Modernizing the Way Californians Get Benefits

The California Department of Technology’s core mission is to help public-facing departments deliver quality digital services with innovative and responsive solutions for customers. A prime example of this work is a series of powerful IT solutions coming to the benefits systems at the Employment Development Department (EDD).

Currently, the EDD maintains multiple, independent systems for various benefit programs that support the Unemployment Insurance and State Disability Insurance programs, including Paid Family Leave. Those systems that provide financial stability to more than 700,000 Californians all rely on an aging mainframe legacy system, as well as external sub-systems and components. The EDD’s benefit program staff has to utilize multiple applications and enter data into multiple systems.

The solution, to be developed as part of the Benefit Systems Modernization project, will overhaul benefit processing by implementing a single, integrated benefit system that provides customers and staff a consistent, user-friendly, single portal into the EDD’s services.  Not only is it expected to be the largest benefit solution in the country, it will also be more agile and responsive when implementing changes and enhancements in the future, while lowering overall maintenance costs.

For this project, CDT and EDD chose a competitive solicitation approach where vendors were invited to offer a solution to a problem statement about the benefits system. Vendors will develop a “proof of concept” that demonstrates their solutions, allowing the State to evaluate a working model – instead of reading a lengthy vendor proposal based on detailed requirements.  After narrowing the field, the State then negotiates with the most qualified vendors and makes a final selection based on the best value.

That work began with a bidder’s conference to be followed by two more phases:

Phase 1 – Bidder Qualification: October 1 – November 29
Phase 2 – Proof of Concept & Full Proposal: December 2 – April 27
Phase 3 – Negotiations & Best and Final Offer: April 28 – June 2

The State expects to execute a contract around the end of June 2020.