California State IT Projects Named NASCIO Award Finalists

When CDT submitted California State information technology projects to the National Association of State Information Officers (NASCIO) for its State IT Recognition Awards, we felt positive that they would be well received and…we were right. Recently, NASCIO announced three California public IT projects, included in a pool of 30 national submissions are finalists for its State IT Recognition Awards.

The award nominations showcase the use of information technology to address critical business challenges, better connect residents to government services, improve business processes and create new opportunities that improve the lives of residents. Nominations were considered in 10 different categories. The three California finalists were selected from a pool of more than 130 submissions from states throughout the U.S.

“These awards demonstrate California’s leadership in developing innovative technology projects to improve the lives of residents,” said Amy Tong, State Chief Information Officer (CIO) and CDT Director.

The California award finalists are:

Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) – Emergency Management Innovation Project, under the Information Communications Technology Innovations category.

In response to the fires that ravaged California beginning in 2017, DTSC’s Office of Environmental Information Management and Emergency Response Unit began collaborating on a prototype to deliver an innovative emergency response solution that included a series of geospatial dashboards, mobile field-ready applications and web-based mapping tools to replace its outdated paper-based checklists and inventory forms.

Acting DTSC Director Meredith Williams said her department is proud of the work its emergency response team performs when disasters strike.

“Twenty-five percent of the state’s population lives in areas at very-high or extreme risk from wildfires,” she said. “Anything that increases the team’s efficiency helps people affected by these tragedies get back in their homes faster. Our Office of Environmental Information Management’s innovative solution has done just that, and we couldn’t be more pleased that their contribution has been recognized.”

California Department of Human Resources (CalHR)Examination and Certification Online System (ECOS), under the Enterprise IT Management Initiatives category.

The ECOS system is the back end of CalHR’s CalCareers job site. The system provides more than 160 agencies, departments, boards and commissions statewide with the ability to advertise for job openings and examinations, administer online exams, and conduct hiring. The custom developed project has replaced legacy systems and manual, paper-driven processes, streamlined code and infrastructure, and delivered new and much needed functionality.

“I feel proud and honored that CalHR’s ECOS has received national recognition,” said Eraina Ortega, CalHR director. “CalHR is continually striving to modernize and advance the state’s HR management and functions. The development of ECOS was a giant step forward for the State of California that has dramatically improved the process of applying and hiring for state jobs.”

California departments of Consumer Affairs, Food and Agriculture, Public Health, and Technology were jointly selected for – California Cannabis IT Initiative, under the State CIO Office Special Recognition category.

The Cannabis IT Initiative demonstrated CDT’s leadership and ability to facilitate and motivate collaboration among state partners to move quickly and effectively in a short development timeframe. In just 12 months after state voters approved Proposition 64, Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, the three agencies set up separate web portals to implement the initiative. CDT served as the central coordinating agency that provided oversight by facilitating communications among licensing entities, taxation agencies, the legislature, and the Governor’s Office.

“This particular award, we’ve always said, is less about technology, but more about collaboration and business process automation through technology,” State CIO Tong said. “

Award recipients will be announced at an awards dinner during NASCIO’s Annual Conference in Nashville, Tenn., October 13-16.