A new state strategy on the way California conducts IT procurements will be out soon, California Technology Agency Secretary Carlos Ramos, pictured above, said in an interview that aired on Thursday.
“We’ve developed a report with some recommendations on actual improvements, and that report should be forthcoming relatively soon, in which we are going to report to the Legislature, here’s the administration’s plan on how to improve procurements,” said Ramos, who also noted that the Department of General Services has been working on its own effort to improve contract model terms and conditions.
Last summer after Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1498 (Buchanan), which called for a plan to migrate the authority to purchase IT goods and services to the California Technology Agency, the administration convened a working group of state employees with backgrounds in technology, project management and state contracting to “figure a new model on how to do procurements going forward,” Ramos told Techwire’s Michelle Kennedy.
The administration also reached out to the vendor community and other stakeholder groups, according to Ramos,who said common complaints about the state procurement process are that it’s complex, expensive and time-consuming, limiting vendor competition.
Meanwhile, the California Technology Agency today released its strategic plan for 2013 which includes goal number one as “expanding online services, increasing access from mobile devices, creating innovative business systems and bridging the digital divide by increasing digital literacy and access to broadband connectivity.”
Also today, members of the Budget Subcommittee No. 4 On State Administration questioned the State Controller’s Office about the 21st Century Project which made headlines recently when the agency cancelled a $90 million contract with Pennsylvania-based SAP because of errors and ongoing problems in a pilot of the new the system.
“Can you reassure me that we didn’t just throw away $262 million,” said Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-San Mateo), who wanted to know if the state can leverage what the project has developed thus far.
“I believe that is what our assessment will show, we are going to bring in somebody to look at what SAP has built to make sure that it’s actually scalable for the population of California,” responded Jim Lombard, SCO’s chief administrative officer.
Lombard said his office is working closely with the Technology Agency and the Department of Finance, along with representatives of other agencies on a steering committee in charge of governing the project, which is currently paused pending independent reviews to assess the what went wrong.
This story was originally published at Techwire.net
Photo of Carlos Ramos by Jessica Mulholland