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IT Leaders, Projects Recognized as State’s Best

The "Best of California" awards, announced during last week’s California Digital Government Summit, acknowledged high-achieving state IT officials and significant recent IT projects.

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The “Best of California” Awards during last week’s California Digital Government Summit acknowledged high-achieving state IT officials and significant recent IT projects. Recognizing excellence in technology is a cornerstone of the annual event, via the Best of California Awards.

Several state entities and IT leaders received well-deserved recognition Tuesday from Government Technology*, the summit host, for projects and solutions aimed at keeping residents safe, improving their online government experience – and making state IT more efficient and effective. The categories, projects and winners are:

BEST APPLICATION SERVING AN AGENCY’S BUSINESS NEEDS


CalPERS Regional Offices Queue Management System Replacement. Accepting: David Chima, manager, Infrastructure Management, CalPERS Technology Infrastructure Services Division. CalPERS was able to implement a modern, feature-rich, SaaS cloud-based solution that adds significant value to both business operations and member experiences.

BEST APPLICATION SERVING THE PUBLIC


State Fiscal Recovery Fund. Accepting: Mary Halterman, assistant program budget manager, Department of Finance. Use of the portal simplified and streamlined the business process and helped both entities and the state to meet deadlines for reporting to the U.S. Treasury.

BEST APPLICATION SERVING THE PUBLIC


City of Sacramento 311 Virtual Agent. Accepting: Maria MacGunigal, CIO of the city of Sacramento. With all calls received at 311 routed to the virtual agent, more than 55 percent of the callers are attempting to use the system. Within a few months, there was a decrease in the number of callers requesting a human agent and attempting to self-serve with the virtual agent.

BEST APPLICATION SERVING THE PUBLIC


Virtual Hearings and Digital Evidence Management System, California Department of General Services. In approximately three months, DGS quickly procured and implemented the Virtual Case Center, a digital evidence management platform for a team of administrative law judges, attorneys, administrative staff and the public.

BEST IT COLLABORATION


CDCR Ed-Tech Initiative. Presented to CDCR, Division of Rehabilitative Programs, Division of Enterprise Information Services, Division of Adult Institutions; California Community Colleges, California State Universities. The department has deployed more than 8,000 computers to students enrolled in face-to-face college programs across the state. Each year, the program will continue to build upon this foundation to support all students, from adult basic education, GED and high school, as well as rehabilitative programs.

BEST IT COLLABORATION


FI$Cal Purchase Order Payment History. Presented to California Department of General Services, California Department of FI$Cal. Accepting: Karl West, senior information systems analyst, California Department of General Services (DGS) Office of Policy, Training and FI$Cal Program Service (OPTF). The FI$Cal Purchase Order Payment History Search solution, a self-service application, has drastically reduced the number of payment-related conversations across more than 150 state departments. This has alleviated workload strain associated with tracking down payment data and related customer service duties.

BEST IT COLLABORATION


California Design System. Presented to California Department of Technology Office of Data and Innovation. Accepting: Aaron Hans, ODI’s senior engineer and technical lead; and Blaine Wasylkiw, acting deputy chief technology innovation officer, Department of Technology. The Design System goes beyond visual style guides: It harnesses research and analytics to understand how people use products and services, combined with an iterative process that rigorously tests and optimizes performance to provide a consistent and transparent experience aligned with best practices and user-experience patterns.

BEST WORKFORCE/WORKPLACE INITIATIVE


CDTFA Team Member Dashboard. Accepting: Chuck Harris, IT manager, CDTFA. The CDTFA’s enterprise intranet site was enhanced with a team member dashboard that provides a one-stop shop for the team members to review when organizational tasks need to be completed.

INNOVATIVE USE OF DATA ANALYTICS


Caltrans Virtual Public Project Dashboard. The Virtual Public Project Dashboard is a public-facing website displaying data and analytics for approximately 2,000 projects throughout the state. A picture speaks a thousand words, and the Virtual Public Project Dashboard provides that open, continuous and transparent communication to California.

INNOVATIVE USE OF DATA ANALYTICS


California Parole Data Management Analytics and Visualization. CDCR’s Parole Law Enforcement Automated Data System allows users to search for over 95,000 offenders on parole using a variety of search techniques, on a variety of devices, and puts end users in the driver’s seat on password creation and reset, and provides a modern search engine to greatly enhance criminal investigations using CDCR parolee data, enhancing public safety.

EXCELLENCE IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT


Robert Schmidt, senior project manager, Caltrans/CalSTA. Multiple, complex technical problems were experienced while performing installation on a new Oracle platform, requiring vendor support. In each instance, Schmidt pulled together subject matter experts in coordination alongside the support vendors.

Matthew Moore, IT specialist, CDCR/EIS/Offender and Family Solutions. Moore’s creative approach and dedication to the successful integration and implementation of this project will lead to continual improvement of ARCAID’s functionality and connectivity rate for both end users.

Cyndi Reimer, IT specialist II, project manager, Department of Food and Agriculture. Under Remier’s leadership, the project team completed about 60 percent of the MVP development and only spent about 25 percent of the total MVP project budget.

DIGITAL STATES SURVEY CATEGORY AWARD


In presenting this award to the state of California, the Center for Digital Government* has recognized state technology progress for over 20 years through its Digital States Survey, which enables states to benchmark their IT operations, accomplishments and plans against other states in multiple ways. The center awarded second place for the department’s work in resilience. This award recognizes the state’s ability to maintain continuous IT and business operations during peak usage, disasters and crisis conditions.

*Government Technology, Industry Insider — California and the Center for Digital Government are part of e.Republic.