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Tablet PC use in public safety: Advantages and Disadvantages

The need for onsite mobile computing capabilities has been seen across the country as in-car computers become second nature for public safety agencies. However, their capabilities are not as vast as new commercial tablet PCs such as the iPad. Just recently, Knox County and Jefferson County in Tennessee experimented with iPads and found them to be just as, if not more, valuable than current mobile computers. Officers are able to use a variety of built-in applications such as crime scene sketching or audio recordings. Below are a few perceived advantages and disadvantages of using commercial tablet PCs for public safety.

Advantages

Increased computing/application capabilities:

With the application (app) market exponentially expanding, the ability for agencies to incorporate new apps as they are released is much greater than before. As of now, an upgrade or update to an agency's mobile computers can be very costly as their operating software is typically proprietary. However, agencies using commercial tablets can add new applications for a fraction of what it costs to upgrade current tablets. On top of that, agencies will not have to depend on their vendor to create innovative applications as thousands of new apps are being developed daily.

Reduced costs:

Based on the article above, an agency can save nearly $250 on each tablet by purchasing a commercial tablet instead of a mobile computer. On top of that, air card savings can be as much as $15 a month per tablet. Assuming an agency of 50 officers purchases a tablet for each officer instead of a mobile computer, that agency would save $21,500 in the first year. Now, of course this doesn't include the cost of equipping each tablet with the necessary applications. However, that cost would be offset by the savings gained in mounting and docking stations, which tablets do not need.

Speed:

Access to data, whether stored in the computer or online, has become more of a necessity to public safety agencies as new lines of communication and information sharing open up. The speed in which the computer operates or pulls data can greatly affect the safety of an officer. Operating in a soon-to-be 4G world, commercial tablets are able to operate much more efficiently and provide clearer data than old, outdated mobile computers.

Disadvantages

Access to agency data:

The biggest question is can agencies access their current records management data via commercial tablet PCs? And, if not, how much will that cost? Chances are the costs will be high as most records management systems (RMS) are designed to be integrated into mobile computers provided either through the same company or a partner. Given the wide variety of companies that provide tablet PCs and the different operating systems, RMS vendors will need to retool their systems to be compatible with a variety of tablets, which could mean more customization at a higher cost.

Security and accuracy:

One of the main concerns with using commercial products is the security behind it. Since public safety handles extremely sensitive data, it is imperative that public safety agencies implement technologies with advanced security measures. It is unknown how secure commercial tablets are or if they can provide the necessary security to ensure sensitive data is not hijacked. Also, the question of accuracy comes in to play if agencies begin to use commercial applications. Since commercial tablet applications can be created by virtually anyone, there is no guarantee that the application will operate effectively and accurately. This in turn could compromise officer reporting and safety.

Reliability:

Another area of great concern for public safety agencies is reliability. While commercial tablets provide faster access to data, the ability for an officer to access that same data in the most rural of areas can be of concern. This concern also touches on the ruggedness of the tablet. If the tablet slips out of an officer's hands and drops, will it still work? While they aren't necessarily portable, mobile computers offer a reliable structure and setup that ensures access to data.

As the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security begin to announce grant programs for FY 2011, it will be interesting to see how many agencies look to replace mobile computers with tablet PCs. Looking at FY 2011 appropriation requests, we saw that 54 agencies (4% of public safety requests) sought funding specifically for mobile computers. This number could greatly increase in FY 2012 if the cost savings are available.

State & Local Fiscal Update (January 2011)

GovWin's Take: Key state and local government consumption categories from which IT consumption and investment are derived have shown resilience over the last two years. Thanks to upward revisions in some Census figures, annualized state and local revenue collections were only $40 billion off the last peak (as of 09/2010) and revenue stability has improved significantly in recent quarters. However, weak year-over-year employment recovery and a renewed decline in monthly economic activity (per the Chicago Fed) dictate guarded optimism for incremental state and local revenue growth beginning in 2011. The tapering of federal stimulus funds as well as a surge of anti-tax governors and legislators will result in more budget cuts, but state and local budgets should be "right-sized" and poised for net gains by 2012. These findings are in line with the assumptions that framed GovWin's most recent state and local IT market forecast report.

From the news:

The full update includes charts and commentary detailing the key drivers behind state and local IT spending: 1) quarterly state and local government consumption of services, structures, software and equipment, 2) quarterly state and local revenue trends, 3) monthly unemployment statistics, and 4) monthly national economic activity indicators.

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(Subscription to GovWin State & Local Industry Analysis required.)

GovWin’s Top Opportunities for 2011- State Projects

Today marks the final blog in this week's justice and public safety (JPS) series of top opportunities for 2011. This blog covers the top state-level JPS projects that GovWin is reporting on this year. The state-level projects covered all happen to be high-cost communications projects aimed at implementing a public safety communications infrastructure for an entire state. For more information on the public safety interoperable communications (PSIC) market, please take a look at GovWin's recently released PSIC report , which provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of the market and projected growth estimates over the next five years. The projects listed today are only a handful of the many tracked by GovWin.

Oregon -Oregon Wireless Interoperability Network

This project is notable because of the December 23, 2010 contract award valued at an estimated $150 million for request for proposals (RFP) #102-1041-09 for Public Safety Radio; Equipment & Installation, also known as the OWIN project to Harris Communications. This will be a key project to monitor in 2011 because Harris has the opportunity to turn around a project that has garnered a tremendous amount of negative press due to alleged mismanagement by state officials. For an in-depth look at this aspect of the OWIN project, I highly recommend reading the series of articles written by Brent Walth of the Oregonian (see articles here). As someone who reads these types of articles every day, Walth's articles were the best I read in 2010.

Iowa-Interoperable Communications System

The state of Iowa will be moving forward with a competitive solicitation for implementation of a statewide interoperable communications system. The state contracted Federal Engineering, Inc. to develop initial project specifications. The intended system will provide a stand-alone microwave backhaul communications design based on local and state needs that will be P25 compliant and operate on the 700/800 MHz band. The Iowa Statewide Interoperability Commission will meet on January 27, 2011 to discuss and vote on the next steps for the project.

California-State Correctional System Radio System Upgrade

The 2010 California Public Safety Radio Communications Strategic Plan indicates that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) intends to replace or upgrade all institutional radio systems within three years. At this time, it is unclear if this effort will be undertaken by a single vendor or on an institution-by-institution basis. It likely that this project will begin with a request for information or consulting engagement before any purchases are made. Although this project does not have a definite RFP release date in 2011, I feel it's worth mentioning because it represents many of the underfunded state-level JPS projects planned in California.

New Jersey- 700 MHz Public Safety Network

The state of New Jersey Office of Information Technology seeks to implement a 700 MHz public safety network. The goal of this project is to create a network that will provide secure broadband access to first responders. Broadband access will allow for the transmission of voice, data and video between state, local and federal agencies. GovWin estimates the total cost of this project could reach $150 million.

These projects are only a small sample of the many state-level JPS projects that GovWin is tracking this year. This blog series has been a great opportunity to provide a peek into the database of thousands of projects GovWin analysts report on every day. Look forward to more blog series throughout the year from GovWin's JPS team as we are always considering new angles to examine the market. If you have any areas in particular that you would like to see covered, feel free to post a comment on this blog.

Top Social Services Projects for 2011

Earlier this week, GovWin's health care and social services team reported on some of the top health care opportunities to watch for in the upcoming year. Today, we're identifying some of our favorites in the social services space. The obvious trend for 2011 and beyond is integration. Whether it happens between divisions, departments, or states, integration is key to providing effective and efficient benefit services to citizens. Siloed systems are a thing of the past, and from the looks of it, many states are taking a step in the right direction toward open, transparent collaboration.

  • Back in September 2008, the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), in collaboration with the Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Employment Security, Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and the Department on Aging, released a request for information (RFI) for an integrated human services delivery system. DHS estimates receiving close to 33 RFI responses, with most vendors presenting an integrated solution. The state submitted its advanced planning document (APD) in October 2009 and received final approval in spring 2010.The state is currently working on its planning request for proposals (RFP). DHS is seeking an enterprise solution to achieve an integrated human services delivery system that will expand service access to customers, improve customer satisfaction, mitigate fraud, and increase employee productivity. The solution should be customer-focused and flexible enough to support the provision of coordinated and integrated services across several agencies and programs. The total solution will be implemented in stages with a plan for incremental updates to back-end systems. Initial implementation will likely be focused on front-end improvements, such as intake and an enterprise case management system.
  • Interstate collaboration can be found in Tennessee's Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits System project. Starting out as a reengineering effort for South Carolina's Benefits System, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia created a consortium (with Tennessee as the head) to develop, plan, and design a common unemployment insurance benefits system that could be used by multiple states. Tennessee contracted with CSG Government Solutions in March 2010 to complete the UI benefits system feasibility study. The study, expected to last 18 months, is aided by a $7 million federal grant awarded to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Feasibility results and findings are due in September 2011.
  • The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) began its enterprise data warehouse project back in 2006 with the release of an RFI. Like Illinois, HHSC wanted to collect and analyze data from the human services domain operations to help state staff plan and execute health and human services programs more efficiently and effectively. HHSC released a draft RFP in October 2007 and submitted an APD to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) in February 2009. The document was approved in May 2009. After completing a needs assessment and alternatives analysis, HHSC updated the APD and resubmitted to CMS this past November. The commission estimates an RFP posted in October 2011.
  • The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is currently working on an RFP for a vendor to perform a needs assessment and feasibility study of its eligibility information system (EIS). The EIS is more than 22 years old and resides on an IBM mainframe platform that is written in antiquated and difficult to support software language. The last analysis was performed in 1992. Within DHSS, the Division of Public Assistance uses EIS as its mission critical information systems application to support key human services programs, including eligibility support for the Aid to Families with Dependent Children; Food Stamps; Denali Kid care; Family Medicaid; Interim Assistance; Adult Public Assistance; Adult and Long Term Care Medicaid; General Relief; Chronic and Acute Medical Assistance; Alaska Temporary Assistance; Temporary Assistance for Native Families; Child Care Assistance; and SeniorCare programs. The RFP is expected to be released sometime within the next three months. Once a recommendation is made through the study, another RFP will be drafted to design and implement the new system.
  • On the other side of the United States, the New Jersey Department of Treasury is currently working on the rebid of its electronic benefit transfer (EBT) contract. The current contract with ACS is set to expire this year. The state has fallen behind on the RFP, as Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) requires an RFP for EBT services to be released two years prior to the current contract expiration.
  • The state of Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS) expects to release an RFP in the next few months for an automated case management system (ACMS) in support of its Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind Division (VRSBD). In yet another example of integration, VRSBD administers three programs that have separate, but related functions. An ACMS would assist the division in performing its function in a more efficient and effective way. DHS released an RFI for these services back in 2007.

GovWin’s Top Opportunities for 2011 – City and County Projects

Today's blog, in conjunction with the blog series touching on the top public safety and homeland security opportunities for 2011, features top city and county projects. City and county agencies have faced, and will continue to face hard times in the upcoming year. This is due to budget cuts, budget shortfalls, and more pressure placed on localities as states shift responsibility for statewide projects onto local agencies.

As seen in California's Governor's Budget 2011-12, one of Governor Brown's goals is the reorganization of major statewide projects. Brown plans to place responsibility of those projects on localities as the state faces large budget deficits and cuts this year. GovWin estimates that this will become a popular option among state governors. As states push statewide projects onto cities and counties, we will see a greater need for IT support and funding in the local arena.

Los Angeles County, California- Transportation Congestion Pricing Project- spring 2011

This project is currently in the preliminary engineering phase. This includes a one-year demonstration project of converting high-occupancy vehicle lanes to high-occupancy toll lanes that began December 31, 2010. This will be followed by the final design and construction stages. The county received $213 million in federal transit funds to help relieve congestion in some of the nation's busiest and most gridlocked freeways. LA County contracted PB Americas, Inc. to prepare the Congestion Pricing Operating Plan and facilitate public outreach and participation.

City of Dallas, Texas- P25 Compliant Radio System Upgrade- winter 2011

The city received estimates for its radio upgrade totaling about $99 million. The city plans to release a consultant request for proposals (RFP) estimated at $150,000 in the coming months. The consultant project aims to develop a plan and an RFP for the new system. Dallas' current radio system is nearly 40 years old and consists of 11,000 radios, 700 receivers, 400 antennas, 250 transmitters, and 23 towers. This project is in line with Texas' goal for all radio systems to be P25 compliant by January 1, 2015.

Chester County, Pennsylvania- Voice Radio System for Emergency Services- March 2011

The project, estimated at $90 million, would replace the county's legacy radio system. The county awarded ACD Telecom a project management contract to aid in the planning and design of the system, and is currently looking into developing a funding strategy and determining the life cycle of the required equipment. Grant applications may be utilized as a potential funding stream. The project is estimated to be completed in 2016.

Bucks County, Pennsylvania- Emergency Radio Communication Network- spring 2011

Bucks County contracted L. Robert Kimball & Associates for consulting work in late 2009 to help audit the current system and make recommendations for a new system to meet FCC narrowbanding requirements. L. Robert Kimball & Associates presented their radio study, which can be found in GovWin's tracked opportunity, in late 2010. The county is currently putting money aside for this large $70 million project and is debating whether to implement a 500 MHz system that could utilize the old radios and save money. The county will most likely move to a 700 MHz radio system rather than a 500 brand.

Camden County, New Jersey- 700 MHz Public Safety Communications System- summer 2011

The county is looking to replace its communications system, as interoperability problems have developed over time and neighboring entities have upgrades their systems. Camden County, through the Camden County Communications Department, has secured funding for the first phase of this project and is seeking other funding streams for following phases. GovWin estimates that this project could cost up to $60 million. The county is currently developing specifications for the new radio system.

While these projects are only a small sampling of the amount of city and county public safety and homeland security projects taking place around the country, they are a good summary of what will happen moving forward into 2011. Look for tomorrow's final blog in this week's series, focusing on GovWin's top state project opportunities.

State and Local Public Safety Uses for the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program is the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. This is distinctive, especially while state and local jurisdictions are facing budget cuts and shortfalls, fewer personnel, and consolidated emergency operations centers and fire stations.

With the JAG formula grant program, state and local governments are provided with critical funding that supports a range of program areas including law enforcement; prosecution and court services; prevention and education; corrections and community corrections; drug treatment and enforcement; planning; evaluation; technology improvement; and crime victim and witness initiatives. In September 2010, $301,697,592 was awarded to states and $151,882,703 was awarded to localities. Total funding appropriated for FY 2010 was roughly $744 million. In FY 2011, requested funding is estimated to decrease to $549 million.

In the news recently, Sterling Heights, Michigan received Byrne JAG funding for the installation of electronic ticketing (e-ticketing) equipment in police vehicles. Officers of the Sterling Heights Police Department issue more than 30,000 citations for traffic violations annually. Currently, those citations are handwritten by police officers on preprinted ticket forms that are manually entered into a computer system. The electronic ticketing equipment will allow officers to perform their daily traffic stop duties more efficiently and accurately without duplicating work processes. This reinforces the common technology focus that GovWin has seen in upgrading to technologies that promote speed, accuracy and mobility.

In the past, GovWin has observed the Byrne JAG program utilized in projects such as the purchase of mobile data terminals in San Antonio, Texas for approximately $2 million in October 2010. The city of Overland Park, Kansas also applied for and received funding for wireless video equipment as a part of its closed-circuit television (CCTV) system components project in early 2010. In 2009, Nevada utilized $268,000 in federal grant monies for its sex offender website. The website was made available to help citizens increase their awareness of the presence of convicted sex offenders in the community.

In the realm of upcoming projects, the Byrne JAG program can also be used for records management systems. The city of Fort Scott and Bourbon County, Kansas have applied for a Byrne JAG grant to help create a records management system that could be shared by the city and county. Like many state and local agencies, federal grant funding will be the main factor in purchasing a new system or delaying a project due to unavailable funds.

GovWin's Top Opportunities for 2011- Surveillance, Security, and Electronic Monitoring

Earlier this week, GovWin launched a blog series detailing some of the top projects to look for in 2011. Today, we showcase key surveillance, security and electronic monitoring projects. Cities, counties and states have been working tirelessly on their fiscal year 2011 budgets, some of which began October 1, 2010, while many others begin July 1, 2011. With substantial decreases in tax revenues and a recovering economy moving in the right direction, state and local governments need to be cautious with allocating budgets, determining which projects are necessities, while at the same time, balancing the need for increased public safety. Some projects conceived several years ago are just now coming to fruition, while others remain on hold. Here are details on some of the projects that appear ready to move forward in 2011.

Last year, GovWin released a report titled "Congressional Public Safety Funding Requests – A Billion Dollar Lifeline," which outlined a number of trends and statistics relating to the FY 2011 earmarks requests. As part of that report, GovWin categorized the requests, and through that research, uncovered approximately $78 million in requests for video projects and an additional $48 million in security requests. These requests include projects pertaining to closed-circuit television systems (CCTV), electronic monitoring and video surveillance. With budget cuts often resulting in layoffs, surveillance cameras could be used to continue monitoring of jails, state and local government buildings, and a variety of other facilities.

Atlanta, Georgia- Video Surveillance Network- March 2011

The city of Atlanta has sought to develop a citywide video surveillance network since 2008. The city developed a resolution to enable IBM to establish a video surveillance system pilot in order to determine how to move forward with full implementation. Due to funding issues, this project has been in a holding pattern; however, the city will receive a $1.5 million grant to enable future implementation. The city is now engaged in its pilot program, and GovWin estimates a formal solicitation will be issued in March 2011.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey- Multi Facility Security Systems -May 2011

The New York/New Jersey Port Authority is seeking qualified vendors to submit their information for the multi-facility security systems project in order to establish a pre-qualified vendor list. The port authority seeks to establish this list in order to quicken the solicitation process. A specific solicitation date has not been established; however, GovWin estimates the project moving forward in May 2011.

State of South Carolina- Security Camera System Upgrade- August 2011

The South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDOC) has a security camera upgrade at the top of its priority list. However, due to lack of funding, the project was placed on hold last year. The SCDOC was denied several funding grants, including a JAG grant in 2009. If the SCDOC can obtain the necessary funding, it will issue solicitations in order to move forward with acquiring the surveillance cameras. GovWin estimates a release will occur in August 2011.

State of Michigan- Electronic Monitoring System -August 2011

The Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) issued a request for information in 2008 in order to determine various options for upgrading the state's electronic monitoring program. The state is under contract with BI, Inc. until late 2011. The state DOC will need to solicit bids for a new contract in order to prevent any lapse in the monitoring program. GovWin estimates a release in August 2011.

GovWin will continue to monitor these projects and provide additional details as they are made available by the respective agencies. Some of these projects that have had funding issues in the past may stray slightly from the projected timeframes established by both GovWin and the agency. Through grant funding and earmarks – should they be approved and allocated – these projects can be implemented over the course of 2011.

Tomorrow, GovWin will look at some of the nonspecific large-scale projects at the city and county level.

GovWin's Top Opportunities for 2011- Computer Aided Dispatch and Records Management Systems

This week, GovWin is reporting on the top public safety and homeland security opportunities for 2011. This blog series touches on public safety communications, computer aided dispatch (CAD), records management systems (RMS), surveillance, security, and electronic monitoring projects taking place across the country. It also identifies some of the top state, city, and county public safety opportunities. Today's blog features 2011's top public safety CAD and RMS projects.

While they are, to a certain extent, invisible to the general public, computer aided dispatch systems serve as the crux of the modern public safety technology infrastructure. Not to diminish the importance of the actual dispatchers, which cannot be overstated, but these systems help direct first responders to people in need of assistance. Each year vendors provide improved systems that serve to reduce emergency response times as well as expand public safety agencies' ability to record and disperse information. Below are a few of the many projects that are high on GovWin's radar for 2011.

Alexandria, Virginia - Computer Aided Dispatch Records Management - Summer

The Alexandria, Virginia Department of Emergency Communications (DEC) may have a requirement for a state-of-the-art CAD, RMS and mobile data system that meets the consolidated requirements of police, fire, and sheriff departments. The value of this project is estimated around $30 million. A breakdown of spending according to the FY 2011-2016 IT plan is as follows: FY 2011 ($600,000), FY 2012 ($1,000,000), FY 2013 ($14,000,000), FY 2014 ($19,000,000).

Orange County, California - Public Safety Systems Solution - Winter

The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) plans to release a competitive solicitation for a public safety systems solution. This procurement will provide the OCFA with new CAD, RMS and fire prevention components. The goal of this project is to create a "state-of-the-art" interoperable technology environment at OCFA.

Montgomery County, Maryland - Computer Aided Dispatch and Public Safety Systems Modernization - Late 2011-2012

The CAD portion of this project is currently on hold due to the county's ongoing radio replacement project and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission's consolidation efforts. The CAD project has $9 million in estimated costs for FY 2012 and FY 2013. GovWin estimates procurement could take place toward the end of FY 2012.

These three projects are only a small sample of the many upcoming CAD and RMS projects that GovWin is tracking nationwide. Moving forward in 2011, these projects will help improve the safety of the communities they represent as well as foster growth and competition in the public safety technology marketplace. Tomorrow's blog will touch on GovWin's top electronic monitoring and surveillance opportunities.

GovWin's Hot Health Care Opportunities for 2011

Although the end of the year typically brings about lists of top 20 this or top 100 that, GovWin's health care and social services team is kicking off 2011 with a list of hot opportunities to look forward to this year. Unlike most lists, the health care opportunities below are in no particular order. You'll notice several Medicaid management information system (MMIS) opportunities, but that should come as no surprise when factoring in high dollar value and vendor interest. The team is looking forward to the wrap-up of some lingering health information exchange (HIE) procurements and the highly anticipated health insurance exchange request for proposals (RFPs). If there are any projects you are looking forward to or feel we've missed, feel free to comment!

  • GovWin has already written a blog about the very soon-to-be-released RFPs in support of Arkansas' MMIS reprocurement, but some things have changed since that publication. There will be ten business offices procured: System Support, Pharmacy, Medicaid Management, Revenue Collection and Third Party Liability, Program Integrity, Financial Management, Claims Services, Rates and Costs, Provider Management, and Member Management. All professional services documentation can be found under Opportunity ID #65826. Instead of tackling smaller chunks of HIE components throughout MMIS system RFPs, AR SHARE (Arkansas' statewide HIE) is now included as its own RFP. System component RFPs include System Integrator, Member Management Services, Provider Management Services, Authorization Services, Claims Services, Pharmacy Point-of-Service/Pharmacy Benefit Management, Program Integrity Services, Third Party Liability Coordination, Case Management, Front End Services, Data Warehouse/Decision Support System, and Accounting Services. The original release estimate was January 3, 2011, but the timeline has been delayed.
  • The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) released a draft RFP for a Dental Fiscal Intermediary (FI) on October 1, 2010. DCHS is looking for a firm that can take over, operate, and effectively process claims for the California Dental Medicaid Management Information System (CD-MMIS). Although DHCS is not looking to replace the current system, it is evaluating alternatives for the eventual replacement of CD-MMIS, including the possible migration to a single MMIS with one FI. Comments for the draft RFP were due in November 2010. GovWin anticipates an early spring 2011 release for the RFP document.
  • West Virginia's Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Medical Services (BMS), currently contracts with Molina Information Systems for MMIS services. BMS held vendor MMIS presentations in both January 2009 and September 2010. The bureau has also contracted with Berry, Dunn, McNeil and Parker to provide reprocurement project management services. BMS has delivered the MMIS RFP to the DHHR Purchasing Office for review. The RFP should be released in the next couple months.
  • Illinois' newly created Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) received $18.8 million in federal funding to develop its HIE (ILHIE). OHIT has decided on a public/private entity as the governance model for the exchange. The office released both a request for information (RFI) for HIE services and an RFP for HIE Business Plan Resources back in October 2010. The RFP was awarded to Navigant Consulting, which will need to come up with a sustainable business model for the ILHIE. OHIT's strategic and operational plan was approved by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) in December 2010, which allows OHIT to proceed with ILHIE implementation. An RFP is anticipated in Q1 2011.
  • The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Division of Medical Assistance, recently contracted with Fox Systems to perform its Medicaid Information Technology Assessment (MITA) and plan for its MMIS reprocurement. DHSS plans on releasing the MMIS RFP in September 2011. Hewlett-Packard (HP) currently provides these services for the department, with an estimated contract value of $160 million.
  • DHSS also released an RFP for Health Care Reform and Health Benefit Exchange Planning services on November 5, 2010. In February, DHHS plans to release a legislative agenda for exchange governance, an exchange options report, and a technology requirements report. DHHS does not anticipate a final technology infrastructure report with implementation recommendations until July 2011. The final health benefit exchange report, which will contain the finalized plan for the exchange, is estimated for release in September 2011. GovWin anticipates an RFP release for exchange development in late 2011.
  • The Alabama Medicaid Agency (AMA) already released its statewide HIE RFP, but had to cancel it in October 2010 due to a change in direction by the ONC. AMA received comments on its strategic and operational plan AFTER releasing the RFP, and found ONC was concerned with the ability of states to pull off a full-fledged HIE in the allotted time. AMA is still working on rereleasing the RFP, which could range from a more focused and staged implementation document to a complete redesign. AMA received $10.5 million in grant funding for HIE implementation and contracted with George Washington University to develop an HIE plan.
  • The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) is another agency about to release an MMIS procurement. The current contract with Affiliated Computer Services is set to expire in December 2013. HSD has confirmed that the RFP for MMIS/Medicaid Fiscal Agent Services is currently under internal review.

GovWin's Top Opportunities for 2011- Public Safety Communications

This week, GovWin is reporting on the top public safety and homeland security opportunities for 2011. This blog series will touch on public safety communications, computer aided dispatch (CAD), records management systems (RMS), surveillance, security, and electronic monitoring projects taking place across the country. It will also identify some of the top state, city, and county public safety opportunities. Today's blog features 2011's top public safety communication projects.

Public safety communications has been at the forefront of public safety technology initiatives for the past 10 years. Until now, many agencies viewed public safety communications as strictly a voice communication capability. Now, with the help of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and private industry, the term "public safety communications" has taken on a whole new meaning. This market is starting to realize the capabilities it needs in order to better safeguard the public. This includes the ability to share data across jurisdictional boundaries, receive and disseminate data to the public, and better communicate with fellow officers in the field. As you will see below, a few projects that are high on GovWin's radar for 2011 expand the meaning of "public safety communications."

New Jersey - 700 MHz Public Safety Network - Summer

The state plans to construct a network that provides a cost effective and secure broadband access to the public safety community and first responders. In addition to achieving ubiquitous interoperability among multiple public safety agencies, the network would allow the state to link other comprehensive community infrastructure (i.e. academia, health, public libraries, etc.). The project will provide 4G LTE wireless broadband access to first responders, offer interoperability between multiple public safety disciplines, and provide extensions to middle mile broadband.

Minnesota - Public Safety Wireless Data Network - Spring

The state envisions a public-private partnership to provide a comprehensive wireless public safety data network for public safety agencies across the state. This project will look to leverage significant resources of the state's Allied Radio Matrix Emergency Radio (ARMER) system, which includes more than 300 communication towers dispersed throughout the state and the potentially available 700 MHz spectrum. This project has been estimated to cost upward of $400 million.

Iowa - Interoperable Communications System - Early 2011

The state is looking to implement a public safety interoperable communication system that will be a stand-alone microwave backhaul communications system. It will be an easily scalable and highly reliable 700/800 MHz P25 compliant system. The project is estimated at $343 million and would be the first step needed in developing the necessary infrastructure for the future implementation of a 4G network.

Los Angeles County, CA - Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) - Source Selection

This blog series wouldn't be complete without touching on the LA-RICS project. While this project is currently in the source selection phase, it is still worth noting given that it is expected to cost nearly $600 million. No public safety communication project has had projections this high since the New York Statewide Wireless Network, which eventually failed. This project will look to implement a modern, integrated wireless voice and data communications system that will support more than 34,000 first responders and local mission-critical personnel within the region. Forty-five companies attended the pre-proposal conference for this project in June 2010. An award is estimated for the spring/summer of 2011.

While these four projects are only a small sampling of the amount of public safety communication projects taking place all over the country, they will single handedly define the direction of public safety communications moving forward into 2011 and beyond. Tomorrow's blog will touch on GovWin's top CAD/RMS opportunities, so please read that as well.

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