A. Vision for IT in the Commonwealth

Our vision for IT in the Commonwealth is simple enough in concept: We seek an IT environment that will enable:

· Efficient and easily accessible services for all constituents. Imagine if citizens could access government information and services through a variety of means-computers, cell phones, PDAs-whatever is most convenient and adaptable to their particular needs and styles of communication. And imagine if these services were organized in a way that fit the circumstances of the user rather than the structure of government.

· Open and transparent engagement with citizens of the Commonwealth. Imagine if the wealth of information the Commonwealth collects could be presented in usable components that could support citizens and business partners in making decisions important to them and that mechanisms are available for citizens to provide input for policies that are important to them.

· Accurate and timely data for policy making, service delivery, and results evaluation. Imagine if data from many sources could be brought together to create new services and improve existing ones. And routine reports and "dashboards" could inform agency heads about the operating effectiveness of their agencies and the opportunities for greater efficiency and better outcomes.

Consider a few sample scenarios to see what this vision could mean in practice. Imagine if…

Efficient and Easily Accessible Services

A small non-profit organization doing business with the Commonwealth

Scenario. You are a small non-profit organization doing business with a couple of Commonwealth agencies. Each year you must file multiple reports with the offices of the Attorney General, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Operational Services Division, the Department of Revenue and each agency with which you have a contract (to name a few).

In today's environment, you have to prepare and send in separate manual reports or file the information online individually with each agency-if the agency even offers the online services you need.

Imagine if you could access a single online service that would communicate automatically in the background with each government entity to present to you information from your last filing, allow you to make any necessary revisions or additions, and in turn communicate this information back to the various agencies and their systems. You would immediately get a dated confirmation of your filings for your records. You could also view your past history of filings online, view when your upcoming filings are due and elect to receive reminders for future filings.

Benefits for the user and the Commonwealth:

· Increased data accuracy.

· Time savings for both filers and agency staff that have to process reports.

· Decrease in customer service calls regarding filing requirements, status of filed reports, etc.

· Increased customer satisfaction due to easier access to information and streamlined processes.

· Increased compliance with filing requirements resulting in less follow-up work for staff.

Barriers -why we cannot do this today. The majority of agency systems in place today are designed to serve the needs of individual agencies. The technical architectures were not designed to easily communicate with other systems. Sharing system functionality and data where appropriate requires complex, one-off integration efforts. We also do not currently have a common, shared way to identify individuals and organizations that have to interact with multiple state organizations.

Roadmap -in order to make this vision a reality the Commonwealth needs to:

· Build shared technical services that government entities can use to communicate easily and routinely across disparate systems and data ( Key Initiative: Shared SOA Infrastructure [3] ).

· Collaborate across entities to create a common, shared way to identify individuals and organizations ( Key Initiative: Identity Management).

· Build common business services, such as the Commonwealth filing service, that presents a single face to customers and at the same time meets the needs of the sponsoring Commonwealth entities ( Key Initiative: Shared SOA Infrastructure).








A citizen interacting with government

Scenario. As a citizen you need to interact with several Commonwealth agencies on a periodic basis. For example, you may need to file your estimated taxes, renew your car registration, make a reservation at a campground and obtain a fishing license for your upcoming vacation, enroll your child with a licensed day care provider and find out where and when your local farmer's market is open.

Today, you can access the state's Mass.gov website and search individually for each transaction or piece of information. You then need to access each individual agency's web pages and transactions to complete your business.

Imagine if you could create your own tailored "My Mass.gov" page on the state's web site. You could securely log in with your ID and password and see your individual home page. This page would contain "windows" into each transaction or type of information you need to access frequently. You could send in your estimated tax payment and immediately receive confirmation and a receipt. You could configure alerts to remind you of significant events or due dates that could be emailed to you or sent to your cell phone. Through this page you could also choose to notify various agencies of significant changes of information or events in your life such as a change of address.

Benefits for the user and the Commonwealth:

· A single point of access to multiple government services and information of relevance to the individual citizen.

· Simplified log-in procedure that can be used by multiple agencies to make citizen access easier.

· Ability for tailored real time two-way interaction between the citizen and government agencies.

· Decrease in customer service calls.

· Increased customer satisfaction due to easier access to information and transactions.

Barriers -why we cannot do this today. The Commonwealth's current portal software for Mass.gov can support the creation of individualized, tailored "My Mass.gov" pages created by citizens and businesses. However, the state does not currently have an enterprise identity management system that could provide simplified log-on authentication for citizens and businesses. Without this shared service, it is not possible to provide secure, private access to information and transactions without requiring separate log-ons for access to different transactions. Many government services are still

handled by older systems that cannot process transactions in real time, instead requiring overnight batch processing, and such systems cannot provide real time validation and confirmations.

Roadmap -in order to make this vision a reality the Commonwealth needs to:

· Collaborate across entities to create a common, shared way to identify individuals and organizations ( Key Initiative: Identity Management).

· Build web services that can access agency information and present it through various channels such as web, cell and smart phones ( Key Initiative: Shared SOA Infrastructure).

· Modernize legacy systems so they can process transactions and issue confirmations in as close to real time as possible ( Supporting Initiative: System Modernization).


Open and Transparent Engagement

A caseworker providing social services

Scenario. You are a caseworker providing services to families with multiple needs. You currently use the Health and Human Services Virtual Gateway eligibility application to determine what social and health services your clients can access. But these families need much more. So you have to conduct searches and make many phone calls to find out about additional support services such as unemployment assistance, vocational education and subsidized housing.

Imagine if you could access a comprehensive, "intelligent" service eligibility online program. After entering information about your client family you would receive a listing of services for which they may be eligible along with application requirements. You could then select each desired service and an online application would step you through the service request process re-using the data you already entered for the eligibility wizard. If any in-person interviews are required, you would receive a listing containing the nearest mapped office location to your client's address showing the closest T stations.

Benefits for the client and the Commonwealth:

· Information and access to government services for families all in one place

· Speedier determination of eligibility and access to needed services

· More complete and accurate data through automated edits and verification

· Transparency about all available support services

Barriers -why we cannot do this today. In today's IT environment the applications that support various government services are self-contained and do not communicate well or easily with each other. Functionality such as eligibility determination is tightly integrated with the rest of the application and cannot be easily exposed as a free-standing service component that can be shared with other applications.

Roadmap -in order to make this vision a reality the Commonwealth needs to:

· Collaborate across entities to create a common, shared way to identify individuals and organizations ( Key Initiative: Identity Management).

· Modernize legacy systems so they can be built in a modular way in order to share common business processes such as eligibility determination ( Supporting Initiative: System Modernization).

· Build and govern shared web services such as eligibility determination that involve common business processes while preserving the distinct business rules that govern individual government programs ( Key Initiative: Shared SOA Infrastructure).


Constituents on the move

Scenario. You are a citizen or a business that is planning to relocate to a community in Massachusetts. Through various government programs the Commonwealth collects a wealth of data. This data is currently used by agencies to monitor and enforce compliance, measure program results and provide required reports to federal agencies. The data is sometimes aggregated in reports that are shared with the general public. Depending on specific needs the data then can be extracted from individual reports and combined to create useful information.

Imagine if you could go to Mass.gov, and, because information can be re-used and re-purposed-and because the Commonwealth is partnering with Massachusetts cities and towns to optimize value from our collective IT investments-you could select the community from a list and view a community profile that would include information such as location of schools with average MCAS scores, location of public transportation and major highways, location of public open space, information about environmental health status, information about property taxes, sex offender registry information, chronic disease rates, etc. Summary level information would be available with an opportunity to drill down to increasing levels of detail.

Benefits for the user and the Commonwealth:

· Expanding the access to information collected by government.

· Combining and reusing data to produce useful information that goes beyond the needs identified by individual government agencies.

· Automating data collection and storage resulting in easier analysis and storage.

· Exposing more data to more people, resulting in corrections and identification of missing data, thereby improving accuracy.

Barriers -why we cannot do this today. In today's IT environment data is often stored within individual applications, in effect "locking" it in place so it is difficult to access and reuse. In some instances data is still collected and stored manually or using desktop computer applications like Word and Excel which makes it difficult to aggregate to create useful information. Some agencies are reluctant to expose data they collect so that others can reuse it.

Roadmap -in order to make this vision a reality the Commonwealth needs to:

· Identify sources of agency data and expose the data to others so that it can be combined and presented in ways that are useful to the public within the constraints of applicable laws ( Supporting Initiative: System Modernization).

· Determine standards for "meta-data" (data about the data) so that information can be combined in useful ways. Geo-coding to provide location information that can then be used in maps is one example ( Key Initiative: Shared SOA Infrastructure).

· Store data in standard interoperable formats such as XML to maximize potential re-use ( Supporting Initiative: System Modernization).

· Identify legal barriers to data sharing and reuse and create interagency agreements where appropriate ( Key Initiative: Shared SOA Infrastructure).


Accurate and Timely Data

Public Safety agencies reaching new levels of efficiency and effectiveness

Scenario. You are a state trooper. You stop a driver for speeding. You have to check the identity and record of the violator and issue a citation. Later that information has to be referred to the Trial Court. Meanwhile, the driver must be notified about the process and informed of his rights and obligations.

Public safety entities have a need to share information not only among themselves but also with entities outside the traditional sphere of criminal justice (where authority permits), including public health, social and youth services, revenue department, and registry of motor vehicles, to name a few. Today many of these information interfaces are still done manually using paper or phone communications. Where automated interfaces exist they are developed for unique purposes and cannot be re-used or easily updated.

Imagine if you were able to issue electronic citations for traffic violations. The driver's license could be swiped using computer equipment in the officer's car. Information from the license could be used to pre-populate information on the citation and validate license and registration information in real time against the license database of the RMV. The citation information would then be transmitted electronically to the Trial Court's case management system. An easy to read, full-page copy would be given to the driver. Enhanced citation information could then be made available to the RMV and other appropriate state agencies where it can be used to take further administrative actions and to analyze ways to make Massachusetts roads safer.

Benefits for public safety officials, citizens, and the Commonwealth:

· The citizen receives citations that are more legible and have more space for instructions and explanation of rights and options.

· Improved timeliness and accuracy of citations-for example, GPS information can provide geographic coordinates.

· Improved accuracy, timeliness, accountability and traceability in the communication of citation information to the Trial Court and RMV.

· Easier availability of aggregate data that can be analyzed for patterns which can be used to inform public policy decisions, such as ensuring civil right protections.

· Greater overall safety for citizens of the Commonwealth.

Barriers -why we cannot do this today. In today's IT environment aging legacy applications operated by one agency cannot easily expose data that can then be shared with other agencies' applications. Criminal justice information networks are starting to show their age and are straining to support the transmission of real-time data, especially data types such as photographs and video.

Roadmap -in order to make this vision a reality the Commonwealth needs to:

· Modernize legacy systems so that services can be created to easily share data in real-time where appropriate ( Supporting Initiative: System Modernization).

· Modernize the criminal justice information network so it can support increased volumes of real-time data exchanges for a variety of data types ( Key Initiative: Network Architecture).

· Store data in standard interoperable formats such as Global Justice XML to maximize potential for re-use and interoperability across all jurisdictions ( Supporting Initiative: System Modernization).

· Create governance structures, technology standards and shared infrastructure that can support integrated applications and data exchanges ( Key Initiative: Shared SOA Infrastructure).


The Commonwealth protecting workers' rights and benefits

Scenario. You and other heads of Commonwealth agencies are charged with implementing new policy initiatives to protect workers' rights. Two such initiatives are Health Care Reform and combating the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification. The success of Massachusetts' ground breaking health care reform initiative depends in part on contributions from individuals, employers and the state. To make sure all players are contributing to the success of the program the state needs to ensure that employers are classifying employees appropriately. Misclassification is also a factor in the underground economy. The practice of employee misclassification: (1) exploits vulnerable workers and deprives them of legal benefits and protections; (2) gives unlawful businesses an unfair competitive advantage over lawful businesses by illegally driving down violators' taxes, wages, and other overhead costs; (3) defrauds the government of substantial tax revenues; and (4) harms consumers who suffer at the hands of unlicensed businesses that fail to maintain minimum levels of skills and knowledge. You must coordinate information with multiple agencies to support health care reform, to fight employee misclassification, and to bring violators to justice.

Imagine if authorized employees in your agency and other collaborating agencies could access an online application that would provide a single view of employer information including the classification of individual employees. The data for this application is aggregated in real time from various agency databases. The application includes business logic that can flag inconsistencies for further investigation. The application can also generate reports that can be sent electronically to authorized recipients for follow-up and enforcement actions.

Benefits for citizens and the Commonwealth:

· More employees are classified correctly and receive the benefits and protections to which they are entitled.

· The Commonwealth ensures that the proper payroll and income taxes are collected.

· Aggregate data is more easily available to state entities to analyze trends which can be used to inform public policy decisions and enforcement actions.

· State employees can conduct their investigative, follow up and enforcement responsibilities more efficiently and effectively.

Barriers -why we cannot do this today. In today's IT environment aging legacy applications operated by one agency cannot easily share data with other agencies' systems. Currently there is no common, shared way to identify individuals and organizations or to resolve the identities of individuals and organizations known to multiple agencies.

Roadmap -in order to make this vision a reality the Commonwealth needs to:

· Modernize legacy systems so that services can be created to easily share data in real-time where appropriate ( Supporting Initiative: System Modernization).

· Store data in standard interoperable formats such as XML to maximize potential reuse ( Key Initiative: Shared SOA Infrastructure).

· Collaborate across entities to create a common, shared way to identify individuals and organizations ( Key Initiative: Identity Management).

· Identify legal barriers to data sharing and reuse and create interagency agreements where appropriate ( Key Initiative: Shared SOA Infrastructure).

· Create governance structures, technology standards and shared infrastructure that can support integrated applications and data exchanges ( Key Initiatives: Shared SOA Infrastructure, Network Architecture).


[3] Key and supporting initiatives for building the IT foundation are described in detail in Sections IV B and C of the Plan.


Created 12/1/08: Information provided by ITD's Planning & Strategy Office