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American Education Week: Race to the Top District grant a new local level market driver

The successful federal Race to the Top (RTTT)  grant, established as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), has created a new $400 million grant competition targeting local education agencies (LEAs), called Race to the Top District (RTT-D). RTT-D, much like its state-centric counterpart, is intended to push education reform and innovation; only this time, it is targeting classroom learning. This new market driver is expected to influence growth in the procurement and development of education data systems. Applying LEAs that hope to win RTT-D funds will have to meet the stated requirements surrounding education data systems identified in the grant’s request for applications (RFA), such as:
 
At a minimum, use a robust data system that:
  • Uses an individual teacher identifier with a teacher-student match
  • Has the capability to provide timely data back to educators and their supervisors on student growth
 
Additionally, the LEAs should have the capability to:
  • Allow parents and students to export their information in an open data format
  • Demonstrate the ability to measure student progress and performance against college- and career-ready graduation requirements
  • Ensure student education records comply with FERPA 
  • Receive and/or match student data from preschool through 12th grade and higher education
 
Lastly, LEAs are required to:
  • Implement a teacher, principal, and superintendent evaluation system by no later than the 2014-2015 school year

 

 
The U.S. Education Department (USED) has received intent-to-apply notices from 892 LEAs representing 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Priority will be given to LEAs in states already awarded RTTT funds. In December 2012, the USED is expected to announce only 15-25 awards, spanning four years and ranging from $5 million to $40 million, based on the size of the LEA’s student population. In order to be eligible, LEAs must also:
 
  • Have at least 2,000 students, with 40 percent or more who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches
  • Apply the funds toward learning strategies that personalize education in all or a set of schools, within specific grade levels, or select subjects
  • Must obtain a signoff of support from the district superintendent or CEO, local school board president, and local teacher union or association president (where applicable)
 
Analyst’s Take
 
The future of the RTT-D grant competition depends on the success of this first installment. However, much like how the RTTT fueled major education innovations at the state level, RTT-D is expected to do the same at the local level. Over the next four years, applicant LEAs, whether they are awarded or not, will strive to make the investment in required and recommended education data systems just to vie for the extra federal funds. Like a lottery jackpot, most of the 892 applicant LEAs will not win this or any future RTT-D grant funds they apply for, but the possibility is enough to make the comparatively small risk of investing in systems, solutions, and services that could get them closer. The USED is using RTT-D like the proverbial rabbit in a greyhound race – not all will win, but they will run!
 
Based on the RTT-D requirements listed above, specific types of RTT-D related opportunities are likely to become more prevalent, such as:
 
  • Teacher/administrator performance tracking IT systems
  • Analytic and reporting tools
  • Interoperable education data systems
  • Unique identifier systems/solutions
  • Integration services
  • Identification and access management solutions
 
Remember to stay connected to Deltek’s General Government Services team via Twitter @GovWin_GenGov for more updates on trends, analysis and opportunities in the public education IT market.
 
 
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This Week in Deltek's American Education Week Blog Series:

Wednesday, November 14th - American Education Week: State and local education data systems, 2012

American Education Week: State and local education data systems, 2012

Education data (ED) system is an umbrella term that relates to any IT system collecting, managing and/or analyzing education data. State and local entities use education data to set policies, budgets, human resource needs, and even curriculum decisions.
 
In the past, most of this data was trapped at the local level or within the state-level K-12 education system. Now, these once compartmentalized data sets are being pulled together with other data sets to improve classroom learning, build efficiency, and close the achievement gap. After nearly 10 years of aggressive federal grant funding fueling innovation for state-level education data systems, better known as statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDS), most states have completed or are nearing completion of their SLDS for K-12 data. 
 
Vendors should know that, despite SLDS opportunities winding down, the need for related ED systems in the form of integration services, maintenance services and business intelligence/analytics have not dried up. If anything, these opportunities are likely to grow, especially at the local level with the introduction of new market drivers from federal and states governments.
 
Just this year, a total of 278 solicitations related to education data systems were identified in the GovWin IQ database:
 
  • Local School Districts - 85 solicitations
  • State Education Agencies - 59 solicitations
  • Public Higher Ed -134 solicitations

 
State education agencies (SEAs) have begun to look horizontally to local education agencies (LEAs) to start pushing more student and teacher data from the district level to be fed into new longitudinal data systems. SEAs have also begun to look vertically to see how they can link to other state agency data sets down the road.
 
 
State-level procurement predictions
 
On the state level, longitudinal data systems compile K-12 education data from the district level, tracking student performance over multiple years and across several agencies and institutions. Most SLDSs include or aspire to include data from both public higher education institutions and workforce/labor departments in the near future. In the long term, these systems will include data from other agencies such as Medicaid services, Child Protective Services, and the justice system.
 
State-level opportunities in the next phase of ED systems will be related to the linking of K-12 education data to higher education data and workforce/labor data, as well as other agency data sets. Because of these future linkages, the need for integration services and business intelligence/analytics solutions will be on the rise.
 

 

 
Local-level procurement predictions
 
On the local level, most schools use multiple IT systems to collect a variety of education data. These systems include student information systems (SIS), special education management systems, teacher/principal performance tracking systems, student assessment systems, and instructional/curriculum management systems. The issue now is that many LEAs are not collecting all the education data needed to be fed into their respective SLDS. In 2010, only 38 percent of LEAs were using teacher-performance tracking systems, and only 64 percent were using instructional/curriculum management systems.
 
In an effort to get LEAs up to speed, the federal government launched a new Race to the Top grant directed at LEAs to assist in the development, acquisition and/or procurement of more robust ED systems. In a complementary move, many states also passed legislation requiring LEAs to link and submit the needed education data up to the state SLDS. Out of necessity, LEAs will oblige and obtain these more robust, interoperable ED systems as well as any related integration services, BI/analytics and reporting solutions.
 

 

 
 
Analyst’s Take
 
Vendors new to the education data systems market might not have been able to compete with larger vendors on the state level, but they will likely get a second chance in the smaller LEA market. This is especially true for integration services and BI solutions vendors looking to expand into the K-12 education IT market.
 
 
For more on Education Data Systems, read the full report here (subscription required).
 
 
Also, remember to stay connected to Deltek’s General Government Services team via Twitter @GovWin_GenGov for more updates on trends, analysis and opportunities in the public education IT market.
 
 
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This Week in Deltek's American Education Week Blog Series:
 

 

 

American Education Week: K-12 virtual learning procurement, 2012

The concept of virtual learning environments, where teachers, students and resources all interact electronically, has probably been bouncing around public consciousness as long as jetpacks and flying cars. Although modern technology has not quite advanced enough to facilitate those two technologies, we now have all the infrastructure and resources in place to make virtual learning a staple of modern American schooling.
  
 
 
This begs the question: Why are we still sending 90-95 percent of children to physical classrooms, making them buy paper-heavy textbooks, and storing their work in lockers that they can’t access outside of school hours? Why not have students and teachers meet virtually and have them work off of information modules with digital readings available alongside automated newsfeeds? Why not virtually provide links to real-world examples of the day’s lessons, with near unlimited storage capacity captured in a device the size of a thumb drive? If it’s not the technology that’s holding this reality back, then what is?
 
Deltek’s K-12 Virtual Learning report takes a broad look at the education market for virtual learning, measures the cultural and political drivers pushing its adoption, and gives a bird’s-eye view of the current virtual learning environment and where it may go over the next five years. Here are a few report highlights:
 
Overcrowded schools
 
According to the U.S. Department of Education, total K-12 public school enrollment is approximately 50 million, with an additional two million students expected to enroll by 2019. Conversely, the total public school teacher workforce currently sits at just more than 3 million, with another half million teachers projected to be hired by public school districts by 2019. At first glance, those ratios look to be in line with most state educational guidelines for proper teacher/student ratios compatible with effective learning. However, one must keep in mind that nearly two-thirds of the public school student population is pre-K through 8th grade, where student-teacher ratios are significantly smaller. These high-level figures also do not account for special education classrooms, which require more teachers.
 
Overcrowding continues to be a real (if regional) problem in American schools. Typically, urban environments are far more vulnerable to overcrowding than their rural and suburban counterparts. For years, New York City has dealt with overcrowded classrooms in pockets of low-income school districts, while the United Federation of Teachers claims half of all NYC public schools have class sizes above what is specified in teacher union contracts. In California, by far the most densely populated state in the country, nearly one in three children attend an overcrowded school, according to a 2011 UCLA report,  “The Crisis: Overcrowding in Public Schools: An Epidemic that is Getting Worse!
 
Political and cultural obstacles
 
Virtual and distance education technologies provide a fantastic way to address overcrowded schools and cut down on infrastructure spending at a time when education budgets are getting the axe, nationwide. Unfortunately, most states and school districts continue to see solutions to this problem in more traditional terms (more schools, more teachers, more textbooks, more supplies, etc). Though it has never been easier to conduct school business online, virtual learning initiatives placed well behind other priorities on governors’ public education focus areas for 2012. Among all 50 states, just seven mentioned virtual learning as a priority, putting it significantly behind workforce investment (36 mentions) and school choice (16 mentions), and tied with early childhood education. Virtual learning initiatives are simply not a priority that will have states running to the private sector in the next few years.
 
Additionally, despite how far technologies have come in the last 15-20 years, there is still a stigma among parents and school officials about online teaching and learning. The lack of physical interaction, inability to supervise or monitor student activity, and the loss of social and educational opportunities (like clubs and extracurricular groups) are all concerns surrounding the online learning model. However, challenges are minimizing as technologies for virtual education evolve and integrate into the traditional brick and mortar school system we all grew up in. Blended virtual learning environments, combining online learning with periodic group gatherings and coordination, have the potential to take advantage of 21st century Internet technologies while remaining grounded in the kind of face-to-face interaction that has remained a touchstone of public school systems for a hundred years.
 
     
 
Analyst’s Take
 
We are clearly on a path toward increasing the share of virtual learning in our public schools. According to a 2011 study by Picciano and Seaman, about five million students will be enrolled in online courses by 2016. Among the states, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan and Virginia all require online coursework for students to graduate.
 
In addition, as of 2011, 30 states have multiple school districts with full-time online schools in place, and 40 have a statewide or state-led virtual school in place. The variables driving virtual learning and the need to engage students on technology platforms ensure this trend is not going away anytime soon, and is likely to intensify in the intermediate and distant future. However, many significant cultural and political obstacles will have to be hurdled before widespread embrace of virtual learning (and the resultant IT procurement).
 
Right now, the biggest virtual learning procurement needs occupying state and local governments continue to be traditional IT hardware for classrooms, such as computers, laptops and mobile and smartphone technology, followed by learning management systems. While the market for online learning is gradually gaining steam, in comparative terms, it is more attractive as a long-term business investment than a short or intermediate one. As promising and inevitable as the model may seem, ubiquitous virtual learning procurement is still likely a ways off from becoming a force in state and local purchases.
 
Here are some examples of virtual and distance learning opportunities in the GovWinIQ database:
 
For more on K-12 virtual learning, read the full report here (subscription required).
Remember to Stay connected to Deltek’s General Government Services team via Twitter @GovWin_GenGov for more updates on trends, analysis and opportunities in the public education IT market.
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This Week in Deltek's American Education Week Blog Series:

General government state and local ballot initiatives: lotteries, gaming and other news

While media outlets nationwide concentrate heavily on how Tuesday’s election results will affect federal
government spending, contracting and state and local funding, I would like to shine a light on a series of state and local ballot measures that will certainly fly under the radar in the wake of President Obama’s reelection, but may nevertheless have major impact on business, procurement and IT needs. Here’s a breakdown of several measures that are sure to affect state and local lottery and gaming operations, as well as procurement law:
 
LOTTERY AND GAMING
 
Maryland:
-       Voters statewide weighed in on Question 7, the much-talked about gaming expansion ballot initiative to allow the construction of a casino in Prince George’s County. Public officials argued that tax revenues from the casino would go toward education funding. The measure was vociferously opposed (mainly by a rival casino operator in West Virginia), and led to the most expensive political campaign in Maryland’s history, with more than $90 million spent between supporters and opponents. Despite the opposition, the measure passed by a 52 percent to 48 percent margin.
 
Oregon:
-       Oregon had two proposed amendments to the state constitution that would have legalized privately owned casinos with gambling, and used the tax revenue for various budget purposes. Both measures were defeated.
 
Rhode Island:
-       Rhode Island approved a measure to allow state-operated casino gambling at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I. Another measure to allow state-operated casinos in Newport received support from statewide voters (67 percent), but failed to pass because the measure had to be approved by a majority of Newport voters. As with all new state-operated gambling venues, there will likely be substantial opportunities for vendors who provide video lottery terminals, gaming systems and other forms of electronic gambling.
 
Florida:
-       Lee County sought to allow slot machine gaming at the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound track. Voters approved the measure, though it remains subject to authorization by the state legislature. The approval of these machines is expected to lay the groundwork for future lottery and gaming expansions in the state.
-       Volusia County also proposed installing slot machines at designated locations throughout the county. Results for this measure are not available at this time.
 
Illinois:
-       Wood Dale City and Winfield Village both put initiatives on the DuPage County ballot to prohibit video gambling. Wood Dale voted in favor of prohibition, as did Winfield Village.
 
New York:
-       The city of Geneseo voted on whether to allow video gaming. According to the Star Courier, the measure was barely defeated with a 17-vote margin of 1,730 to 1,713.
 
ODDS AND ENDS:
 
California:
-       The cities of Newport Beach and Murrieta placed a pair of initiatives on the ballot to ban the use of red-light cameras. Red-light and speed cameras are produced almost exclusively by the private sector, and cities frequently contract these services out. Murrieta voters approved Measure N to ban the use of such cameras, as did Newport Beach. A fun fact I learned while writing a paper on red-light cameras for my public policy graduate school program: Since 1990, every time the use of red-light or speed cameras has been put to a referendum, the public has overwhelmingly voted to prohibit their use.
-       The city of Santa Rosa voted on a measure to alter the city’s charter to allow the city to contract with a single vendor to provide both design and build services for projects. Previously, the charter required the city to solicit services separately. Though results aren’t final at this time, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat is reporting that the measure is likely to pass (68.4 percent to 31.6 percent).
 
Alabama:
-       A measure to amend the Alabama State Constitution to allow the issuance of general obligation bonds of up to $750 million with the goal of providing financial incentives to existing companies within the state as well as attracting new industry passed with a 69.3 percent to 30.66 percent margin.
 
Florida:
-       The town of Redington placed a measure on the Pinellas County ballot proposing alterations to the town charter codifying a requirement that bidding and purchases be done through a competitive bidding process “whenever practical.” Results are not available at this time.
 
Analyst’s Take
 
As for the large swatch of lottery and gambling initiatives, with the exception of Rhode Island and a few other governments, most of the measures were to legalize privately owned and operated gambling establishments, not state-run facilities with concrete contracting possibilities. Still, for many states, the first step toward state-run gambling is permitting the practice in the private sector. While this may not lead to business opportunities in the immediate future, keep an eye on the state and local governments that passed gambling referendums. Chances are that three to five years down the road, a lot of these governments will be looking to get into the lottery and gaming business as well.

 

General government state and local ballot initiatives: Education

While media outlets nationwide concentrate heavily on how Tuesday’s election results will affect federal government spending, contracting and state and local funding, I would like to shine a light on a series of state and local ballot measures that will certainly fly under the radar in the wake of President Obama’s reelection, but may nevertheless have major impact on business, procurement and IT needs. Here’s a breakdown of several measures that are sure to affect the state and local education landscape, lottery and gaming operations, and procurement law:
 
EDUCATION
 
Illinois:
-       In Chicago, voters have tentatively passed Ballot Measure E, which would provide $78 million for improvements to Chico Unified School District campuses. That is a hefty amount, and there is sure to be a fair amount put toward upgrading the district’s technology infrastructure.
 
Arizona:
-       Prop 204 would have approved a 1 cent per dollar sales tax hike. Approximately 80 percent of the revenue from the tax hike would have gone toward bolstering education funds; contractors within the state largely supported its passage. The measure failed by a 2-1 margin.

Coconino County, Arizona:
-       A measure to increase the operating budget for the Page Unified School District in Coconino County would have led to a $1.16 million increase in funding through 2017-18. The measure failed to pass.
 
Maricopa County, Arizona:
-       The West-MEC bond will lead to almost $75 million in bonds to pay for new campuses and vocational training centers for the Western Maricopa Education Center. The initiative will also result in new facilities in Buckeye and North Phoenix, and improvements to existing facilities in Glendale and Surprise. According to the Phoenix Arizona News, the measure was overwhelmingly approved.
 
California:
-       The passing of Governor Brown’s proposition for a sales and income tax increase (Prop 30) was a major win for education. The measure is expected to raise $6-$9 billion in additional revenue for schools. Brown’s measure will raise taxes on high-income earners and be retroactive to all revenue earned since January 1, 2012. This measure will presumably stave off massive cuts to California’s education system that would have had devastating long-term effects on education procurement in the most populous state in the nation. 
 
-       Butte County’s Gridley Unified School District failed to pass a measure to borrow $11 million to “improve student access to computers and modern technology.” 
 
Many states and localities had ballot initiatives seeking to secure funding for education and schools through the issuance of bonds, tax increases or other forms of borrowing. In the vast majority of these cases, the intention was not to find new money, but rather find ways to continue status-quo funding or bolster large funding shortfalls. While this will not necessarily result in a wave of new spending on education or education IT, at the end of the day, the money will be used to preserve existing programs and contracts that would otherwise be canceled or discontinued without new sources of revenue. This represents more of a “staunch the bleeding” act for many governments, but if it means that existing contracts have enough funding to be re-bid moving forward, that will still result in a net gain for government contractors.

HHS softens blueprint deadline

Several states including Georgia, Wisconsin and Tennessee were waiting until the results of the presidential election before proceeding with plans to implement health insurance exchanges. Now that the results are in, states are expected to decide whether they will install a state-based exchange, create a state-federal partnership, or rely solely on the federal hub. Originally, states were expected to submit blueprints to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by November 16, 2012, stating their intent to set up an exchange. However, in attempt to alleviate some of the pressure and scrambling that many states are facing, HHS has decided to extend the deadline to December 14, 2012.
 
An overwhelming 25 five states have not clearly decided whether or not they will be implementing an insurance exchange. Fortunately, many of these states, have at least completed planning and surveying of their information technology environment – a crucial step in the implementation process. Texas and Florida have remained particularly quiet regarding any endeavors made toward implementing components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), due to their strong resistance to its foundation.
 
As always, be sure to follow Deltek’s Health Care and Social Services Team on Twitter @GovWin_HHS, or connect with us through LinkedIN. Also, stay tuned for more information around the release of the new Health Insurance Exchange Vertical Profile Application, coming out in the near future!

Arizona Releases Statewide Strategic IT Plan For 2013 To Improve Efficiencies

The Arizona Strategic Enterprise Technology (ASET) Office has released a Statewide Strategic IT plan for fiscal 2013 which builds on Governor Janice Brewer’s agenda by leveraging technology to enable a “more innovative, efficient, and sustainable government.”
In July 2011, Arizona’s Government Information Technology Agency merged with the Arizona Department of Administration’s Information Services Division to form the ASET Office, which now develops and executes the statewide IT strategy, while providing capabilities, services and infrastructure to ensure the continuity of mission critical and essential systems for the state.
As part of the Statewide Strategic IT Plan, which was developed in conjunction with the Governor’s Office, eight transformational initiatives were identified, defined and scoped to develop the strategic plan for 2013. These initiatives are expected to have a significant impact on the state as a whole - ensuring the business continuity and security of statewide assets, while providing citizens with the ability to access state services anywhere, any time.
Below, we highlight each of the initiatives which encompass the strategic plan for 2013, and detail how these will help the state moving forward:
1.     Implement a Continuous Improvement Culture - As part of the Governor’s commitment to reform state government, the Government Transformation Office (GTO) was established within the Department of Administration to implement a statewide continuous improvement program focused on education, process improvement projects, and capital impact.
 
Moving forward, Arizona will coordinate with the GTO to adopt improved and efficient policies and procedures. This coordinated effort will result in automating policies and procedures that are free of waste and inefficiency.  With an emphasis on service excellence and customer centricity, Centers of Excellence will be established throughout the state, which will offer recognition and reinforcement to best practices, while providing an opportunity for continued shared learning, as well as a continuous improvement culture.
 
2.     Accelerate Statewide Enterprise Architecture Adoptions and Asset Management - Over the past year, Arizona has made significant progress on the adoption of a statewide Enterprise Architecture (EA) strategy and framework. An EA advisory committee was established, a charter was developed and ratified, and an EA framework was selected. Accelerating this planning methodology throughout the state will result in “a more agile, efficient organization with more effective decision-making capabilities.”
 
As part of the EA expansion, Arizona will start with an assessment of technology contracts, infrastructure and applications. It will also begin to define and adopt a statewide Data Governance Model to improve the quality and accessibility of information. Together, these
capabilities will accelerate the business decision-making process, streamline the planning and procurement of statewide assets, and reduce the overall cost of doing business.
 
3.     Implement A New Statewide Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Solution - In January 2012, Governor Brewer addressed her plan for operational reform. The state’s accounting system which is a central operational system for the state’s employees, customers, and vendors is an outdated system with antiquated software and no external support. When the system fails, the consequences will span beyond the state and will ultimately impact our schools, businesses, and community. Therefore, Arizona plans to implement a statewide ERP system that will replace the Arizona Financial Information System (AFIS) and a number of other central and agency-specific administrative systems. It will also provide new administrative system functionality that will benefit the entire state. The benefits from replacing this outdated system will be more efficient and effective business processes, better informed and faster decision making, and improved business continuity.
 
4.     Expand E-government and Mobility Capabilities - In order to fulfill its vision, Arizona will begin to develop a statewide web platform to provide agencies with full content management functionality, mobile compatibility, and user identity management. Ultimately, this will allow agencies to deliver services faster, more consistently and securely, and to any device utilized by its citizens.
 
The state web portal (www.az.gov) is the gateway to Arizona, which contains invaluable information about how citizens work, live, play, and interact with state government. A collaborative approach with key stakeholders will be established to modernize the state web portal by developing a new design, adding new capabilities, and making it easier for citizens to access state services.
 
5.     Implement Critical Business Continuity Improvements at the State Data Center - The State Data Center currently houses technology systems that are mission critical to the continuity of business. There are more than 140 state entities that leverage the data center’s infrastructure, services, and capabilities. Ensuring these systems are operational and secure is absolutely critical to the functions of the state. Arizona will begin initiatives to upgrade critical aspects of the facility itself, ensure redundancy and continuity of critical systems, and increase capacity to support the growing number of agency customers.
 
In addition to upgrading the current environment, Arizona will also facilitate the foundation of a cloud-computing environment by beginning to build a comprehensive virtualization infrastructure. By providing capabilities such as self-provisioning, service monitoring, and capacity management, the state will begin to provide state agencies with a cost-effective model for moving to “the cloud.” This will also allow for an improved way to plan and manage the cost of IT. Moving IT costs from a capital expenditure (CAPEX) to an operational expenditure (OPEX) model will result in a consistent sustainable model that will improve IT cost planning.
 
6.     Implement a New Statewide Infrastructure & Communications Network -The AZNet program was established several years ago to ensure Arizona has a cost effective, efficient and consolidated shared telecommunications infrastructure to meet the needs of government agencies, their employees and the public. The next generation of the program is in progress to refresh the current infrastructure. This refresh will be an expansion of the central ring, which will extend out network capabilities to agencies that are currently unable to receive services on the state network. Ultimately, this program will provide improved business continuity, reduced costs, and improved connectivity.
 
Additionally, the Digital Arizona program is playing an active strategic role in changing the definition of infrastructure and addressing middle-mile issues throughout the state of Arizona. The impact of this program is far reaching and will benefit education, economic development, public safety, and healthcare.
 
7.     Enhance Statewide Security and Privacy Capabilities and Training - Protecting citizen data, as well as the privacy of state employees, are of the highest priority for state agencies. Due to the sensitivity of government data, the state’s environment of diverse technologies and data sources requires adoption of robust and effective operational security and privacy programs.
 
As part of this initiative, Arizona will strengthen cyber security and privacy operations by supporting essential cyber-security technologies and continuing the implementation of a single-sign-on solution for all state employees. In addition, Arizona will optimize incident reporting and deploy an enterprise log aggregation solution for real-time threat detection and notification. Lastly, the state will strengthen cyber-security awareness by providing state employees with training on security and privacy policies, standards, and procedures that are essential to preventing security and privacy incidents.
 
8.     Streamline Project Oversight, Improve Transparency and Strengthen Project Management - To truly transform state government, it’s critical that Arizona clearly defines its project deliverables and executes with precision. This requires a level of maturity in several areas including program and project management, as well as oversight. In addition, Arizona must improve efficiency, increase transparency and escalate accountability in the state’s project oversight process.
 
Leveraging the GTO and lean principles, Arizona plans to simplify the Project Investment Justification (PIJ) document and streamline the process from end to end. Through automation, Arizona will provide agencies with the ability to self-report and provide more accurate, current, historical, and aggregate reporting capabilities.
Our Take:
Overall, Arizona’s Statewide Strategic IT Plan outlines the various steps and investments the state is planning to make for fiscal 2013. As part of this IT transformation, Deltek expects opportunities in the areas of IT refresh, systems integration, communications, cybersecurity and IT services to arise as a result of these strategic initiatives.
Looking ahead, interested contractor’s should use Arizona’s past strategic IT projects to create business development justifications for IT solutions that will allow the state to accomplish its goals of creating greater efficiencies, while providing an innovative, sustainable government.

 

Anti-Affordable Care Act initiatives pass in wake of Obama victory

As the dust settles from the two-year-long presidential campaign, and life begins to return to normal in swing states, voters in four states registered their continued disapproval of various provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
 
In a move that harkens back to pre-Civil War states’ rights advocates, voters in Alabama, Wyoming and Montana overwhelmingly approved ballot measures that seek to nullify the ACA’s most controversial provision: the individual mandate. In Alabama and Wyoming, the question was on amending the state constitution to prevent individuals from being compelled to participate in a health care system, and preserve individual rights in making health care choices, respectively. Montanans approved a measure with similar language that did not amend the state constitution.
 
Missouri, which had previously passed an anti-individual mandate ballot initiative, voted to prohibit the establishment, creation or operation of a health insurance exchange (HIX). State legislative Republicans proposed the initiative to prevent Democratic Governor Jay Nixon from establishing an exchange by executive order. This, however, will not prevent the federal government from running Missouri’s HIX when the state fails to meet the ACA’s deadlines.
Finally, the voters of Florida, which has not been officially called as voting for Governor Romney or President Obama, narrowly rejected a constitutional amendment prohibiting the individual mandate.
 
Each of these ballot measures, with the exception of the Missouri initiative, are widely agreed to be symbolic. States cannot nullify a duly-passed and constitutional law. Though many believed the Civil War had settled this issue, the ballot initiatives prove that a wide majority of voters in the states mentioned disagree. Interestingly, in each of the states (Missouri, Alabama, Wyoming and Montana), the ballot questions were agreed to by a larger margin than Governor Romney carried each state. This means that President Obama voters, ostensibly Democrats, switched their vote to approve measures that oppose the president’s signature achievement.

Deltek Pulse: general government services and education October review

As everyone gets back into the routine that fall brings, the uptick of procurement opportunities in October shows state and local governments are getting back to business as well. For most states and localities, budget season is around the corner, and many agencies have already submitted their budget requests, which will include funds for everything from routine IT software and services to major capital IT projects.
 
A total of 1,317 IT-related general government services solicitations were identified in October, and we’ve highlighted the top 10 most common procurement categories below:
 
  • Software  – 195 solicitations
  • Telecom/IT Maintenance & Support Services – 204 solicitations
  • LAN/WAN Equipment – 95 solicitations
  • Telecom/IT Implementation Services – 73 solicitations
  • IT Consulting Services – 49 solicitations
  • Desktop/Tablet/Laptop Computers – 40 solicitations
  • ERP/Human Resources/Financial Systems – 35 solicitations
  • BI/Analytics Solutions – 6 solicitations
  • VOIP/ACD/IVR Telecom Systems – 14 solicitations
  • Content/Document Management Systems – 13 solicitations
 
Here is a look at current tracked general government IT opportunities:
 
The New York Office of General Services released a request for information (RFI) on October 4, seeking IT task order support services. The state is looking to transform its IT equipment repair process from a decentralized, ad-hoc model, to a structured, centralized and proactive system. 
 
The city of Baton Rouge, La., released an RFI on October 29, seeking Internet bidding and reverse auction services. It is anticipated that information received in response to this RFI may be used to develop a future procurement.
 
The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) released a request for offers (RFO) on October 30, seeking cloud services. The cloud contracts awarded from this RFO will allow vendors to respond to statements of work (SOWs) from DIR customers (e.g. state agencies, localities, state universities, K-12 school districts) to perform services in the following categories: cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS), cloud platform as a service (PaaS), cloud broker, and cloud assessment.
 
The New Jersey Office of Management and Budget is looking to replace its 30-year-old planning and budgeting system with a new budget preparation and monitoring system. The new budget system will integrate with the new comprehensive enhanced decision and information system of N.J. (EDISON), composed of ancillary and external decision-support systems throughout the state. The RFI responses for the replacement budget system were due by October 29.
 
Here is a look at current tracked education IT opportunities:
 
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) closed the bid for the N.C. Education Cloud project’s identity and access management system on October 5. NC DPI confirmed the following nine vendors submitted proposals: Deloitte & Touche, LLP; Verizon Business Network Services; IBM Corp.; Vexcel Corp.; Onwire Consulting Group, LLC; TechDemocracy, LLC; Identity Automation, LP; Tremolo Security, Inc.; and Mycroft Inc. A short list of finalists will be determined in early November 2012.
 
The Pennsylvania Department of Education released a procurement notice listing a need for help desk and LAN support servicesat local education agencies throughout the commonwealth. This is interesting in that only four other state agencies have put out or planned similar bids for help desk services in the past year: the Department of Labor and Industry, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Pennsylvania State Police.
 
Notable awards
 
Bay City, Mich., approved a contract for an advanced meter infrastructure system to multiple vendors on October 1: Elster (AMI provider), ElectSolve (MDM supplier), Badger Meters (Meters) and Katama Technologies Inc (project management services). The total budget for this project is $6.7 million.
 
The Los Angeles Community College District, the largest community college system in the nation, confirmed a partial award to Oracle for a student information system (SIS) valued at $12 million. The LA Community College District released an intent to award notice, naming Ciber, Inc as the selected vendor to perform implementation services for the new SIS, though the contract has yet to be finalized.
 
The city of Columbus, Ohio, has awarded a contract for applicant tracking and testing management software to NeoGov Inc. The contract was awarded for $121,000 over four years. After releasing an RFI in January 2011, the city opted to postpone the project for a year. Ultimately, the city decided to make an award based off the submitted RFI responses.
 
Trends in state and local IT procurement
 
California recently passed a bill to move IT procurement from the Department of General Services to the California Technology Agency. California will join at least seven other states that are planning or have recently undergone IT transformations/reorganizations that have affected oversight of IT procurements: Tennessee, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Hawaii, Arizona, New York, and North Carolina.
 
October’s market analysis
 
The State & Local Education Data Systems, 2012 report by Randi Powell was released on October 4. The report focuses on how the near completion of most statewide K-12 longitudinal data systems should not be ignored by vendors looking for long- and short-term opportunities related to student-teacher performance tracking. These data systems will initiate new tracking and data sharing both vertically (federal-state-local) and horizontally (interstate, interdistrict, and intradistrict).
 
The State of City & County IT, 2012 report by Chris Dixon was released on October 18. In this report, Deltek, in partnership with the Public Technology Institute (PTI), conducted a survey of city and county CIOs and IT directors. The survey covered organizational and fiscal issues, IT investment priorities in the coming year, and buyer perceptions of IT vendors. The 84 cities and counties that responded to the survey represent a significant and wide-ranging market sample, and an estimated $570 million in annual IT spending.
 
A free report on theTop State and Local Opportunities for FY 2013,by Derek Johnson, was released on October 28. The report details the year’s premier state and local-level general government opportunities. At the top of the list, $600 million in estimated contract dollars, with an additional $10 billion award to be shared by multiple, qualified firms. Learn how your company can make an informed bid for FY 2013 dollars. Included in the report are insights on estimated contract values, key points of contact, background information on projects, and related procurement timeframes.
 
What’s on tap for November?
 
Deltek will recognize American Education Week, November 11-17, with a week-long blog series highlighting our top education IT procurement opportunities, as well as education IT market reports and analysis.
 
Stay connected to Deltek’s General Government Services team via Twitter @GovWin_GenGov for real-time updates on trends, analysis and opportunities in the state and local IT market.

 

Election Day ballot initiatives fund public safety

Vendors and citizens nationwide are likely celebrating the passing of many public safety bonds and projects on local ballot measures in Tuesday’s election. While not all initiatives were approved, the newly sanctioned initiatives may represent new money up for grabs, or they may represent old projects solidifying funding to maintain their current status. Governments putting levies, bonds, surcharges, and other funding methods up for vote is not a new practice, but it is certainly something vendors should have an eye on.
 
In King County, Wash., voters approved a levy to secure $119 million over the next six years for its automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS). According to the Seattle Times, the majority of the money is going to staff and administration costs; only $1.6 million is going to new AFIS technology. Most local ballot initiatives follow a similar trend – the majority funds go to personnel or infrastructure, leaving only a fraction allocated to technological improvements.
 
These ballot initiatives are an important funding source used to supplement the general fund. They patch up shortfalls or fund important projects that may otherwise not receive funding. In King County, levies have been used to fund AFIS for more than 20 years. The general fund has not been tapped for the project, which leaves precious resources available for other projects.
 
Analyst’s Take
 
Local ballot initiatives are the life source for many public safety projects, especially 911 systems. They usually provide funds that agencies could not otherwise obtain, and are used to keep existing projects running. It’ll be worth it for vendors to look at the results of these ballot initiatives to gauge the public’s approval of certain projects and help determine the government’s budget.
 
Lastly, many projects are often stalled for months or even years while seeking ballot approval; therefore, vendors should understand the budget approval process for localities nationwide. This will enable vendors to determine time frames for projects depending on the locality. Knowing a project’s funding is up for vote every five years may deter some vendors, but important public safety projects are rarely disapproved by popular vote.

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