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Exploring the Potential for Government to Citizen IT Solutions

Earlier this month, New York City rolled out its first digital road map – a strategic plan that aims to "establish [New York City] as the world's top-ranked Digital City, based on indices of Internet access, Open Government, citizen engagement, and digital industry growth." As one of the most technologically advanced cities on the planet, the Big Apple often serves as a trailblazer for the types of digital solutions other cities and towns may seek in the future. The report, conducted by NYC Digital, details the current state of New York City's digital infrastructure; collects GovWin from thousands of residents, business owners and city employees; and uses that feedback to map out short-term and long-term improvements in government service through the World Wide Web. Through this process, the city hopes to improve Internet access as well as further citizen engagement and open government initiatives.

As part of its outreach effort, NYC Digital conducted surveys with the public in order to gauge interest levels for various technological services provided by the city. Requests for more public Wi-Fi, real-time public transportation information, updates to the city website, 311 mobile applications and streamlined social media were among the most popular. Nearly one-third of New York's digital outreach (30%) is done through social media. While digital newsletters account for a little more than half of this figure, Web 2.0 platforms like Facebook and Twitter are becoming increasingly prevalent vehicles for citizen engagement.

These requests have one major commonality: they're all about using the most recent advances in Web and mobile technology to connect citizens and government in ways that will have a practical impact on the everyday lives of New Yorkers. The last two years have been marked by federal, state and local government agencies slowly dipping their toes into incorporating social media as a tool for citizen engagement. Now, governments are leveraging Gov 2.0 technology to augment a broad range of public services, from social media town halls to emergency management coordination, to citizen-based data collection and maintenance reporting. New York City has developed more than 100 public applications designed to streamline city services in areas such as permits and applications, volunteer work, utility bill payments and city benefits programs.

The Knight Foundation and the Federal Communications Commission recently partnered to create an "Apps for Communities" Challenge, which awards up to $100,000 in prize money to developers who create software applications that deliver personalized, actionable information for citizens using local government and other personal data. New York's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications partnered with the Economic Development Corporation to host a similar "Big Apps" contest to financially reward local software developers who could turn the city's 350 publicly available data sets into useful applications. The city of Glendale, California recently hired software company CitySourced to create customized GIS-based Web and mobile apps that allow citizens to catalogue, track and report broken sidewalks, potholes and other maintenance issues using their smartphones. With one application, Glendale has turned every smartphone user into a potential city inspector. CitySourced has developed similar applications for San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco and Escondido. New York City and automaker BMW recently invested $5 million into MyCityWay, a mobile software application that serves as a location-aware city guide for smartphone users.

Every month, more and more localities are expressing interest in these kinds of technologies. Ready-made e-government solutions that leverage existing social media, GIS and mobile technology platforms serve a number of government needs in the current economic climate. In addition to empowering citizens and furthering open government goals, they can help lessen the burden and lighten the workload of overtaxed employee resources. For budget-strapped states and localities facing potential layoffs and furloughs, these applications can be crucial tools for surviving in a post-recession world. Not many cities can match New York in technical and financial resources, and localities interested in citizen-engagement Web applications will increasingly look to the private sector to provide them. Companies that can present an established and standardized product to IT departments will have a leg up as other cities, towns and counties begin jumping on the app solution bandwagon.

Road User Safety Modernization Project Getting Set to Release RFP

The Ontario's Ministry of Transportation, Road User Safety Division, is preparing to post an RFP for vendor services in July. As a first step in a multi-phase Road User Safety Modernization (RUS) Modernization project, the Road User Safety Division intends to post a Request for Proposal in the coming weeks for a vendor to provide solution(s) to meet both Ontario's International Registration Plan and the Oversize/Overweight program requirements. It is anticipated that the RFP will be posted on MERX towards the middle of summer 2011 with a closing date approximately five weeks later. These dates are subject to change.

California Releases Revised FY 2011-2012 Budget

The state of California released Governor Brown's revised FY 2011-12 budget in mid-May 2011. The revised budget addresses the solutions put forth in the Governor's Recommended Budget released in January 2011, along with additional solutions deemed necessary to reduce the state's budget deficit. Even with $13.4 billion in solutions proposed in the January budget, most of which were accepted by the legislature, a $9.6 billion shortfall remains. To balance the budget and create a $1.2 billion reserve, the May revision proposes $10.8 billion in solutions.

In the revision, Governor Brown notes that much of the state's deficit is a result of too much borrowing, and he suggests several ways of reversing the damage done. One of his ideas proposes the reduction of state government. This includes eliminating 43 departments, offices, task forces, commissions, and boards, and realigning functions to local authorities. He also proposes the sale of underutilized and nonessential state properties. Governor Brown hopes to reduce operating costs and travel costs to supplement the savings. The state will likely reduce state personnel by approximately 5,500 in the next year.

Another part of the governor's plan is the reinstatement of a personal income surcharge for 2012 through 2015. According to the May revision, these funds would be used to fund a major realignment of public safety programs and protect education funding. The plan would help the state avoid an "all-cuts" budget that would significantly impact education and health care funding, which have already been greatly reduced. Governor Brown's revised budget solutions would operate on the assumption that an "all-cuts" budget or a budget full of "gimmicks" would be detrimental to California's fiscal health. Instead, Gov. Brown feels the solutions proposed will contribute to California's long-term recovery and success.

GovWin'S TAKE

California and Governor Brown have some tough decisions ahead of them. The state's fiscal situation is dire, and cuts will have to be made. It's hard to say how the solutions proposed in the revision will affect the state economy in the long run, but the constant theme of consolidating and streamlining has been successful in reducing costs for many cities, states, and localities recently.

Pennsylvania’s FY 11-12 Balanced Budget Analysis: Read My Budget, Not My Lips

Table1: PA Budget Comparison FY 10 to FY 12


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Source: GovWin and PA Governor's Proposed FY 11 - 12 All Funds Budget

When Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett introduced his budget in a pointed address to a joint session of the General Assembly on March 8, 2011, he quipped, "The electorate, its trust scraped to the bone by lies and half truths, isn't going to stand for another broken promise ... I said we'd cut. I'm not asking you to read my lips. I'm asking you to read my budget.'' True to his word, he proposed to eliminate all $3.2 billion in previous budget increases from FY 10 to FY 11, returning the FY 12 budget to FY 10 levels of $63.5 billion in all-fund expenditures. While the quotable one-liners from Corbett's budget address were plentiful, and even entertaining, the reality of a 4.87 percent all-funds reduction from FY 11 to FY 12 will certainly leave some agencies reeling and bring a measure of uncertainty to government contracting with the commonwealth.

For Pennsylvania, these cuts mean changing the way government is conducted. As Corbett indicated, "It's time to peel off the duct tape and get to work on what's broken underneath.'' Specifically, the governor's proposal focused on improving four key elements: fiscal discipline, free enterprise, limited government, and reform.

Figure 1: PA Budget Comparison FY 10 to FY 12


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Source: GovWin and PA Governor's Proposed FY 11 - 12 All Funds Budget

Limited and transparent government According to Corbett, "Limited government means not mistaking someone else's property for your own ... Our job isn't to buy off our problems; it's to solve them.'' In terms of fiscal discipline, Corbett called for "no new spending." Some specific reduction measures included eliminating $850 million in budget line items (state pork), no per diem for employees, reducing the vehicle fleet, and reviewing all boards and commissions. Corbett also proposed resetting the basic education funding subsidy to FY 09 levels (down $1.3 billion) and cutting funding for state-supported universities (down $676 million), making the dollar value of education cuts the steepest of all verticals in FY 12.

To improve transparency efforts, Corbett wants to improve the state's online portal to include budget, capital and workforce information. While increased transparency will allow for improved business assessment of opportunities in the commonwealth, the governor's announcement of a privatization task force (to determine which functions will be better accomplished by the private sector) is potentially the biggest news for government IT contracting in the entire budget. While the task force is just getting off the ground, privatization efforts often include significant IT projects that introduce cost savings to current government operations (*see NC INSA as a recent example). As a head start for privatization efforts, the FY 12 budget reduced operational expenses by 2 percent (notably cutting state salaries, benefits, and retirement) and eliminated 1,500 state positions. As a vertical comparison, the proposed cut to general government is $210 million (8.74 percent) for FY 12.

Reform As a mitigation of the effects of deep slashing in education, the governor suggested tax credits, charter schools, dual enrollment for secondary students, and cutting bureaucratic strings (both legal and fiscal) to grant both increased power and responsibility to localities. However, Corbett stopped short of allowing school districts to fully fund cuts by proposing limits to local property tax increases that localities would institute to offset losses in state funds. The governor also wants tort reform to reduce lawsuits, legal reform to bring businesses to the state, and regulatory reform to allow businesses streamlined business opportunities. Finally, while the FY 12 cuts are based upon current tax levels, Corbett suggested cutting taxes even further looking forward, including the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax, the corporate net income tax, the inheritance tax, and other corporate taxes. As the realities of current budget cuts settle in, if tax cuts are also enacted, even deeper spending reductions will be necessary in the future to keep the state budget balanced.

Public health and safety According to the governor, "If there's one place you sometimes want government, it's on a lonely road ... We need that protection, plain and simple.'' While Corbett claimed he would not fund any budget increases, there are technically three verticals with increases in FY 12, with justice and public safety leading the way with a $51.2 million (1.48 percent) increase. Specifically, he wants to expand crime and violence prevention efforts including increased funding to the state police. Additionally, he proposed increasing correctional funding with more officers, improved medical services, and programs for inmates. Such increases are not surprising considering Corbett's record as attorney general and stated priority in this vertical.

While health care is also stated as one of his priorities, with a 0.05 percent increase in FY 12, Corbett did not give it nearly the budget attention he gave justice and public safety. However, it seems his efforts were mainly focused on preserving programs (disease management, family, and child health) rather than growing them. Cost-saving measures included increasing competition among service providers, increasing flexibility, more community-based care, and eliminating Medicaid fraud. Finally, some of the funding increases were tied to health care IT initiatives (see below for more information).

Free enterprise Addressing his free enterprise pillar, Corbett said "We're looking for new jobs ... We have the chance to grow our way out of hard days.'' While a stated priority, the measures outlined here seem conflicting. For example, he suggested increasing programs that encourage economic growth and job creation, while also suggesting reductions in business incentive programs by 50 percent. Examining the economic development vertical, the budget is cut by $481 million (12.1 percent) for FY 12. The rest of Corbett's mixed bag includes tax credits, incentives, and programs for technology, research, and chemical companies. So, even with the overall economic development cuts, one unexpected needle in the haystack for IT companies is the tax incentive offered to those willing to establish business offices in the commonwealth. As is a trend in many other states, Pennsylvania will likely look for business opportunities with IT and technology companies that not only bring winning solutions to the state, but also jobs. Every state wants an increased IT business footprint within their borders to increase both future job opportunities and the corporate tax base.

The commonwealth's IT budget in focus Perhaps the best news of all for IT contractors is the commonwealth's IT budget. Despite the governor's assertion that there would be no budget growth, IT spending is projected to increase by $122.9 million, or 9.49 percent from FY 11 to FY 12. Even though doom and gloom dominate in every budget vertical outside of justice and public safety, IT spending continues on an upward trend in Pennsylvania. To read additional detailed vertical analysis about the state's IT budget and projected growth opportunities, click here (subscription to GovWin Industry Analysis required).

Click here for more budget data in the Pennsylvania state profile.

Follow me on Twitter here.

Source: GovWin, Pennsylvania Governor's Proposed FY 11 - 12 All Funds Budget, and Governor Corbett's Budget Address Press Release from March 8, 2011

More Funding Released for Insurance Exchanges

In the world of health care, it seems federal funding is ever flowing. Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a round of health insurance exchange establishment grants to Indiana, Rhode Island, and Washington state, totaling an estimated $35 million. Washington state is receiving $23 million, which will bolster its localized approach to health care reform. Indiana, receiving $6.9 million, has already contracted with Deloitte to help define and develop exchange business requirements, and First Data Government Solutions to conduct eligibility determination system planning services. Indiana still has some kinks to work out; however, the Indiana Senate and House passed Senate Bill 461, which reads a "state agency may not implement or prepare to implement the federal health care act," and may not adopt regulations unless authorized by state law. It is important to note that an agency may not apply for or accept a grant related to the Affordable Care Act unless it is reviewed and recommended by the legislative council. Last but not least, Rhode Island received $5.2 million to strengthen health IT systems, develop an integrated consumer support program, and strengthen business operations. As part of exchange planning, Rhode Island will look to procure a benefit exchange Web portal and reporting system.

Unfortunately for most states, HHS, while generous with funding, has not budged on exchange time constraints – insurance exchanges must be operational by January 1, 2014. This enormous milestone has most states agreeing that planning needed to start years ago to be able to design, develop, and implement brand new IT systems in time. With an estimated 36 million newly eligible Medicaid recipients, exchanges will not be the only IT systems worked on. States will need to take a good look (and heavily lean on vendors for help) at how they currently address the entire spectrum of benefit assistance. Redesigning a Medicaid eligibility system to connect with an insurance exchange might mean changing a system that touches eligibility for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or in some highly interconnected eligibility systems, child care and child support.

Vendors interested in tapping into the exchange market need to be able to deliver innovative solutions in short time frames. Interoperable components and platforms are a must to allow for the flexibility of connecting programs down the road. Vendors needing a refresher course on health insurance exchanges can download GovWin's report and look for an upcoming analyst perspective on the topic. Remember to connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIN!

Michigan's FY 12-13 Budget: A Vertical Analysis

New Governor Rick Snyder and Utah convert turned Budget Director/Director of the Michigan Department of Technology, John Nixon released the Michigan Executive Budget for FY 12 and FY 13 on February 17, 2011. The new team was greeted with 10 years of $0 revenue growth, one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, and a projected $1.4 billion budget deficit in FY 12. While this may sound bleak and unfortunately representative of many states grappling with major revenue disruptions, it turns out Michigan is a little different. Budget deficits and hard times stretch back to the last recession in Michigan and in some ways give the state's government a competitive advantage in making tough decisions to right-side the state's financials. Two weeks before releasing this budget, John Nixon indicated that "...everything is on the table in Michigan" when it comes to building a balanced and strategic budget to move the state towards solvency.

Table 1: Michigan Budget Comparison Across FY 11-13


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The new administration has identified long term spending plans, program-specific adjustments, performance metrics, and government transparency as strategies to move from a reactive, crisis management mode of fiscal policy to a proactive spend management approach with a desired result of fiscal solvency.

Michigan's current fiscal year (FY 11) is balanced, but, the administration is closely watching changes in Medicaid and unemployment insurance loan interest. In addition, 14% of the FY 11 general fund budget is comprised of one-time budget fixes, like ARRA funding. The funding cliff after ARRA funding expires is fast approaching for all states and is one reason for Michigan's projected $1.4 billion budget gap in FY 12. Other factors include flat tax revenues exacerbated by rising health (Medicaid), family service demands during this economic downturn, and baby boomers shifting toward older age and retirement.

Figure 1: Michigan Budget Vertical Comparison Across FY 11-13


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The education vertical will experience some of the deepest cuts in the coming fiscal years. All fund totals for higher education drop -11.53% from FY 11 - FY 12. Over the same period, primary and secondary education vertical spending decreases -7.34% to $12.3 billion. The gaps are being met by reductions in funding to PK-12, focusing community college funding on historically successful systems, and other administrative and miscellaneous cost savings methods.

Health care and social service verticals share the "biggest buckets to cut" award with education and will close gaps by reducing the lifetime limit for the Family Independence Program to 48 months and by closing detention centers.

Read here for more analysis, including an IT vertical breakdown.

Follow me on Twitter here.

New York’s Balanced Budget: Passing the Buck and Business Opportunities in a $10 Billion Reduction

The New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo reached an agreement by the April 1 deadline to balance the state budget. The press releases and budget introductions by both touted making the "hard choices" to change "business as usual" in the state. Notably, the state faced a $10 billion shortfall for FY 11–12 before enacting the current budget measures. After budget measures, the state's FY 11–12 budget was balanced with a $0 deficit. So, how exactly did New York eliminate $10 billion from its budget and where can business opportunities be found in such an environment?

Table 1: New York Budget Comparison Across FY 11 – FY 13


Click Here For Full Size

At first glance, the realities of budget math and political speeches seem different, as the bottom line of the state budget indicates a cut of approximately $3.1 billion from FY 11 to FY 12. Where is the other $7 billion?

Taxes will be raised (accounting for $324 million). However, this tax increase is certainly not as egregious as some in the media have indicated (passing fairly easily in both houses). What about the other $6.7 billion? Well, there are an additional savings of $900 million in one-time actions and another $300 million through other financial measures. Still, where is the balance of the balanced budget?

New York identified cutting $8.5 billion through what it called "spending control." In comparing the budget summaries with the actual enacted budget documents, it appears that state officials reduced the budget by $3.1 billion from FY to FY, yet claimed the elimination of $8.5 billion in spending. Diving deeper, New York, similarly to California, accomplished this by cutting state aid to localities (funds to local governments for schools, social services, and entitlements), with 70% of the $10 billion in savings for FY 11–12 coming in this area. The bottom line is that the buck is being passed down to localities not only in the coming fiscal year, but for many years to come. Still, why doesn't this $7 billion in cuts show up immediately in the enacted budget? These budget cuts are made from projected increases in expenses. So, before the funds for projected increases are appropriated, they are eliminated. The net effect was that the state reduced its own expenses by $3.1 billion ($1.5 billion savings through state agency redesign and ~$1.6 billion in various accounting adjustments) and passed on costs to local government by eliminating $7 billion in state aid to localities.

While the governor and legislature have come to an agreement that will keep the New York government operating for another year, deficit spending levels still exist with localities now picking up an increased portion of the bill. Looking ahead, the state budget again has projected spending deficits after the next fiscal year ($2.4 billion in FY 13; $2.8 billion in FY 14; and $4.6 billion in FY 15). If New York is to truly balance the budget, the state will either need to make difficult choices or come up with creative solutions.

However, even with these proposed cuts for the upcoming fiscal year, there is good news for IT contractors wishing to do business with the state. With only $3.1 billion in cuts ($1.5 billion in actual state spending cuts) for FY 11–12, New York will largely operate as they have, albeit with slowed growth. As identified by GovWin, IT procurement opportunities still exist in New York through the approximated $1.2 billion total IT expenditures in FY 11–12. In order to examine the IT business opportunities in New York in greater detail, the following vertical analysis is presented.

Figure 1: NY Spending Comparison Across Verticals FY 11 – FY 13


Click Here For Full Size

In FY 10–11, 8 of 12 verticals experienced growth, more than likely coinciding with the 6.26% overall budget growth from FY 09-10. K-12 education led the way with 18.38% growth, while homeland security experienced the biggest loss at -12.66%. However, the $10 billion in cuts necessary to balance the budget in FY 11-12 resulted in more vertical losses than gains, with the biggest three losers (in order) being general government (-9.86%), K-12 education (-8.28%), and economic development/regulation (-6.71%). These losses seem in line with the governor's stated priorities of "cap[ping] spending increases for education" and "creating efficiencies through consolidation." However, given the governor's recent focus on economic development initiatives within the state, the cut to this vertical is somewhat surprising.

While more modest than in previous years, 5 out of 12 verticals experienced increases in FY 11-12. The biggest three gainers were homeland security (8.98%), public finance (3.93%), and higher education (2.62%). The gains in homeland security and public finance are logical given the governor's priority of increasing efficiency in these areas. In terms of higher education, the governor has also stated a priority of "ensuring affordable higher education."

Looking out further to FY 12-13, the state budget stabilizes somewhat, with 0.23% growth rate. While 7 out of 12 verticals will still experience decreases, the losses are much less severe. The good news is that some verticals are projected to experience real growth, including public finance (11.93%), justice/public safety (5.42%), and homeland security (4.33%). Higher education also continues its upward trend with a projected growth rate of 3.32%. Probably even better news for contractors looking for opportunities to position for future state growth are the projected overall state budget growth rates for FY 13-14 (3.98%) and FY 14-15 (6.27%). While not nearly as robust as the halcyon days prior to the recession, positive budget growth is certainly welcome news and should boost any flagging business spirits; budgetary increases will translate into more state spending.

Read more analysis here (IT verticals) in GovWin's Analyst's Perspectives (subscription required). Follow me on Twitter here.

New York state sends out subpoenas for Monroe County’s privatized communications system

The New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has issued subpoenas to a number of individuals who are part of local development corporation (LDC) Monroe Security and Safety Systems (M3SLDC). M3SLDC was established in 2009 by Monroe County to provide public safety technology and services to county citizens. With millions spent and Monroe County on the hook for $224 million, questions are being raised as to the creation of MS3LDC and its contractor Navitech Services Corp.

Back in 2009, following the creation of the Monroe County local development corporation, I blogged about how the creation of such a corporation would be disadvantageous to the county because it would prevent revaluation of services, software and hardware every few years. Under normal circumstances, an agency would bid out services and if the results were unsatisfactory after the initial terms of the deal, the agency could rebid the services and contract with a new vendor. Monroe County gave up its own independence in the procurement process when it allowed M3SLDC to complete all the contracting itself, possibly with ulterior motives behind its decisions, or at least that is what the New York state attorney general may believe.

Part of the concern in Monroe County is that Harris Corp. was selected by M3SLDC for subcontracting of the project at a cost of $11 million more than a competing firm. Therefore, Harris Corp. was also subpoenaed. Much of the negativity regarding the M3SLDC subpoenas centers around its creation, lack of transparency and contracts like the one given to Harris Corp. LDCs are not subject to the same procurement laws as a government agency and are under no obligation to provide all documents as open records. However, M3SLDC believes that it has been open and provided documentation on its website.

Due to the rarity of LDCs commanding such control over a county's public safety services, these subpoenas and the subsequent investigation will be interesting to follow. These types of projects that are controlled by an external group do not appear to be the trend I thought they might become in 2009. LDCs may work in some arenas, but they seem to bring along a tremendous amount of baggage that begs the question, are they worth it?

Washington state E911 office to reimburse computer aided dispatch purchases

If you are a computer aided dispatch (CAD) vendor, now is the time to begin working with counties in Washington state. Effective June 1, 2011, the Washington Military Department, Emergency Management Division's E911 Office will be reimbursing eligible counties for the purchase or lease of new CAD systems, which consists of basic hardware and/or software. This funding assistance will be in place from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013. In order to qualify for assistance, the county requesting reimbursement must have a contract with the state's E911 office. The amount requested must be reasonable, prudent, and applicable to E911. All equipment must be ordered, installed, and accepted no later than the end of the contract performance period of June 30, 2013. The state will have a moratorium on this type of funding assistance from March 1, 2013 through June 30, 2013.

Applicable CAD systems may include a mapping component if not part of the public safety answering point's (PSAP) customer premise equipment (CPE)/telephone system or part of a stand-alone system. At a minimum, the basic components of the CAD system shall consist of hardware, call-entry module, geodata module, and interface to geographical information services (GIS) and teletype interface. The interfaces to automatic number identification (ANI)/automatic location identification (ALI) controllers are fundable. This includes upgrades to add new software features and hardware, or acquisitions to replace failed components.

Reimbursements for lease costs shall be on a year-to-year basis. Prior to approval of this policy, the state's E911 office reimbursed for CAD hardware and software. Maintenance was not to exceed 10 percent of the original eligible purchase price of the equipment per year. For this reimbursement period, counties must submit a written quote including shipping, handling, taxes, and installation charges to the state's E911 office for review and approval prior to purchasing or leasing the equipment. Written quotes should be sent to E911request@emd.wa.gov.

GovWin Take:

This reimbursement program offers a great deal of opportunity for vendors who are finding it more difficult to convince agencies to purchase equipment in the current financial environment. Nothing is more frustrating than an agency being handcuffed by budget or lack of budget. This program gives agencies the flexibility they need to purchase equipment they normally would need to add to their capital improvement program or other long-term planning budgets. On top of this, it provides agencies with the direction and assistance they need in determining how and what to buy. More information on this program can be found HERE.

ABA's Sixth Annual State and Local Procurement Symposium recap

The American Bar Association (ABA), Section of Public Contract Law held its 6th Annual State and Local Procurement Symposium on May 13, 2011. The event was hosted in Sacramento, Calif. in partnership with the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO), the National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP) and TechAmerica. The event contained energized discussions on current challenges, drivers and solutions in state and local procurement and procurement law around outsourcing, public/private partnerships, cloud computing and cooperative purchasing.

Panelist led discussions on varying topics that all touched on the current government market mix of shrinking public sector revenues, tightened capital markets, aging government physical and human infrastructure, and high demands by citizens for services as catalysts for change. Private sector investment in government through public/private partnerships or benefits-funded contracts is much more appealing to governments with no money to invest. The low capital expenditures in the cloud computing model make it a much more appealing model, especially when compared to high cost custom solutions. The conference wrapped with a positive discussion on interstate cooperative contracts and how they make perfect sense to resource-strapped procurement departments and small agencies that want leveraged buying power. Dianne Lancaster, chief procurement officer of Oregon supported this momentum by stating that the 30 WSCA/NASPO contracts now net more than $6 billion annually.

Find a full Analyst Recap with expanded details and analysis here.

Take Aways

  • Governments should negotiate an "out" for cloud contracts
  • Vendors should use the question and answer period for all it is worth to address contract terms and conditions
  • Governments will benefit from cloud solutions by accepting standardization with enough customization
  • Governments should ask how cloud products can support their business process transformations
  • State and local governments should keep an eye on federal activities for potential cloud solutions
  • Revenue-challenged governments are driven to exercise flexible sourcing strategies, including outsourcing, PPPs, benefits-funded and fee-based contracts

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