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State Board Asks Vendors for Information About Data Analysis, Process Improvement

The goal of any proposed solution is to provide prospective applicants and staff an easier and more user-friendly way of obtaining the information they may need.

This story is limited to Industry Insider — California members.
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The state department that administers funding to crime victims is seeking information from vendors about a solution that would encompass data analytics, equity and process improvement.

The California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) published a request for information (RFI) last week for a “comprehensive and automated solution to enhance how CalVCB monitors and processes disbursements and develops its adjustment module for our staff.” No budget has been determined yet, as the board is in the information-gathering process. The application process runs through 11:59 p.m. Feb. 2; an application link is available on the RFI web page.

The RFI lists three desired outcomes from the solution:
  • Allow for CalVCB to better review data and provide answers to records requests efficiently and succinctly.
  • Synthesize information received from multiple sources and create a uniform way to retrieve information and communicate updates.
  • Provide prospective applicants and staff an easier and more user-friendly way of obtaining the information they need.

In Fiscal Year 2021-22, CalVCB received 39,015 applications for compensation and paid $40.3 million. In some instances, CalVCB receives returned benefits for a variety of reasons, including returned checks, settlements and overpayments. Returned benefits must be credited to the claimant’s benefit limits for potential future disbursements.

The capabilities for a proposed solution, according to the RFI, must include: “Automatically adjust accounts and sub-accounts when funds are returned; provide regular and customizable reporting; ability to migrate historical data; create and develop clear workflows and process automation for the most common scenarios; meet accessibility standards; integrate with enterprise system (.NET); and allow future API and data integrations.”

The RFI explains: “CalVCB currently uses a labor-intensive, manual process to adjust a victim’s benefit limits for returned funds. Multiple CalVCB business units are required to adjust the various sub-accounts that pertain to a victim’s benefits.” The challenges for the board include lack of a single system of record, as information is housed by several different units in different systems and file locations, resulting in longer processing times; an inability to automatically adjust sub-accounts (for benefit sub-categories) for returned funds; and an inability to obtain real-time information about available funds until the manual adjustment process has completed.

As part of any proposed solution, vendors should provide an implementation lead; a project manager or project management support; resources for analysis, design, development, testing and deployment; a knowledge transfer plan and testing plans; training materials; and maintenance and operations support.

Applicants are required to have experience working with state agencies or authorities, and desired qualifications include experience providing public-facing applications to government agencies; experience with government benefits payment systems; and a leveraged procurement agreement or contract vehicle with the state.
Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in Northern California.