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Commonwealth Office of Technology Issues Summary of IT Procurement Activities

The Commonwealth Office of Technology (COT) recently compiled a summary of IT procurement activities, contracts and purchasing advice to assist state agencies in their efforts to acquire IT products and services. 

Over the past several months, numerous large-scale IT contracts have been awarded or are in the process of being awarded.  The list below summarizes these IT contract activities:

  • Copiers and Multi-Function Devices (MFDs) – This RFP was released to the vendor community in early April 2008.  There have been two rounds of questions and answers and the new contracts should be in place by June 2008.
  • Comprehensive Tax System (CTS) – The Revenue Department has completed the proposal evaluation process for this new system and Electronic Data Systems was awarded the contract. The initial implementation will include six to seven major tax types with eventual conversion of over 70 tax types to this new system.
  • eScrap RFP – This new RFP will be issued in May with a contract award expected by July 2008.  This new contract will provide an environmentally responsible way of disposing of end-of-life workstations, servers, peripherals and components for state agencies, universities and school districts across the state.  Agencies will be reimbursed per pound for the eScrap generated.
  • Kentucky Human Resources Information System (KHRIS) – The Personnel Cabinet has selected IBM as their business partner for this new system from SAP that will replace the commonwealth’s current personnel, payroll and benefits administration systems.  To learn more about the IBM-SAP award, click here.
  • Kentucky Vehicle Licensing System (KAVIS:2) – This RFP has been released to the vendor community and the first round of questions and answers has been completed.  This is one of the larger commonwealth IT systems and it is expected to be in place for pilot use in January 2011.
  • Paging Services – The pager contracts are scheduled to expire at the end of May 2008.  A new RFB has been prepared by COT staff and will be released in early May to select two to three pager vendors to provide statewide coverage.
  • Project Management Information System (PMIS) – The contract for PMIS was awarded to Computer Associates for software and implementation services of this new enterprise facility.  This system is initially being implemented for use by COT but the software environment is being designed for use by other cabinets.  This facility will act as a central repository for IT project information in the future.
  • System Design and Development Services – The commonwealth currently has six vendors on contract to provide approximately 350 contract staff to commonwealth agencies.  The new RFP for staff augmentation services will be issued in May 2008 and new contracts are expected to be in place by Nov. 1, 2008.

Procurement Resources, Tools and Templates

With a recent update of COT’s Web site, special attention was given to the IT procurement process.  COT partnered with the Kentucky Office of Procurement Services (OPS) to provide supplemental IT procurement-related information at the following location:

Resources include many of the tools, templates and examples outlined below, as well as additional project management aids.  The project management tools include a work breakdown structure for the procurement phase of an IT project.  This structure was successfully used by COT for the recent Comprehensive Tax System project and the KAVIS:2 vehicle licensing system project in the Transportation Cabinet.

While most agencies are familiar with the conventional request for information (RFI), request for bid (RFB) and request for proposal (RFP), there are two other useful procurement methods that are outlined in more detail below.

Strategic Alliance Services

The Strategic Alliance Services (SAS) contract is a statewide contract with 19 IT service providers, including five full-service and 14 niche vendors. Originally established in 2003 to allow commonwealth agencies to procure IT services more quickly and competitively from expert providers, the benefits of these contracts include:

  • A long-term relationship between the commonwealth and industry-leading IT service providers that have extensive experience, expertise and resources to apply to an agency’s business problem;
  • A streamlined procurement process that integrates best practices and best of the industry techniques to meet commonwealth service delivery and business needs;
  • A procurement process that is less prescriptive than the traditional RFP process, allowing vendors the freedom to propose creative solutions;
  • Opportunities to engage providers in a variety of funding and risk-sharing approaches; and
  • Niches, partnerships and subcontracts that allow access to expertise in an agency’s service category within an adequate response time.

While this procurement method has not been widely used in the last few years, the SAS procedures are still available for use.  The following link describes the process and provides templates and examples:

Program Management Contracts

The program management contracts are the newest procurement vehicle for high-level IT and other program and project management efforts.  The vendors awarded program management contracts were required to be highly skilled and agree to provide the commonwealth with the following resources and services:

  • A highly skilled corporate leadership team that can advise commonwealth leadership on program management issues, sourcing decisions and strategic initiatives;
  • An extensive corporate knowledge base of program management related work products and resource material that is fully accessible by all resources deployed by the vendor;
  • Ability to translate generalized leadership business goals and objectives into a strategic plan with prioritized initiatives and budget recommendations;
  • Ability to develop, deploy and execute high-level change management plans in support of programs and strategic initiatives;
  • Ability to manage and direct multiple medium-to-large-scale projects;
  • Ability to serve as mentor, adviser and decision maker to middle management and project managers for strategic program initiatives;
  • Ability to work effectively with internal and external customers, third party vendors and senior leadership in accomplishing program management objectives; and
  • Ability to manage internal and external client expectation on program requirements and deliverables.

The three vendors awarded contracts for program management services include CGI, formerly CGI-AMS, ConnectKentucky and Keane.  These vendors are required to offer deliverables-based pricing and fully loaded hourly rates for time and materials engagements.  Unlike the SAS process, agencies are allowed to work directly with the program management vendors without prior approval of COT and OPS.  However, cabinets are encouraged to closely manage these engagements at the highest levels of the agency. 

For additional IT procurement assistance, OPS and COT developed a document that outlines the various IT procurement methods and provides guidance on their use.  To view the document click here.


Last Updated 5/9/2008