IE11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

State Department Seeks Funds to Continue Modernization

Two budget change proposals from the California Department of Aging would enable it to add staff and continue technology updates.

The state department charged with administering programs for older adults, those with disabilities, family caregivers and those in long-term care is underway on two IT initiatives and its requests during the 2023-2024 fiscal year budget cycle reflect this.

The California Department of Aging (CDA) has submitted two budget change proposals (BCPs) as part of the 2023-2024 fiscal year state budget cycle, which began last month with the release of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $297 billion proposed state budget. The BCPs reflect ongoing needs as the result of ongoing IT upgrades. Among the takeaways:

  • The CDA seeks a “one-time authority increase” of a little more than $1.8 million from the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) Special Fund to continue the HICAP modernization. The funding would enable the department to “continue with increased funding for local HICAPs.” First created in 1984, HICAP is the state’s “implementation of the federal State Health Insurance Assistance Program” and its consumer-oriented Medicare counseling and education services include community education on Medicare and individual health insurance counseling. In FY 2021-22, CDA got approval for “limited-term HICAP Fund Budget Bill Language” flexibilities and authority, to implement a modernization. In FY 2022-23, the effort expanded to include “development of an overarching strategic roadmap” for the project.
  • The one-time funding sought here would enable “enhanced technical assistance and training, increased monitoring and oversight, and data review and analysis” for informed decision-making, according to the BCP. CDA recommends approving the BCP, which would pay for one Research Data Specialist II (RDS) and two Associate Governmental Program Analysts (AGPAs). The RDS would “oversee, review, update and provide recommendations for HICAP data collection and reporting.” To modernize local HICAPs, CDA plans to reassess information captured and how best to utilize it. One AGPA would be a fiscal analyst on local HICAPs to expend, strategically, state and federal funds. The other AGPA would be a project lead on updating training resources and developing new ones. This job, per the BCP, would let CDA “modernize and expand training and technical assistance through distance learning solutions.” CDA recommends approving this BCP.
  • In the second BCP, CDA seeks 10 positions in a “General Fund augmentation” of nearly $1.8 million in FY 2023-24, and a little more than $1.7 million in ongoing funds to support the continued implementation of the Master Plan for Aging (MPA), with “dedicated resources for data and information technology capacity, security, project management, and IT procurement and contracting expertise,” according to the BCP. A Newsom executive order in June 2019 set in motion the creation of a Master Plan for Aging. It also called for a “blueprint” for state and local government, the private sector, and philanthropy organizations to prep for the upcoming demographic changes that will see 1 in 4 state residents surpass the age of 60 by 2030. The proposal would move the MPA forward by “building CDA’s data/information technology capacity and enterprise project management capabilities.”
  • CDA has begun 26 “substantial new initiatives” since the MPA’s launch in January 2021, funded by the current and previous state budget, but it lacks “adequate resources to build a data/IT and project management infrastructure” to move the initiatives forward with a “data-driven framework” for policy and program development. It also lacks expertise in IT contracting and procurement, which inhibits its ability to follow California Department of Technology and Department of General Services procurement rules and has delayed “mission critical IT procurement and contract work.” The additional resources will enable CDA to improve its “information security posture, operational data and systems administration, IT project management, and IT procurement operations.” The 10 positions it seeks are one project management office lead; one senior IT project manager; one chief information security officer; one technical security lead/assistant ISO; one security operations specialist; one database administrator; one systems administrator; one IT procurement analyst; one IT contract analyst; and one IT procurement policy and compliance analyst. CDA recommends approving the BCP.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.