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States Invest in Infrastructure for Social Service Programs– Top Initiatives in 2010

Throughout 2010 states will continue to expand use of technology to support social services programs, given budget constraints are forcing the need to deliver services with lower operational expenses. Whether agencies are seeking to determine eligibility or delivering services for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Care, Child Support ,and/or Child Welfare, state leaders are actively and aggressively restructuring their business processes. Widespread unemployment has strained legacy Unemployment Compensation systems , creating the need for system redesigns in some states and even giving rise in some regions to consider new approaches, such as cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions.

Continued expansion and sophistication of calls centers enables governments to lower costs in the delivery of human services. While some social workers continue to operate in state and county offices meeting with applicants face-to-face, a growing number of workers are providing support in a call center environment, reaching a wider array of citizens throughout the state. Doing more with less has been a resounding theme throughout government and more pervasive use of technology is a driving force for agency leaders to meet increasing demands for services. Just as critical as lowering operation costs, states must adhere to required federal and state legislated guidelines for programs. These requirements often led agencies at the helm of human service programs to institute more fraud detection and management systems for the purpose of identifying erroneous claims and payments. As Information Technology (IT) leaders plan system modernizations, they often engage consultants to provide expertise before embarking upon major changes, a critical step to avoid disasters. Many agencies utilize state contracts for professional services when sourcing consultants.

Social Service projects throughout 2010 include:

  • California Child Support Maintenance and Operations RFP anticipated February/March – Estimated contract value $72 million

    California's Department of Child Support Services needs technical support services for system operations, application maintenance, and IT support with fully integrated state/contractor technical teams. A Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Child Support Enforcement System (CSE) Maintenance and Operations Services will include requirements for automated services to approximately 10,000 users statewide, collecting and disbursing more than $2.3 billion annually in child support payments.

  • Florida – Unemployment Compensation Modernization

    RFP anticipated February - Estimated contract value $68 million

    Florida's Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI) will release a RFP for development of a web-enabled, integrated information system to support Florida's workforce. A Request for Information (RFI) was released in October 2009 and the state is currently evaluating feedback from participating vendors. The project includes development of a web-enabled, integrated information system to provided unemployment services. Deployment of the system will require strong interconnectivity with multiple agency environments and systems maintained by the AWI in addition to managing eligibility functionality.

  • Oregon – Human Services Modernization RFP anticipated February/March - Estimated contract value $30 million

    Plans for major changes are underway for the Children Adults and Families Self Sufficiency Modernization Program (CAF-SSM), managed by the Oregon Department of Human Services. Key areas of development in the program include: the rollout of consolidated online eligibility estimators, automation of eligibility determination for Medicaid medical care and consolidation of the caseworker service portal. Much of the project will include planning and design of a unified Self Sufficiency Case Management system which requires development of a self sufficiency data warehouse.

  • Pennsylvania – IT Services Strategic Business Systems RFP anticipated March - Estimated contract value $30 million

    The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) released a Draft RFP for IT Services for DPW's Strategic Business Systems in October 2009. This solicitation followed the RFI the state issued in March 2009. The agency is seeking a vendor to provide "top-tier" support and management assistance in the planning IT needs and to assume responsibility for managing the maintenance and operations of the systems included in the scope of this RFP.

  • Washington State Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) RFP anticipated March/April - Estimated contract value $20 million

    The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recently completed a feasibility study for the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) System. The Department is now engaged in completing an Advanced Planning Document for the initiative.

  • New Jersey– WIC Statewide Client Service System RFP anticipated March/April - Estimated contract value $5 million

    New Jersey currently has a contract with CMA Consulting for Women, Infant and Children (WIC) for their Automated Client Centered Electronic Service System (ACCESS), which expires on May 31, 2010. ACCESS has reportedly reached the end of its useful product lifecycle and the state has submitted an Advanced Planning Document (APD) to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). A RFP is being developed and is anticipated for release in 2010.

  • Texas – Workers Compensation System RFP anticipated February/March - Estimated contract value $10 million

    The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), Division of Workers' Compensation (TDI-DWC) is planning to migrate a legacy system to a new platform. A RFI was released in March 2009 specifying requirements that replacement systems will need to be compatible with its existing web-based technology platform and the primary focus of the effort is to drive efficiency for users of the compensation system. The project requires development of web-enabled applications for use by staff and external system participants. System modules will need to be rewritten in programming languages compatible with web-development tools and existing database architectures.

  • North Carolina – Families Accessing Services – IV&V

    RFP anticipated March/April - Estimated contract value $ 4 million

    North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services released a Request for Proposals for the NC Families Accessing Services through Technology, (NC FAST Case Management Solution )integration project and proposals will be submitted February 1, 2010 (Opportunity #52354). The Independent Verification and Validation Services (IV&V) for NC FAST will be needed to support and validate case management processes for case managers and workers in the county social services departments. The project will include software performance testing and quality assurance.

  • Wisconsin – Automated Child Care Attendance Tracking System RFP anticipated March/April - Estimated contract value $ 4 million

    Planning is underway with the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF), Division of Enterprise Solutions, for an Automated Child Care Attendance Tracking System. The state plans to release a RFP after all system requirements are established and funding is finalized. In addition to automated attendance reporting, the agency is interested in linking automated payments to child care providers with a real-time attendance system, and to other cash payment systems such as Food Share, Child Support, or TANF benefits. A solution could likely incorporate payments into a single "smart card" system.

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