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LA County Sheriff’s Department Releases RFP for 2,500 Mobile Data Computers

On Wednesday October 28, 2009 the Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department (LASD) released RFP IS-10255005 for a Mobile Data Computer (MDC) System. The Department is seeking a vendor to enter into a three year contract with options to extend for a total of 5 years to provide Mobile Data Terminals, associated hardware/software, installation, training and maintenance. The vendor will also provide recommendations and design of the integration of future technologies including, Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR), In-Car-Video, and LA-RICS private data network modem and Printers. These components will be installed in 125 department vehicles at a time for a total of 2,500 vehicles; this will be one of the largest Mobile Data Computer projects nationwide.

Additionally, the LASD is interested in deploying Digital In Car Video Cameras in the near future and will accept cost proposals for Digital Video Solutions in conjunction with this RFP. This portion of the RFP is optional and purchase of the cameras may or may not be executed at this time. Purchasing these technologies at the same time allows the Department to save time and maximize purchasing power by consolidating the bidding, installation and training schedules.

While many smaller implementations of Mobile Data Computers are falling by the wayside due to budget cuts this year, this RFP represents an opportunity for vendors to do a tremendous amount of business with a single agency. The LASD is the largest Sherriff's Department in the U.S. and the fourth largest local level law enforcement agency in the U.S. This RFP will likely generate heated competition for the money involved, and an elevation in status that comes with winning such a large contract.

The Department has established the following timeline for the RFP: written questions will be accepted by the Department until November 4th, on November 10th a mandatory proposer's conference will be held and final proposals are due November 24th. I will continue to report on this project and GovWin members can receive automatic updates on the RFP process by logging in and marking Opportunity Report 58980.

The Rise of All-Payer, All-Claims Health Care Databases

As health care reform initiatives get underway, states are beginning to look towards improved methods for collecting and distributing uniform health care information which can assist with policy decisions, setting standards, quality improvement assessments and informed decision-making.

Comprehensive all-payer, all-claims databases are being viewed as a driver for health care delivery improvement and overarching health care reform efforts because of the ability to provide uniform data that can be utilized for regional comparisons and analysis. All-payer claims data collection programs consist of claims paid by all health care payers, including health insurance companies and third party administrators. The Regional All Payer Healthcare Information Council (RAPHIC) is working closely with states to realize the benefits of implementing a database and the steps necessary to achieve desired results. According to RAPHIC, few states have already implemented a program, but there are several states that have expressed strong interest. Below is an overview of Tennessee and Oregon's plans:

  • Tennessee: The Department of Administration and Finance, Division of Health Planning is currently drafting a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an All-Payer Claims Database (APCD). The RFP is currently being reviewed in the Comptroller's Office, but is anticipated to be released soon. Please see GovWin Opportunity #59129 for further details.
  • Oregon: The Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research (OHPR) is currently engaged in the administrative rules process and plans to procure for an All-Payer, All-Claims Database contractor sometime in the fall/winter of 2009-2010. Please see GovWin Opportunity #57970 for more details.

The data collected can be used for multiple purposes, including accountability of public dollars, payment reform development, resources for local communities, decision-making tools for consumers, provider performance comparisons and targeting public health projects. The list of uses for the data goes on and on; therefore GovWin anticipates that more and more states will catch onto this initiative and seek vendor assistance. Contractors working with states on all-payer database projects will be at the forefront of state health care reform, helping to build the foundation and likely have an opportunity to engage in further reform efforts.

Project Executive Talks FI$CAL

In an interview with Technology Leadership yesterday, FI$CAL Project Executive Titus Toyama opened up on some of his thoughts regarding the project. Aside from elaborating on the project's "fit gap" model style of procurement (The fit-gap analysis will document the extent to which the contractor's proposed ERP software solution meets the needs of the state "out of the box" and where customization may be preferred. This will enable the contractors to more accurately estimate the cost, duration, and complexity of the FI$Cal implementation thereby resulting in the development of more comprehensive and lower risk proposals.), Mr. Toyama shared some of his thoughts as to why the project is so imperative for California's well being going forward. In particular, he pointed out that it is necessary to:

  • replace CA's legacy systems
  • implement new processes for managing financial systems
When asked what people should expect to see with the deployment of FI$CAL, Mr. Toyama stated that residents in CA will see more transparency in government. Addtionally, he said that FI$CAL will make CA goverment work better by being more modern and more responsive. Mr. Toyama concluded his thirty minute interview by stating that the project is fully funded for this fiscal year. He went on to say that if all goes according to plan, the RFP is anticipated to be released in mid summer 2010, and that deployment is being targeted for sometime in calendar year 2013.

A Look at the Health and Social Services Market for the month of October

In the realm of health care, a prominent trend seen in the month of October was an increase in the number of initiatives revolving around "meaningful use" and enhancements in electronic health record (EHR) interoperability. The gradual adoption of health information technology (HIT) across states has shifted focus on the level of proficiency in data sharing. This newfound spotlight on interoperability has facilitated a more statewide adoption kind of approach where states are now looking to synthesize systems in conjunction with ensuring compliance with the Office of National Coordinator's (ONC) once those standards are finalized. Just recently, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), $564 million has been set aside to award states whose plans are to adopt state health information exchange (HIE) systems. The grant, known as the Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement, was due on October 16, 2009. Additionally, as part of the federal economic stimulus package, the incentive funds will go to physicians and hospitals who demonstrate meaningful use of their EHRs. States such as Connecticut are now considering further avenues of HIT adoption within their state as a result of possible increases in funding.

Also noteworthy, is the trend seen in some states in utilizing a more regional health information exchange. This allows for standardization while adopting these systems to further enhance the degree of interoperability across regions. By doing this, states are allowed to share EHR with more ease. Funding for adoption of this kind of system has been used as an incentive for states to develop systems complaint with the standards. For that, states such as Colorado, Wyoming and Iowa are developing consulting procurements that will impact HIT standards in addition to HIPAA.

Here are several states in the process of planning statewide HIE systems including:

  • Texas – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is developing an advisory committee to provide recommendations, and has applied for ARRA funding under the Cooperative Agreement for State HIE
  • Alaska- The Alaska eHealth Network (AeHN) is currently engaged in the review process to connect community providers and hospitals across the state
  • Connecticut – The Department of Public Health (DPH) is undergoing strategic planning and has applied for federal funding under the Cooperative Agreement for State HIE.
  • New Jersey – The Department of Health and Senior Services is engaged in strategic planning for their statewide system and have applied for federal funding under the Cooperative Agreement for State HIE.
  • Maryland – The Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients (CRISP) is engaged in a three-stage technology procurement approach which incorporates a statewide HIE system.
  • Ohio – The Ohio Health Information partnership (OHIP) has plans on releasing a solicitation for their HIE after receipt of stimulus funding.
Budget issues has stifled execution of proposals for statewide HIE services in many states. Iowa has held off solicitation for the actual HIE system services, and does not plan on releasing a Request for Proposal (RFP) until sometime in April 201o, in which GovWin will be tracking here . Instead, the state has engaged in consultative/project manager-natured requests. Many states are creating procurements similar to these as part of their plans to revamp existing systems and create new ones. Also, with the upcoming volume of states structuring HIE systems, vendors can expect to see requests for services revolving around quality assurance and/or independent verification and validation testing. Some states have already voiced the possibility of these types of services including Connecticut who may have a requirement for quality assurance on their future system. GovWin will be tracking the project here.

Here are some health care-related award highlights seen in the month of October:

  • Michigan – Third Party Review for Monitoring Health Care Services to Prisons; Awarded to Health Management Associates in the amount of, $2,597,861

  • Maryland – Data Collection Support and Analytic Report Development; Awarded to Social & Scientific Systems, Inc. in the amount of $3,830,109

On the social services side, Indiana faced serious penalties stemming from failure in reducing the rate of error in their welfare system. The ten-year, $1.34 billion contract with IBM, was terminated by Governor Mitch Daniels on October 15, 2009, in which services are expected to be resumed under a new contract with ACS and other companies. The new vendors will have to design a hybrid structure incorporating elements of the IMB-structured system that worked and redesigning parts of the legacy that did not.

On a lighter note, the Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS) project is nearing its closing period for proposals. The project entails software development and technical support services for the maintenance and ongoing support of the TIERS for State health and human services programs. TIERS serves as the modernized replacement for the Texas System for Application, Verification, Eligibility, Referral, and Reporting (SAVERR). GovWin estimates the contract value of this opportunity to be approximately $400 million. Proposals are due on November 12, 2009 by 3 PM. GovWin is currently tracking this project here.

Here are some award highlights seen in the month of October relating to social services:

  • Louisiana – Child Care Time and Attendance Tracking System; Awarded to Affiliated Computer Systems (ACS) in the amount of $13,000,661
  • New York – Statewide Welfare Management System Functional Roadmap (SWMS); Awarded to First Data Government Solutions in the amount of $8,193,025

As far as upcoming projects, Pennsylvania has plans to develop consulting services for four main areas including eligibility systems, management IT, case management IT, and child welfare IT. These procurements may additionally require quality assurance testing and maintenance operations as well. GovWin is currently tracking this project here . Further, the month of October did not reap as many large-scale awards as in previous months, which could very well be a result funding obstacles brought about by the recession. What has been seen is the boost in funds funneled towards areas, especially in health care, to help stimulate technological advancements and exchange across states. With the increased number of systems being used in states' health and human services departments, it is no surprise that much thought is being placed on how these systems can be integrated and used across settings.

SACWIS a No-go in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania remains one of the ten states to not rely on a Statewide Automated Child Welfare System (SACWIS) to automate and administer child welfare services. A recent feasibility study has concluded the inability of Pennsylvania to implement a SACWIS system, but that does not mean that change is not on the way. Instead, Pennsylvania joins the list of a growing number of states looking to streamline the planning and administration of their siloed human services information technology (IT) systems.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW), a feasibility study with Public Consulting Group has found that a SACWIS system is not a viable solution for the state, leaving the Department to maintain and enhance Office of Children, Youth, and Families (OCYF) existing legacy systems to ensure compliance with State and Federal requirements. Planning for future child welfare IT consulting services are still in the works with the release of a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for IT Services for DPW's Strategic Business Systems.

With the IT Services RFP, DPW is looking at an integrated approach to the procurement process for several services, including eligibility system IT consulting, provider management IT consulting, case management IT consulting, and child welfare IT consulting. DPW hopes the RFP will decrease overall cost of application maintenance and operations by providing a better pricing methodology; increasing competition for better cost and quality; becoming more transparent; and encouraging an environment that continues in the trend of creating and employing a Services Oriented Architecture (SOA). DPW is not looking for a customized system and would rather take advantage of COTS products which allow for the reuse of system functionality. Responses for the draft RFP are due by 5 PM Local Time on November 9, 2009. There is also the possibility of the release of a RFP Quality Assurance (QA) services in support of this project.

At the state level, Pennsylvania has multiple stand-alone welfare systems that were put in place to comply with data reporting needs or program monitoring. These systems support only minimal data collection, rather than supporting business processes. The state systems are not shared by the county children and youth agencies and there is no centralized point of data entry or ability for counties to access their data once it is submitted to OCYF. This lack of a centralized system makes standardization of business practices and sharing of case information across county lines difficult. One of Pennsylvania's challenges has been to find a balance between ensuring Child Welfare programs are administered effectively and efficiently throughout the Commonwealth, while also supporting county differences. OCYF has struggled with ensuring both compliance and quality of Child Welfare services at the county level.

Grant Funding: Here to stay or slashed like budgets across the country?

Back in September, I blogged about Senate Bill 1694 which would extend the Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) grant program through fiscal year 2012. Yesterday, the House passed the extension act unanimously 420-0, enabling the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) to extend their deadline for releasing funding to public safety agencies across the country.

This bill's passage is significant in that public safety agencies that were in the process of developing public safety communications systems can continue undeterred. At a time when states, counties and cities are slashing items from their budget, any additional funding sources are not just helpful, they are a necessity.

While the PSIC program strives, it stands to reason that another one may suffer. This happens to be the case with regard to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 2010 budget, which was approved by the Senate last week. While this year's DHS budget stands at $43 billion, a slight increase over the 2009 budget ($40 billion), the DHS has significantly decreased the funding toward REAL ID.

Since the passing of the REAL ID Act of 2005 there has been continuous controversy with regard to its implementation, funding, as well as the issue of privacy. Now, with the REAL ID funding declining from $100 million in 2009 to $60 million in 2010 (decrease of 40%), the controversy will likely heat up again, assuming that it ever cooled down. This funding decrease is just another blow to the already unpopular bill, which may be rejected by even more states that already do not have the funding to move forward with implementation. This funding cut is just the first step, as there will likely be even more debates down the road.

Next month, GovWin will be hosting a webinar on the 2009-14 Federal grant forecast. The webinar will discuss the PSIC grant program, as well as other initiatives and spending forecasts. The significance of the PSIC extension and the REAL ID cuts is that Congress seems to be willing to move forward with funding for programs such as radio interoperability, while REAL ID takes the back seat. Because of the issues associated with REAL ID and the fact that very few states are close to implementation, it makes sense to cut spending on that program until a decision is made on how to proceed. With regard to the PSIC program, state and local governments are hurting, and by extending the PSIC grant, states will be able to move forward with projects that will require new jobs, new vendors and most importantly increase the safety of citizens across the country.

NCSC releases E-filing survey results: funding and resources remain an issue for courts

The National Center for State Courts recently released their findings from a survey designed to get a better understanding of where state and local courts are at in their efforts to implement E-filing. The results span over 100 state and local courts and include information on current E-filing environments, implementation struggles, funding, and areas of improvement. This survey will be very useful for agencies that are planning or in the process of developing E-filing projects across the country.

One very important survey finding for vendors to be aware of is that funding and IT staff resources are seen as the most significant barrier to E-filing implementation. Courts are struggling to find the necessary funding to integrate their court case and document management systems into E-filing systems and processes. An example of this can be seen in Minnesota, where the state is struggling to integrate E-filing systems into local legacy court case management and document management systems.

I expect some of these issues to continue throughout other states, such as Illinois, where pilot projects are being started for E-filing, E-warrants, and E-guilty pleas, and funding and resources are scarce. Another area of concern for many courts is that of standardization. This can be the one element of E-filing that can discourage statewide roll out. Both Illinois and Minnesota are experiencing this hold-up as they move their projects forward. Standardization of documents and processes involves buy-in from a variety of different stakeholders and can be a daunting task.

One bright side within the survey results is that, of the statewide responses, 100 percent of states either are currently providing E-filing services or have plans within the next two years of doing so. However, at the local level 75 percent of courts either are currently providing E-filing services or plan on offering these services within the next two years. This means that of the total responses, 91 percent of responders at both the state and local levels either are currently providing or plan on providing these services within the next two years. Overall, there is plenty of space for vendors to provide systems and services.

White House challenges state and industry leaders at NASCIO

As the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) concluded its annual conference in Austin, Texas, White House CTO, Aneesh Chopra, challenged state CIOs and industry leaders to collaborate with his office's efforts to transform the culture of government IT. Chopra used his hour-long keynote address to outline governmental components the Obama administration's innovation strategy, which includes...

  1. Invest in the Building Blocks of American Innovation. – Including smart infrastructure (roads, transit, rail), R&D collaboration (university and private sector), and a 21st century workforce (education and training)
  2. Promote Competitive Markets that Spur Productive Entrepreneurship. – Including open government inititatives (transparency) and platforms (Apps.gov)
  3. Catalyze Breakthroughs for National Priorities. – Including health IT, a smart energy grid, and education technology (with emphasis on continuity of learning)

He urged state CIOs to get particularly involved in broadband mapping and standards setting for health IT as these initiatives are already well underway. (A show of hands showed only about a third of the CIOs in attendance as being involved in health IT efforts in their states.) Chopra said that governmental standards for "frictionless" information sharing were critical and that the first-round standards for mapping and health information exchange would soon be "locked in."

Chopra described the administration's goal for federal-state-local technology interaction as a "focused collaboration" that balances traditional command and control with a "let a thousand flowers bloom" approach. He will be using "ideas management" tools to invite comments from state and local IT leaders, which will allow peers to vote each others ideas up and down in an "American Idol" fashion (thousand flowers) and provide his office with actionable priorities (command and control).

Finally, he issued a challenge to create a culture that allows procurement from small companies and startups that are the engines of innovation. He told the gathering to drop the tired debate between open-source and proprietary software given that 90% of costs come after licensing of software anyway. Government is ever changing and will never be able to settle for a truly COTS solution.

GovWin's Take

Expect roughly a dozen CIOs to become integral to their states' efforts to fulfill Chopra's agenda. Another 20 to 30 will be participants in this agenda as part of councils and so forth. The remainder will on the outside looking in as someone in their governor's offices or economic development agency takes the lead. This sorting will not follow any sort of big state vs. small state dynamic. It will be based more on CIO ambition along with the access to and confidence of the governor. The 2012 elections will also reshuffle the deck on this as administrations change. As always, GovWin will seek to identify how CIOs are sorted out on this agenda.

Organization Spotlight: San Diego Regional Technology Center

As a Justice and Public Safety Analyst I spend a considerable amount of time browsing the websites of various public safety agencies. On occasion I come across a website that I find truly impressive, and this was this case when I visited the website of the San Diego Regional Technology Center (RTC). I wanted to take a moment to highlight this organization to vendors that would like to do business in the San Diego region, as well as government officials interested in fostering increased regional collaboration.

The RTC was created in 2003 and is operated by the San Diego State University Research Foundation, with funding provided by Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) and other Homeland Security grants. The research focus areas of the RTC are Interoperable Communications, Geographic Information Systems and Collaboration tools. The RTC functions as a third party organization that provides public safety officials with a venue to "...conduct unbiased research, assessments, and recommendations for the optimization of the community's resources." The RTC also assists vendors directly by providing them with a platform to demonstrate their products to a wide audience, and indirectly through the Regional Technology Clearinghouse Database which was created with the goal of "...helping to link suitable vendors and agencies for proof of concept or pilot projects when appropriate".

The RTC serves the dual purpose of providing quality information resources to users as well as ensuring that research efforts are not unnecessarily duplicated by neighboring agencies. Having access to in depth product research conducted by one's neighbors can be especially valuable when an agency seeks to "piggyback" on a contract and is required to provide justification to the overseeing entities such as the City Council, Board of Supervisors or Mayor. In some cases this could make the difference between incurring the cost of a consulting engagement, or creating and releasing a Request for Information. It is encouraging to see organizations such as the RTC bring together officials from across the public safety spectrum, particularly when contrasted with the territorial and political infighting that has brought many public safety projects to halt.

For more information on the RTC visit their website

Massachusetts FY2010 Capital Improvement Plan: Short Run Necessities, Long Term Growth

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts recently released their Fiscal Year 2010 Capital Improvement Plan. Listed below are some of the projects to which the Plan allots money. GovWin has been tracking the progress of these projects as well. The Fiscal Year Capital Improvement Plan focuses on the State of Massachusetts' short run stability and long term growth. The current status of the MA state budget is $5.2 billion in deficit. Unfortunately, many states are also facing high deficits. Today states are reacting to economic challenges in different ways, and despite these huge deficits, these states are finding ways to execute large scale projects that will protect the entire state long term. For example, MA's CIP focuses on public infrastructure investment to create near-term job opportunities and support long-term economic growth in the state. Many projects like these, though they have big price tags, can be built and paid over time, making multi-year implementation ideal.

The Massachusetts State Police 800 MHz Radio Project, which was allotted $6.2 million calls for a multi-year implementation of the final component of the system to equip 2300 officers with voice radio communications in the Massachusetts Police Department. The project would provide statewide interoperability infrastructure for MEMA, corrections, the Fire Marshall's office, sheriff/county jail transportation, and other Public Safety Departments. The incumbent provider for this project is Motorola, contracted for communications equipment in 2009. To learn more about this opportunity, see GovWin's vertical profile .

MassCourts Statewide Court Case Management System was allotted $1.28 million in the Capital Improvement Plan. GovWin has been tracking this project since 2002. The incumbent for the project is Maximus, awarded a $13 million contract in 2003 for a court management solution. This new project will provide a statewide integrated case management system and will standardize case filing and document management services. The resulting system will be able to accommodate future interfaces and replace the legacy and interim applications currently in place. The finalized system plans to be a uniform statewide application. Please go here to continue to follow the Case Management System in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts CIP allotted the Automated Licensing and Registration System $2.5 million to replace the existing Automated License and Renewal System (ALARS). GovWin has been tracking this opportunity since 2005. After 22 years, ALARS is no longer efficient. The modernized ALARS will use new technology with more flexibility to increase public safety. The new system will accommodate new products, processes and legislation. It will also offer additional channels, handle complex transactions, and was developed to be more customer-oriented. The Project, for the Registry of Motor Vehicles, is estimated to take 5 years to implement. Go to this Opportunity for more information.

The Mobile Data Terminal Replacement Project was given $1.5 million for the ongoing costs of purchase and instillation for Mobile Data terminals into new State Police vehicles. The incumbents on these projects were Hewlett-Packard Company for $19 million in 2003 and Haywood Associates, Inc. for $19 million in 2005. Please visit Opportunities 13300 and 5738 for the Mobile Data Terminals (tracked by GovWin since 2001) and hardware and installation services (tracked since 2004), respectively.

The MassTax Project was given $2,769,325 to continue the development of MassTax2, which will be a secure, user-friendly system that will integrate all tax administration functions. The goal of the system is to be able to meet increased production and user demands, as well as accept changes without the need for extensive redesign. GovWin has been tracking this opportunity since 2008, with Arthur Andersen as the last incumbent on the project, although MassTax has been in place since the 1980s. The Government estimates this project will be awarded in the first quarter of the 2010. Please visit this opportunity here to continue to follow the procurement.

These projects display a spending shift ideologically, due to the economic challenges that many States are facing. As states focus more on spending only what is absolutely necessary, a new fiscally responsible trend is formed. Careful and prioritized spending, as well as strategic long term planning will provide better budgetary responsibility and harsher decisions on what projects to pursue in the future. The projects in the Massachusetts CIP are not the first of their kind. Due to essential advanced technology, these projects are considered the necessities to keep State Programs and Departments functioning. Massachusetts' Capital Improvement Plan focuses on the systems that will most likely bolster economic recovery. The full five-year Capital Investment Plan by major investment category can be viewed here. Agencies, such as State and Local governments, tend to collaborate on how best to implement necessary projects, as a way to save money and time. Researching specifications for a system and implementing the results similarly in multiple locations solves the State and Local problem of disjointed and uncoordinated municipalities. Interoperability and smooth communication are the crux of these state projects. Whether it is a public safety system or a case filing and management system, the move toward interoperability and electronic services will allow for smoother and more efficient government utility.

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