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An Insider Offers Tips on Doing Business With L.A. County

Michael Sylvester II, bureau director and chief information officer for Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Social Services, recapped some takeaways for vendors from a recent Industry Insider — California Member Briefing in Southern California.

At a recent Industry Insider — California Member Briefing, three executives from Los Angeles County government provided overviews of their departments and their tech needs and priorities. Following is a brief recap of the points made by Michael Sylvester II, bureau director and chief information officer for the L.A. County Department of Social Services. The responses were edited lightly for style.

Industry Insider — California: What should vendors know about your department’s needs?

Michael Sylvester II
Michael Sylvester II
Michael Sylvester: With a workforce of over 14,000 employees, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) is the largest social services agency in the United States. We serve over 4.2 million customers, which includes 1.1 million children. We offer access to food and nutrition (CalFresh), housing, cash assistance California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), child care, job services, homeless services (General Relief), in-home supportive services for seniors and persons with disabilities, and health coverage assistance (Medi-Cal).

Our Departmental Strategic Plan is available at the following link: Strategic Plan and Goals — Los Angeles County (

Our IT innovative workforce is diverse, highly competent and stays updated with the latest industry trends and technologies. Our DPSS Technical Services is responsible for the department’s technology infrastructure, systems development, and customer support. We are charged with ensuring that all technical aspects of the department are running smoothly and efficiently.

We leverage countywide Enterprise Services Master Agreement (ESMA) and Managed Services Providers (MSP) vehicles to secure IT consulting services on an as-needed basis. We recommend all vendors to register with the L.A. County Internal Services Department (ISD) to become a registered vendor for L.A. County. L.A. County will post all solicitations on its website.

IICA: Looking ahead to the remainder of 2023 and beyond, what specific emerging or developing opportunities would you like vendors to keep on their radar?

Sylvester: DPSS is committed to the following:

  • Developing and maintaining innovative systems and business solutions that support the department’s delivery of effective and efficient services to its customers.
  • Providing excellent customer experiences through modern technology applications that help customers feel informed and engaged.
  • Developing and monitoring compliance of policies and procedures that ensure the integrity, reliability, security, and privacy of the department’s systems, data, and connectivity.

We are modernizing our platforms and migrating to cloud solutions to meet our business and strategic needs supported by the latest technology solutions. We are continuously evolving our customer service access points including call centers, Internet portal, data initiatives, IT security, and related IT platforms.

DPSS is committed to delivering quality and efficient services to our customers; we expect the highest level of service to be reciprocated by our vendor partners consistently. It is essential that our vendor partners stay engaged throughout the project, provide robust technical solutions, provide highly experienced resources, and deliver enterprise-level services to meet our commitments and deadlines.

IICA: The groundwork is already being laid, as you know, for the 2028 Olympics and Paralympics, as well as other major events in the greater L.A. area. For vendors who may want to help you with your longer-range needs, are there any working groups or documents that they can and should be reading up on now?

Sylvester: DPSS provides public assistance programs to Los Angeles County residents. We administer programs mandated by federal and state agencies. We are not directly engaged with 2028 Olympics or Paralympics. The L.A. County Strategic Plan refers to issues about accelerating digital equity, ending homelessness, and services to underprivileged residents.

We partner with other county departments to address critical countywide issues including ending homelessness, anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion initiatives to improve our customers’ lives by providing holistic program offerings, alleviating poverty and hunger, and enabling sustainable solutions that will bridge the digital divide.

The following are links pertaining to the county’s business and enterprise technology: Strategic Plan and Goals – Los Angeles County ( and
Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies including USA Today in Washington, D.C.