Best of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Winners of the Center for Digital Government’s Best of California awards were announced Monday, May 9, at Government Technology Conference (GTC) West 2011, an annual gathering of state IT officials and employees. The conference is hosted by e.Republic Inc., Government Technology magazine’s parent company.

IT leadership awards went to Cathy Cleek, CIO of the California Franchise Tax Board; and Joseph Shiuan, IT project manager for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

The awards program, given for excellence in state and local government IT, were presented by California Acting State CIO Christy Quinlan, who also handed out 16 Project Excellence Awards.  Not wanting to overlook those who Quinlan said “worked in the trenches,” she also gave out 38 Outstanding IT Service and Support Awards to individuals. Selection of those awards was made by agency management rather than the Center for Digital Government.

Cleek’s accolade recognized her overall IT management skills. The Center for Digital Government cited Cleek’s ability to lead agency staff toward a unified vision as one of her primary strengths. For example, she successfully established enterprise architecture as a decision-making and cost-cutting tool. She also spearheaded updates to compliance and accounting systems that aim to modernize tax administration in California.

“I wasn’t a technology expert, but I was able to bring people together, which I did in the business sector many times,” Cleek remarked. “The big thing I want to say is believe in yourself. Take the skills you have and learn how to use them in other places.”

Shiuan’s award focused on his leadership at the project management level. The Center for Digital Government heralded his penchant for viewing system implementations not strictly as IT projects, but also as opportunities to redefine business processes and adopt best practices. He designed, tested and implemented My Waterworks Account Manager (MyWAM), the new customer Web application for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works’ water utility. The project launched successfully, within budget and resulted in two new county services. MyWAM was the first application in the county to offer recurring payments and the first to offer electronic bill presentment.

Below is a list of the 16 categories and winners for the evening’s Project Excellence Awards.

(For more information about the Awards Event and individual award summaries, click HERE)

Best Application Serving an Agency’s Business Needs

Air Resources Board Equipment Registration (ARBER) program, California Environmental Protection Agency - Air Resources Board

ARBER is an enterprisewide system that centralizes the registration of multiple California air regulatory programs and enables companies inside and outside of California to register equipment as required by state regulations.

Best Application Serving an Agency’s Business Needs

California Courts Protective Order Registry, Judicial Council of California - Administrative Office of the Courts

The California Courts Protective Order Registry is a statewide repository for protective and restraining orders, containing both data and scanned images of orders which can be accessed by judges, court staff, and law enforcement officers. The registry is currently deployed in 21 counties.

Best Application Serving an Agency’s Business Needs   

Cal-LIMS Project, California Department of Public Health

Cal-LIMS is a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) implemented and maintained by the California Department of Public Health’s Division of Communicable Disease Control. The system supports laboratory testing in key public health challenges such as infectious disease outbreaks, food poisoning and bioterrorism.

Best Application Serving an Agency’s Business Needs

The Automated Collection Enhancement System (ACES), California Employment Development Department

ACES is an automated, integrated tax system for the collection and accounting of payroll taxes, for which the Employment Development Department’s Tax Branch is responsible. ACES streamlines employer registration, the unemployment insurance rating process, return and payment processing, revenue accounting, refunds and offsets, and compliance processing.

Best Application Serving the Public

Automated License Data System Project (ALDS), California Department of Fish and Game

ALDS electronically links computer terminals to a central database at each license location and provides Internet sales and issuing of recreational fishing and hunting licenses.

Best Application Serving the Public

My Waterworks Account Manager (MyWAM), Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

MyWAM enables county customers to directly access their account information and pay water bills online.

Best Application Serving the Public

Public Inmate Locator: Improving Public Service, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

The Public Inmate Locator is a database-driven website developed by the Enterprise Web Application Solutions unit to permit the public to locate offenders in custody within California correctional institutions using a minimum of biographical information about the inmate.

Best Application Serving the Public

Website Infrastructure (WSI) Project – Online Driver History Record, California Department of Motor Vehicles

Through the Online Driver History Record — the most recent of the WSI projects, DMV has made it possible for registered users to request their personal driver record online, and view or print it immediately, at a reduced cost of $2 (from $5 by mail or in person).

Best In-House Developed Application

DMV Now - Application for iPhone and Android, California Department of Motor Vehicles

The “DMV Now” application provides iPhone and Android users with access to DMV information and services at their fingertips.

Best In-House Developed Application

POST Course Catalog and Compliance Dashboard, Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training

The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training is responsible for tracking law enforcement attendance at certified training courses for more than 82,000 sworn officers throughout California.

The Green IT Award

Board of Equalization E-Filing Transition Project, California State Board of Equalization

The result was 80 percent of the board's 900,000 sales and use tax accounts transitioned to e-filing within an 18-month period, resulting in over $3 million in operating cost savings.

The Green IT Award

Data Center Consolidation and Relocation Project, California Technology Agency

The California Technology Agency planned a consolidation of applications hosted at the former Health and Human Services Data Center at the Cannery Complex. Applications were consolidated to other regional data centers. The move from the Cannery resulted in reduction of the carbon footprint needed to run data center operations by more than 70 percent; reduction of data center square footage by 75,000 and avoidance of $40 million in capital costs.

Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations

Improving Outcomes and Collaboration through Process Improvement, California Technology Agency

The California Technology Agency overhauled the system of IT purchases, management, and oversight between 2008 and 2010.

Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations

Justice Electronic Library System, San Diego County Technology Office

The Justice Electronic Library System (JELS) fully automates the generation, distribution, receipt and offsite use of probation documents and reports required for Juvenile Court Delinquency hearings.

Best Wireless Project

Crystal Cove EduGator, California Department of Parks and Recreation

The Gator — a small, all-terrain utility vehicle — has been transformed by the State Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students into the EduGator, a wireless mobile video-conference vehicle deployed on the beaches of Crystal Cove in Southern California.

Most Innovative Use of Technology

E-Commerce Portal Infrastructure (EPI), California Franchise Tax Board

EPI project provides a scalable network infrastructure capable of supporting current and future e-commerce applications.

Next is a list of 38 individual employees who won Outstanding IT Service and Support Awards. Winners shook hands with Quinlan and were photographed in front of their cheering families in the audience.  

Manveer Bola – California Board of Education

Lisa Christenson – California Department of Consumer Affairs

James Francisco – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Kit Chung – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Maureen Miyamura – California Department of Developmental Services

Cheryl Dobbins – California Department of Health Care Services

Renee Holland – California Department of Health Care Services

Brian Mays – California Department of Health Care Services

Frank Holder – California Department of Health Care Services

Sherri Henderson – California Department of Health Care Services

Rebecca Voog – California Department of Health Care Services

John Smith – California Department of Industrial Relations

Dennis Espiritu – California Department of Industrial Relations

Karen Ongerth – California Department of Insurance

Terrie Williams – California Department of Mental Health

Ed Rogala – California Department of Mental Health

Jason Marks – California Department of Toxic Substances Control

Norm Leyte – California Department of Veterans Affairs

Jay Song – California Department of Water Resources

Jesse Bishop – California Department of Water Resources

Don Foley – California Department of Water Resources

Chris Rouse – California Department of Personnel Administration

Manuel Camacho – California Employment Development Department

Jeff McTygue – California Franchise Tax Board

Michelle Bland – California Highway Patrol

Maria MacGunigal – City of Sacramento

Eric Kauffman – California Natural Resources Agency

Chris Morrison – California Office of Systems Integration

Charles Hwu – California Office of Systems Integration

Marianne Chick – California Office of Technology Services

Dave Akins – California State Controller's Office

Jason Le – California State Water Resources Control Board

Melissa Matsuura – California Technology Agency

Jim Thompson – California Technology Agency

Patrick Slesicki – California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board

Carl Palmer – CalFire

Charla Jensen – California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS)

Carla Goodall - CalPERS

Andy Opsahl  |  Features Editor