly, this month’s common words match fairly closely with May’s; however, noticeably absent in June was the prevalent mention of “insurance.” It seems likely that states that were procuring for additional services and fixes related to their health insurance exchanges have concluded procurements.

 

As one can see from the map below, California and Texas again topped the list of most solicitation releases, while the majority of the country also saw an increase in solicitations. Notably, Virginia, Florida and North Carolina all saw dramatic increases in the number of procurements.

 

Notable Opportunities

  • The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for All-Payer Model Analytics and Reporting.
  • The Vermont Department of Vermont Health Access released an RFP for a Medicaid Management Information System that includes Software Design, Development and Implementation, and ongoing Technical Support and Medicaid Operations Services.
  • The Hawaii Department of Health released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Planning Services for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program.

You can learn more about the above projects in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

 

Deltek Pulse: Health and human services month in review, April 2014

As the nation thawed out from one of the most brutal winters in modern memory, Deltek’s Health and Human Services Team also felt a significant uptick in activity across the states in April. Even casual observers of national news heard that enrollment in health insurance through a government exchange ended in March, and the Obama Administration immediately claimed victory, touting enrollments above its 7 million people goal.

Most recently we saw the government release demographic data for enrollees, including age and race, but information key to understanding the law’s success or lack thereof has yet to be released. Specifically, we’re awaiting data on how many enrollees were previously uninsured, how many enrollees are paying their premiums, and what effect the new population will have on current insurance premiums.

However, this national preoccupation with the political and practical ramifications of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) did not distract states from making some progress with a number of health and human services projects. In April, state and local governments released more than 900 health and human services opportunities. The word cloud below represents the frequency of terms found in those solicitations.

As one can see from the map below, California accounts for 11 percent of the total opportunities released in April. Texas, Virginia and Maryland also released a large number of health and human services solicitations.

Notable Opportunities

  • The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (HIX) released an RFP for independent verification and validation (IV&V) services for the state’s HIX. After a failed state-based exchange, Maryland is now transferring the Deloitte solution used by the state of Connecticut. The IV&V opportunity focuses on the transfer effort. Proposals are due by May 16.
  • The Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development released an RFP for maintenance and support of its unemployment insurance online system. Proposals are due by May 23.
  • The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services awarded a contract to Scientific Technologies Corporation on April 23 for an immunization information system

Analyst’s Take

An uptick in procurements will likely continue until the end of the fiscal year, which is June for many states. As election season heats up in the coming months, we are looking for heightened polarization of rhetoric by candidates and officeholders alike. Nowhere will this polarization be more evident than in discussions regarding the future of health insurance exchanges, Medicaid expansion, and the success of the ACA. Though debate will heat up, it is unlikely that any major policy changes will occur until after the November midterm elections.

GovWin IQ subscribers can read further about these projects in the provided links. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.  

 

Deltek Pulse: Justice/public safety and homeland security month in review, February 2014

The most common terms appearing in justice/public safety and homeland security solicitations during February were camera/surveillance, radio and fire alarm. The below maps provide information on where solicitations were released during the month. 

  • Number of public safety bids: 1,117
  • Top three states (by number of solicitations released): California (122), Pennsylvania (93) and Virginia (68)
  • Keywords: camera/surveillance, radio and fire alarm

Frequency of terms

  • Surveillance: 40 (13 state; 27 local)
  • Radio: 20 (eight state; 12 local)
  • 911: 4 (zero state; four local)

The below graph provides information on the break-down of the types of entities purchasing justice and public safety technologies.

 

Trends

  • Very few projects were awarded in February; however, numerous solicitations were released.
  • Several localities decided not to release solicitations for projects, particularly radio system projects, in favor of utilizing existing contracts. Franklin County, Ohio, decided to upgrade using its current Motorola radio system, and the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority executed a rider on Prince George’s County’s contract with Motorola. The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management also decided not to release a solicitation for its computer-aided dispatch upgrade project as the upgrade will be sole-sourced to Tiburon.
  • A significant number of solicitations were released for consulting or planning opportunities, particularly for larger, statewide opportunities.

Notable projects

Analyst’s Take

February was a busy month at the state level, with many solicitations released – 60 more than the 1,057 released in January. Many of the solicitations were for large-scale, multi-step projects finally coming to fruition. Included in this is Massachusetts’ re-release of its next generation 911 products and services solicitation. This project was originally released in October 2013, but was canceled in December due to concerns by vendors over their ability to meet the expectations established in the RFR. The scope of work has been revised to address these concerns.

Another large procurement is the state of New Hampshire’s statewide radio system functionality and interoperability study and report. The state currently uses a VHF P25 compliant system and is looking to upgrade it. The winning consultant will be charged with completing a report on the state of the current radio system as well as providing recommendations on how to update the system. It is expected that the timeframe for both of these projects will be longer than average due to their complex nature. These and the other large projects released and updated in February have been in the works for months or, in many cases, years. It is expected that numerous updates and addenda will be released as these projects move through the solicitation process in an effort to avoid having to put the project completely on hold, like the Massachusetts 911 project. Vendors are encouraged to ask questions and attend all of the associated solicitation events, particularly site visits, to gain as much information about these projects as possible prior to submitting proposals. All vendors, even those who are not able to bid on consulting and planning portions, should pay attention to solicitation activity. By tracking consulting portions, vendors can gain an understanding of state processes as well as the scope of the project they may one day bid on.

GovWin IQ subscribers can read further about these projects in the provided links. Non-subscribers can gain access with a GovWin IQ free trial.

 

 

Are Feds Struggling to Move to the Cloud?

A report on cloud adoption in the federal government has been getting attention recently.  Entitled The Road Ahead: Three Years after Cloud First, the survey-based report found that since the announcement of former Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra’s Cloud First initiative in 2011, federal agencies have struggled to implement cloud computing.  As evidence one slide in particular shows that “just ten percent [of agencies] have migrated more than half of their IT portfolio to the cloud.”  Common roadblocks to adoption, survey respondents said, include a lack of staff necessary to execute agency cloud strategies and a lengthy procurement process that hinders cloud adoption.

As someone who keeps a close eye on the federal cloud market, I have to admit I wasn’t surprised by the findings.  The halting nature of agency movement to the cloud has been well documented in my posts and inreports on the federal cloud market published by the Federal Industry Analysis team.  This said, however, the picture of federal cloud adoption presented in The Road Ahead shows several disconnects between the respondents and the available data.

For example, although 49% of survey respondents said they’d moved less than 10% of their IT portfolio to the cloud, 51% of respondents said that they’d moved 11% or more of their agency’s IT portfolio to the cloud.  I found this reassuring.  It tells me that agencies are moving to the cloud as quickly as they feel comfortable making the transition.  Could they move faster?  Of course, but we need to remember who we are talking about here.  Federal agencies operate within a risk-averse environment, but early cloud mandates forced them to move quickly and without well-laid plans.  A measured pace was called for and now that they are approaching cloud on a broader scale they have the opportunity to accelerate adoption.  In addition, it’s worth noting that most agencies don’t have the goal of moving 50% or more of their IT portfolio to the cloud.  In the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy published in 2011, agencies reported that, in aggregate, only 25% of the $80B in OMB-reported IT spending was even appropriate for the cloud.  So, as agencies gather momentum they’ll be able to have more informed conversations about the cloud and this is good news for industry.

Turning to the lack of staff needed to execute cloud strategy, this is a valid concern.  Hiring freezes, retirements, and staffing cuts have had an impact on agency IT operations across the board.  But this isn’t bad news for the market as agencies are turning to vendors for help.  Here at Deltek we classify cloud efforts into several categories.  These include consulting efforts we call “cloud enabling” and “cloud strategy.”  Cloud enabling efforts involve engineering/design to make systems and applications ready for migration to the cloud.  Since FY 2009 approximately 10% of the efforts we’ve identified could be classified as cloud enabling, and this doesn’t count many of the almost 300 other efforts we classify as “pure cloud,” (i.e., actual migrations or purchases of cloud-based capabilities) that include cloud enabling type work.  Add another 21 cloud strategy efforts in which vendors are assisting agencies with developing cloud strategies and what we have is a complex picture of a market in transition.

Survey respondents also mentioned a procurement bottleneck.  Here again there seems to be a disconnect between the survey responses and the data.  Without a doubt the overall IT procurement model leaves a lot to be desired.  However, contracting shops still found ways to award cloud contracts valued at more than $20 billion dollars from FY 2009 to FY 2013.

I am bullish on the prospects for the federal cloud market because the data tells me the market is growing.  To reinforce the point here are a few statistics:
  • To date, 48 agencies have acquired or are actively procuring a cloud service.  Of these 48 agencies 30 have engaged in 3 or more cloud efforts, this includes the Department of Defense and associated Military Departments.
  • 126 cloud efforts have been private cloud deployments, whether in a private government or commercial cloud.  This compares with 85 deployments in commercial clouds and 213 efforts where the deployment type could not be identified.  These statistics reinforce findings in The Road Ahead that agencies are moving mostly to private clouds.
  • Concerning how agencies are using the cloud, five areas stick out in particular:
    • 45 efforts identified have been/are for data center services, basically hosting and computing services.
    • 34 efforts have been/are for software development, essentially development and testing environments.
    • 28 efforts have been/are for email, yet this is primarily what we hear about in the media.
    • 27 efforts are for content and data management, including database hosting, content management systems, archiving, etc.
    • 25 efforts have been for cyber security purposes, including identity access management, network access management, and continuous monitoring.

The future looks bright too.  Deltek’s cloud forecast projects that the federal cloud market will grow almost threefold from $2.2 billion in FY 2014 to $6.15 billion in FY 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18%.  Our data shows that agencies are actively engaging industry partners to develop cloud strategies and implement solutions that make even greater use of cloud computing in the future.  Barring any extreme setback like a massive data breach or catastrophic failure of a cloud hosting facility, I’d expect to see agencies accelerate their adoption of cloud solutions.  This can only be good news for industry and agencies alike.

 

Deltek pulse: Health care/social services January review

The first month of the 2014 saw an influx of health care and social service solicitation, approximately 150 more than in December 2013. In January, the health and human services team saw the release of nearly 750 solicitations with either health care or social services as a primary vertical. The word cloud below represents the frequency of terms in those solicitations.

As one can see from the below map, California, Texas, and Virginia saw the largest number of health and human services related solicitations, while the state of Wyoming had no related activity. Alaska released three solicitations and Hawaii released twelve.

Notable Opportunities

  • The District of Columbia Department of Health Care Finance released a request for information (RFI) for a Medicaid management information system (MMIS) case management solution on January 8, 2014. The existing MMIS case management Solution, CaseNET, is independent of the MMIS, but shares the MMIS' interfaces for data related to provider, recipients, and claims.
  • Vermont canceled its integrated eligibility solution (VIEWS) design, development, and implementation request for proposals (RFP). The Agency of Human Services will revise and reissue the RFP, with an anticipated release date of March. According to Vermont's IT Strategic Plan for 2013-2018, the state estimates VIEWS to cost $115 million over 5 years.
  • The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development released an RFP on January 9, 2013 for an Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits system. The state previously released an RFP for a UI system on behalf of the Southeast Consortium.
  • The Hawaii Department of Health released an RFP on January 2, 2014, for the transfer and implementation of its Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) management information system (MIS). Proposals are due on March 14, 2014 at 4 PM.
  • The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, on behalf Mountain Plains Indian Tribal Organizations NATIONS, released an RFP on January 10, 2014 for project management during the implementation phase of a new WIC MIS. The selected vendor will also serve as the project manager for the planning and implementation of WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) services.
  • The Washington Health Care Authority released a Request for Quotes and Qualifications (RFQQ) for Medicaid Information Technology Architecture (MITA) Framework 3.0 and State Self-assessment advisory/consultative services on January 24, 2014. Proposals are due on February 24, 2014.
  • The Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange (Access Health CT) released an RFP for a Connecticut All Payer Claims Database (APCD): Data Management Contractor on January 27, 2014.
  • The Nebraska Division of Behavioral Health released an RFP for the Division of Behavioral Health Centralized Data System. Proposals are due by 2 PM on March 21, 2014.
  • The Arkansas Department of Health released an RFP for a WIC EBT project implementation contractor on January 10, 2014.
  • The Connecticut Department of Administrative Services released an RFP for a Connecticut WIC case management system on January 27, 2014. The state is looking for the procurement, transfer, and implementation of Michigan's MI-WIC case management system.

Analyst Take

January saw a slew of opportunities released in the health care and social services space, most likely due to the end of the holiday season and beginning of a new fiscal year. States are also continuing to address any continued service delays and system errors with their health insurance exchanges (HIX). Vendors needing an updated report regarding the HIX market can find a new Deltek Industry Analysis piece here. Vendors should also be on the lookout for an upcoming Deltek report on the ever evolving MMIS market, expected later this spring.

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

 

 

Deltek Pulse: General Government Services Recap December 2013

Deltek Pulse: General Government Services Recap, December 2013

Along with snow and sleet, the end of 2013 brought a flurry of procurement activity from state and local governments, with 1,226 general government solicitations with IT listed as the primary requirement released across the nation.

As the above word cloud of solicitation titles demonstrates, this month’s batch of bids has a decidedly professional services flavor, with “services,” “management,” “maintenance” and “support” all featured prominently.

Nearly one-quarter of the total bids released came out of four states: California, Texas, New York and North Carolina. Meanwhile, 10 states were responsible for more than half (700) of the total bids released in December. Six of those states (New York, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Massachusetts and Maryland) are located on the Eastern seaboard of the United States, which is typically where procurement activity is the heaviest.

Nearly 300 of the 1,200 solicitations released in December were tagged primarily or partially with the general government vertical designation, while the K-12 and higher education verticals both churned out nearly 200 solicitations each. More than 200 of the bids released under the general government vertical had justice/public safety components, while another 126 had transportation-related requirements.

Tracked Opportunity Coverage

Massachusetts is seeking to establish a new contract for IT professional services for both solution providers and technical specialists. Previously, these services were split up into two separate contracts, but high-level state IT policymakers have decided on a consolidated approach for this iteration. The state estimates the total value of this contract will approach $100 million.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs is also purchasing an enterprise information system that will promote online collaboration and information sharing among EEA agencies, regulated businesses and individuals, environmental stakeholders, and the public.

Vendors involved in ERP saw some solicitation releases from major government entities this month. Harris County, Texas, released a solicitation for a needs assessment to replace its current ERP solution for finance, human resources, payroll and procurement. The incumbent vendor is SunGard Public Sector. The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority is looking for a vendor to install and implement an ERP system as well as provide independent verification and validation services.

The telecommunications field also saw some significant activity. The Texas Department of Information Resources released a major solicitation for data communications and networking equipment and related services. Given the size and scope of the project, Deltek believes this may wind up having an eight-figure contract value, with the current estimated value of $400 million over the lifetime of the contract. Additionally, North Carolina is setting up the latest iteration of its contract for telephony premise equipment and maintenance. The state currently has nine incumbent vendors under contract for these services: Avaya, NWN Corporation, Nu-Vision Technologies, CenturyLink, Siemens AG, Toshiba Corporation, Brightstar Partners, Centrex and Bunn Communications.  

Procurement News and Analysis

New Mexico passed a law requiring all state and local governments to proactively provide contact information for their chief procurement officers by January 2014. In addition, the law requires all procurement officials to undergo state certification and training by 2015.  

In a move that caught many by surprise, the chief information officer for Cook County, Ill., resigned on December 19, citing personal reasons. The post remains vacant and county officials are scrambling to find a replacement candidate to oversee IT policy for 2014.  

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo liked New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s top technology aide so much, he hired her to his own staff. Rachel Haot will serve as Governor Cuomo’s deputy secretary of technology and will help oversee the newly created Office of Information Technology Services, which has been undergoing a large-scale IT transformation effort over the past three years. On a related note, the Office of Information Technology Services appointed Mahesh Nattanmai as executive deputy chief information officer. Nattanmai starts his post on January 23 and will oversee operations for major IT services and strategic planning initiatives.  

Anyone who has picked up a copy of the Washington Post or New York Times over the past few months is likely familiar with the scandal that has enveloped Governor Chris Christie and the New York/New Jersey Port Authority as details have emerged regarding the intentional closing of bridge lanes as a form of political payback. I posted a blog in December discussing the authority’s history of transparency scandals and my attempts to get the authority to release information related to an award made for a transparency website.

GovWin IQ subscribers can read further about these projects in the provided links. Non-subscribers can gain access with a GovWin IQ free trial.

 

 

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