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GenAI State Procurements Near

The exact timing isn’t set, but the California Department of General Services expects to release five Request for Innovative Ideas (RFI2) opportunities this month that would focus on needs at three state entities.

Artificial Intelligence
The state department considered to be California’s business manager took a key step on generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) late last month.

In a notice released Dec. 21, the California Department of General Services indicates it is mulling procurement and “enterprise use opportunities” around GenAI, generally in accordance with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-12-23, signed Sept. 6. That EO compelled the California Government Operations Agency, the California Department of Technology (CDT), the Office of Data and Innovation and the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development to work with other state entities to draft a report “examining the most significant, potentially beneficial use cases for deployment of GenAI tools by the state” — and risks. Find that report here and Industry Insider — California’s coverage here and here. Among the takeaways:

  • The state is considering procurement where GenAI can enhance government operations’ efficiency, effectiveness, accessibility and equity. DGS and CDT plan to release five Request for Innovative Ideas (RFI2) issuances seeking GenAI solutions that can address state agency problem statements. The RFI2 process is one of Newsom’s earliest acts as governor, enacted Jan. 8, 2019, via executive order as a “flexible approach to procurement.” In these instances, solutions provided by respondents will be tested as proofs of concept at a “nominal payment in a sandbox environment” managed by CDT. The sandbox environment will be available to the provider of the solution for about six months, via CDT, to help the state evaluate proposed GenAI tools and services, furthering its implementation goals and informing its decisions on using GenAI — while being consistent with state guidelines. The GenAI RFI2 opportunities are expected to be released in a phased approach on the California State Contracts Register beginning Thursday.

The RFI2 opportunities are expected to be released in three phases and to center on three state entities.

  • GenAI RFI2 opportunities expected to be released Thursday or thereabouts originate with the California Department of Transportation. The first will center on vulnerable road user protection and seeks to investigate near-miss accidents that could have involved injuries and/or fatalities, to identify risky areas and monitor interventions aimed at increasing the safety of vulnerable road users. The second will look at traffic management/traffic operations and looks to process and interpret complex data with the goals of improving traffic pattern analysis, addressing bottlenecks and improving overall traffic management.
  • An opportunity expected to be released around Jan. 15 comes from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. It will look at team productivity and improving call center operations to reduce call times, improve customer service and increase compliance by taxpayers.
  • Two additional opportunities expected to be released around Jan. 29 are with the California Health and Human Services Agency. The first looks at language access and ensuring residents with limited English proficiency get timely access to information about public benefits and are able to use public programs easily and without confusion. The second is about health-care facility inspections and leveraging tools to expeditiously document facts or findings compiled by surveyors during facility inspections, with the aim of developing a concrete set of outcomes or citations to match state and federal requirements.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.