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The department charged with ensuring a “safe and fair marketplace” for California consumers is seeking funding from Governor Gavin Newsom’s revised state budget for an IT modernization.
In a Budget Amendment Proposal (BCP) released May 13, the same day Newsom released the “May revision” to its proposed state budget for fiscal year 2022-23, the California Department of Consumer Affairs ( DCA) is requesting nearly $4.3 million in one-time funding to enable five of its entities – the Structural Pest Control Board (SPCB), the California Architects Board (CAB), the Landscape Architects Technical Committee (LATC ), the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau (CFB), and the Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS) — to begin implementing their “Selected Enterprise Modernization Software Alternative,” in line with DCA’s Enterprise Modernization Plan . Among the takeaways:
- By entity, DCA is requesting $930,000 for SPCB, $713,000 for CAB, $176,000 for LATC and $791,000 for CFB. For BHGS, DCA is asking $489,000 for electronics and appliance repair, $228,000 for furniture and thermal insulation, and $954,000 for movers. The numbers, according to BCP, “reflect appropriation increases needed to cover system integration, software licensing, project management, credit card activities, project monitoring costs.” They also cover maintaining funding for eight positions, five of them in the department’s Office of Information Services (OIS) to “support project implementation” and three in CAB/LATC and BHGS to maintain “programme operations” while existing staff support the business modernization plan. BMP project). The department’s cost for five OIS positions in fiscal year 2022-23 is approximately $930,000 – costs that will be allocated among participating programs, rolled into their costs.
- Entities within DCA rely on “outdated legacy systems” that cannot provide the kind of responsive and seamless service that residents have come to expect due to current technology. Areas that are now lacking include field enforcement and even large-scale electronic payments. Entities must maintain “multiple “workaround” databases only for basic business functions. Through the early stages of the BMP and the California Department of Technology’s Project Approval Lifecycle (PAL), the DCA programs have each “documented ‘as-is’ processes, ‘potential’ processes, and business requirements” for support their goals. Market research has shown that some existing software solutions can download data and produce quotes in the field via a laptop or mobile device. But with a modern IT system, according to the BCP, “these programs will remain unable to realize the process improvement opportunities revealed in their work to date. Interactions between the public and licensees will be inhibited and programs will lack in the areas of automated workflow and business rules that might otherwise make staff more efficient. Conversely, a software solution that integrates with other applications would “decrease overall project risk” by allowing “several smaller software releases” during a project phase instead of having to replace an entire system to get all of them. features in a single version.
- The department has already achieved a minimum viable product implementation of the “Connect” system through its Cohort 1 (BMC 1) modernization project. Two additional major software releases have since been released, along with “dozens of stabilization or minor software releases to implement system enhancements or enhancements, waivers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and fee changes “. Feature implementations for BMC 1 programs include online application and licensing maintenance services, school inspection features, conversion of application and inspection data for the BPPE, development of seven applications in online, two online consumer complaint forms, an interactive candidate dashboard, and back-office application assessment workflows.
“Leveraging an existing system successfully implemented with the Connect system is a prudent alternative to meet business needs during tax challenges,” according to BCP.
- DCA recommends approving the requested funding – at which time it will proceed with software implementation, hire staff, engage vendors and “basic project planning artifacts”. Further, it indicates that identifying “incremental production targets” throughout the project and grouping system requirements into a “refined backlog of user stories” will facilitate agile development. Additionally, OIS and vendor personnel will use an iterative approach with “development, system testing, and end-user testing.” The only downside to approval, DCA says, is the cost. Two alternatives exist. Approval of one-time funding of just over $3.7 million in fiscal year 2022-23 and no funding for IT stations would allow BMP implementation to begin – but would still incur additional costs, and the OIS would have to “redirect existing IT resources to facilitate the project”. », degrading other services. And doing nothing, while not increasing costs, would “stop or delay” the implementation of BMPs.