"Private-sector service improvements have forced government to become more responsive to the demands of citizens." State CIO Gopal Khanna (pictured)

Minnesota state agencies in need of IT support now have access to an online

"Accelerated Staff Augmentation Program," (ASAP-IT) that will bring project managers, security analysts and software programmers on-site at significantly reduced costs and within 48 hours if required. The program is available to all state agencies and other institutions that are members of the state's cooperative purchasing venture (CPV) program. The CPV program is also available to the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

"Government now operates in an environment where citizen expectations of time-to-action are no longer measured in weeks and months, but in days and hours," said State CIO Gopal Khanna in a statement. "Private-sector service improvements have forced government to become more responsive to the demands of citizens. When we need highly specialized skills on a short-term basis, ASAP-IT will give state agencies the resources and the flexibility to get the expertise quickly at an extremely competitive rate because we have negotiated with contractors in advance. That makes government more responsive."

Because each agency had their own approval process and were contracting for help individually, hourly rates for specialized help could run anywhere from $80 to $110 per hour. Now, because all agencies are working together and contracts flow through a single system, the price of short-term IT support is expected to be reduced to $50 to $80 per hour. In addition to the benefits for government users, ASAP-IT also streamlines a process that in the past could be confusing and burdensome for participating private-sector vendors. 

The ASAP-IT program is a continuing part of the Minnesota Drive to Excellence program and the result of a partnership between the Office of Enterprise Technology and the Department of Administration.