Section 5.0 E-Government Programs

Table of Contents [1]

Section

Page

New E-Government Programs for the Government Portal

3

Shared Services

1. Portal Foundation Development

13

2. Security

23

3. EPayments

30

4. ECRM

36

5. GIS (Geographic Information System)

43

Programs Serving Citizens

6. MassCARES

49

7. eChild Support Enforcement

57

8. On-line Teacher Certification and Recruitment

66

9. SPORT (On-line Recreational Licensing)

74

Programs Serving Businesses and Non-Profit Organizations

10. Drivers' Record License Lookup and Notification (also serves Citizens)

81

11. Professional License Renewal and On-line Complaint Submission

88

12. On-line Submission of Applications for Environmental Permits & Certification

94

13. Comm-PASS Enhancements and eProcurement Portal

100

14. CORI Automated Screening System (CASS)

108

15. EFiling of Non-Profit Financial Reports

113

Programs Serving Cities and Towns

16. Municipal eFiling

119

17. (On-line Auto Excise Tax and Ticket Payment)-also serves Citizens

129


5.0 New E-Government Programs for the Government Portal

The following pages present 17 "new" E-Government programs that will provide functionality to the Government portal. One of these programs is the portal foundation itself. [2] Together these programs require an upfront investment of $93 million in capital dollars. Individual cost benefit analysis completed on each proposed program indicates that, together, their implementation will generate significant benefits to the Commonwealth. These benefits are discussed from both a quantitative and qualitative point of view throughout this section.

Taken as a set, the programs implement the various elements of the portal and are designed to give Massachusetts an integrated on-line presence that is rich with useful transactions. New programs proposed under the current initiative include the portal itself, four shared services that provide a common infrastructure upon which the proposed eApplications can build, and twelve "eApplications." The implementation of the eApplications in particular will enhance service to customers, enabling the Commonwealth to capture the benefits of E-Government, discussed in Section Two.

Implementation of the programs will begin in the spring and summer of 2001. Some, such as the new access channel design for the Government portal (homepage, virtual agencies, new navigation system), will be completed in a few months. Others will take a longer period to implement fully.

5.1 The eApplications provide functionality to the portal

The eApplications are the true heart of the portal. Users must be guided to the eApplications by an intentions-based portal design and a user-friendly navigation system. Customer inputs must be integrated into the agency legacy IT systems. And, a system of shared services should support common functions across the different eApplications. But citizens are not coming to the portal to see a great navigation system - though they need one, or to plug in a credit card number - although they may need to pay for something. Citizens and business come to the portal to do something. The next generation of E-Government must enable citizens and businesses to complete transactions with the Commonwealth.

The set of eApplications is targeted to the needs of important constituent groups. The table below outlines various constituent groups and indicates which programs are targeted to them. In some cases, an eApplication actually serves more than one group. For example, the Drivers' License Look-up and Notification System is geared toward meeting the needs of both businesses who employ professional drivers and citizens interested in viewing their personal Registry of Motor Vehicles records. These customer groups track closely with key customer groups to which large portions of the Commonwealth website are already targeted.

Constituent Group

Program

Citizens

  • MassCARES
  • eChild Support Enforcement
  • On-Line Teacher Certification & Recruitment
  • SPORT (On-line recreational licenses)

Businesses

  • Drivers' License Look-up & Notification System
  • Professional License Renewal and On-line Complaint Submission

  • On-line Submission of Applications for Environmental Permits & Certifications

  • Comm-PASS Enhancements and eProcurement Portal

  • CORI Automated Screening System (CASS)

  • eFiling of Non-Profit Financial Reports

Cities & Towns

  • Municipal eFiling

  • (On-line Payment of Excise Tax and Parking Tickets)

5.2 Implementing these programs will require an up-front investment of $93 million, and the benefits of the overall initiative should quickly outweigh operating costs

As stated above, there are 17 programs proposed for the current E-Government initiative. The total estimated capital cost of the program is $93 million. Implementation will begin at the end of FY01 and will continue until FY07. As discussed in Section 2, implemented properly, the program could generate benefits of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars over this time frame. The table below outlines the flow of investment and benefits through FY2007.

Flow of investment and benefits

E-Government Program: Schedule of Costs and Benefits FY01/02 - FY07


The benefits of the E-Government program quickly outweigh the cost of investment in the program. The diagram below illustrates the flow of total investment (both implementation and operating costs) and benefits through Y2007.

Flow of total investment

Flow of Total Benefits vs. Total Costs through FY07

As conceptualized in this eStrategy, benefits, or efficiencies, should enable a shift of resources to improve services. This can be achieved either by focusing services on citizens with the greatest need or by re-allocating personnel from back offices to the front end. Achieving these efficiencies, however, is not an easy task. It may be the case that these benefits do not necessarily equate to a lower overall Commonwealth budget. As jobs change, personnel resources sometimes need extensive re-training. In some cases, an agency will need individuals with very different, and perhaps more expensive, skills. Flexibility of management and an ongoing commitment to employee training will help to ensure that the benefits of these applications are incorporated into the business processes of the agencies.

One of assumptions running throughout the financial analysis of the full E-Government program is that these programs, as a full portfolio, should "pay for themselves." That is, efficiencies generated by these programs should enable the Commonwealth to re-allocate resources in such a way that ultimately supports the operating costs of associated with these new programs. Because of this assumption, it is instructive to analyze the financial picture of this investment by looking exclusively at projected operating costs versus ongoing benefits. This is illustrated in the chart below.

Net Operating Expenditures vs. Benefits

Net operating expenditures vs. benefits


When thinking about the benefits of E-Government, it is important to remember that the Commonwealth is not a private corporation. Its goal is not to increase the wealth of holders of common stock, but to enhance the common wealth, even for those citizens who cannot pay for services. Many of the benefits of the services Massachusetts provides cannot be easily traced financially.

Furthermore, some worthwhile programs may have negative business cases. The teacher certification and recruitment eApplication is a case in point. As public servants, teachers should not be expected to pay for this new service. But the Commonwealth benefits as it becomes easier for teachers to process their certifications and locate the job opportunities in the State. Yet how does one quantify the benefits of securing more teachers? How does one quantify the benefit of teachers, who perhaps after leaving the profession at some point to raise children, decide to re-enter the workforce because they were able to go to the Massachusetts site, scroll through teaching opportunities in the State, and link to an easy process to renew their certification? How does one quantify the benefit of having these teachers in front of a class the following September?

Unlike private corporations, the Commonwealth is entrusted to make investments for the general well-being without always giving highest priority to the fiscal "payback." For companies investing shareholder capital, this is not an option. For public leaders, this is an imperative.

Nonetheless, policy makers must also exercise fiscal discipline and restraint, for this too is their charge and obligation. For this reason, the programs are best understood as a portfolio, the total value of which is overwhelmingly positive, with some of programs generating real and extensive savings, and with some barely breaking even. Finally, some programs will never have a financial payback, but nonetheless provide a significant social benefit and thus merit investment of public dollars.

5.3 Methodology for Program Analysis

Each of the programs proposed for new investment under the E-Government initiative was subjected to a uniform analysis designed to highlight both qualitative and quantitative aspects of each program. The presentation of this analysis is intended to facilitate comparison across programs as a group. Judging the merits of each program depends on a full picture, to which both quantitative and qualitative concerns contribute. The analysis framework consists of the following elements:

Qualitative Discussion: In addition to the economic business case prepared for each program, this report presents a comprehensive overview of each initiative, which discusses the situation it is intended to address, the technical environment in which it will operate, and the customer group that it will serve. With a few exceptions to accommodate the uniqueness of certain programs, this qualitative discussion is presented within the following framework:

  • Overview: Presents the relevant high-level information regarding each case: Its primary goal, the lead agency involved, the scope of impact, its estimated implementation cost and time frame, and the estimated net present value of the program.
  • Synopsis: Referred to as the "thirty second elevator briefing," this section provides all the information necessary for a policy maker to understand each opportunity within its relevant policy context. The synopsis illustrates why the program is important and how it will address a critical need.
  • Functional Elements: This section details the specific functionality of each initiative, demonstrating exactly what features will be provided. This section is intended to give the reader a sense of how customers and/or Commonwealth employees will use the technical application involved.
  • Business Need: The eGovernment programs described in this report address specific opportunities for improvement in current business processes within different Commonwealth entities. This chart details the relevant opportunities for improvement in the current business process require to complete a given transaction and demonstrates how the program and its functional elements provide a solution, or part of a solution, to each business issue.
  • Technical Environment: Each of the eGovernment programs is a technology-based solution to a current business issue facing the Commonwealth. This section provides information regarding the current technical specifications of each IT system involved, including its technical platform, the type of server or database upon which it operates, and how it exchanges information with other systems. Juxtaposed next to this description of the current operating environment is a discussion of what is required in order to implement the proposed solution. This includes consideration for both implementation issues as well as ongoing operational issues.
  • Shared Services: In order to implement eGovernment across the Commonwealth, certain enterprise-wide "Shared services" will provide a standardized infrastructure to support the full eGovernment program. While these programs are presented as stand-alone eGovernment programs themselves, each of the shared services may also enable or facilitate the implementation of the other eGovernment applications. The relationships between the shared services and the individual applications are detailed in the chart for this section.
  • Potential Risks and Barriers to Success: Each program may faces unique organizational, legal, or regulatory barriers that may impede successful implementation. The planning and development stage for each of these programs must include concrete steps to address each of these possible barriers.

Economic Business Case Analysis

As discussed earlier, each eGovernment program is associated with a stream of economic costs and benefits that accrue across multiple years of program implementation and operation. The project team prepared analyses of these costs and benefits.

Methodology for Estimating Program Costs

Estimating the cost of implementation for each eGovernment program took a variety of program needs and required activities into account. Common to each cost analysis, unless otherwise noted, are the following:

  • A 30% contingency is added to all implementation cost items
  • System support (in operating costs) is benchmarked at 20% of the total implementation costs
  • Costs for each item are based on the estimated number of hours required to analyze, design, or build a given program component
  • An average daily rate of $1500 is applied to all hours

Hours required to implement each component are based on "use cases," which detail how users will interact with the system, "business objects," the specific items involved in completing a transaction, and "interface", the number of other systems that need to be accessed. The number of use cases and the number of business objects indicate the level of complication involved in developing a given application. In addition to these factors, the number of other IT systems to which an application must connect is also a driver of cost: both the number and the type of connecting systems contribute to overall cost of implementing a given solution.

The following information will assist readers in understanding how benefits were estimated for each program:

  • Scope is Limited to Direct Financial Impact on the Commonwealth. Because of the difficultly in measuring the true extent of benefits that are expected to accrue as a result of each of these eGovernment programs, the project team took a rather narrow view of "benefit," providing an estimate based primarily on efficiency gains, avoided costs, or new revenue that accrues to the Commonwealth. Many of the programs involved also accrue benefit to the general public, but these costs are not reflected in the benefit analyses conducted for each program. For example, an the Office of Consumer Affairs Integrated Licensing and Complaint Management Application should save time and resources for customers of the Commonwealth who need licenses or need to know the status of a license. Additionally, since the system makes it easier for citizens to file complaints and for Commonwealth officials to manage the flow of complaints, one could argue that licensees will be held to a higher level of accountability with the system. This is likely to result in better customer service and enhanced protection of consumers. However, quantifying the value of these benefits is difficult and highly theoretical exercise.

  • Benefits are phased in using a "take-up rate." Benefits from an eGovernment program only accrue to the extent that the customer group to which the program is directed actually uses the service. Depending on the characteristics of different customer groups, the percentage of the target group that uses the Internet application will vary. For example, businesses are expected to use Internet services somewhat more readily than individual citizens. Additionally, some citizen groups, such as those with a higher level of education or higher income, are expected to use the Internet for basic transactions at a higher rate than lower-income or less-educated citizen groups.

    Take-up rates have a direct effect on the economic benefit to the Commonwealth of any given investment decision. If only 10% of an entire customer group actually uses a program, then only 10% of the total possible expected benefits will be accrued. For this analysis, the project team used take-up rate information from the Department of Revenue as a benchmark against which to compare the expected take-up rates of different groups. Based on conversations with DOR regarding the percentages of tax filers (both individuals and businesses) who utilized available technologically-based filing tools from 1995-2000, Accenture used the following take-up rates as a benchmark to estimated projected use of each application.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Individuals

10%

15%

20%

25%

35%

Businesses

15%

20%

30%

40%

50%

When there was reason to expect that a given customer group could be expected use the Internet relatively more or less than the general population of the Commonwealth, the project team adjusted these take-up rates to reflect this potential. For example, take-up rates for customers using the Online Teacher Certification and Recruiting application are somewhat higher than the normal rate for individuals, since it is reasonable to expect a higher rate of Internet utilization by prospective and current educators. The relevant take-up rate used to inform the benefit analysis for each program is noted in the "Assumptions Informing Benefits Estimate" section of each economic business case analysis.

Net Present Value Analysis Explained

One of the most significant points of quantitative analysis for these programs is each program's "net present value (NPV)." Net present value analysis takes into account the time value of money and the opportunity cost for the use of investment funds. That is, because of inflation and lost investment potential, a dollar today is worth more than a dollar in future years. In order to accurately compare the net benefit of each program, it is important to discount the net benefit stream back to the actual present year value, in this case, FY02, the year in which program implementation is expected to begin. Discounting the stream of benefits is done using a discount rate which reflects the opportunity cost of invested funds and the expected rate of inflation over the years for which the program is active.

As recommended by Comptroller Martin Benison, the analysis for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts eGovernment Initiative was conducted using a discount rate of 5.25%, which was the average of the true interest cost of the past five Commonwealth bond issues.

Summary of new e-government investments

Shared Services

Program 1: Portal Foundation Development

Goal:

To develop the infrastructure for the new E-Government program by developing an intentions-based portal and designing a suite of virtual agencies to serve customer needs.

Sponsoring Agency:

Information Technology Division

Scope of Program:

  • Foundation of all infrastructure and applications
  • Access point of all interactions for all customers

Cost to Implement:

$1.9 million

Time to Implement:

  • Phase I - Portal Foundation - 3 months
  • Phase II - Access Channel Redesign - 2 months (begins after second month of Phase I)

NPV (Yr. 0 - Yr. 5):

$4.8 million

Synopsis

The portal foundation development project is the most basic element of the new E-Government program. It is the infrastructure upon which all other services and functions can be constructed. The portal foundation is:

  • The Commonwealth homepage, virtual agencies, site organization and navigation
  • The value added content, portal features such as personalization, and site management
  • The links and communication enablers between the virtual agencies and the backend agency systems.

The shared services are layered on top of the portal foundation to support the eApplications and are discussed separately.

The portal foundation should be implemented in such a manner that development of other services and eApplications can begin early. This should be able to occur after the initial two months of portal development as a basic level of service becomes available. Access channel redesign should begin as soon as the portal foundation can support it. Benefits are difficult to quantify given that the portal acts more as an enabler of the whole of E-Government rather than its own revenue stream; however, the example given represents an indication of the efficiency gains that could be accrued by State employee use of the search service provided by the portal.


Specific Functionality of Proposed System

This discussion begins with the reasons the Commonwealth needs to implement the portal, describes the portal ends with the timeline to implement the portal.

Why does the Commonwealth need the Portal?

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts faces two challenges in providing E-Government to its citizens and businesses:

  • Presenting a universally recognizable and easily navigable site layout to its constituents, and
  • Having an integrated and coherent portal environment that agencies can use in designing, developing, integrating and managing intentions-based services.

Site Layout

There has been much elaboration through this report about the need to develop an "intentions-based" portal. All of the customer groups interacting with the Commonwealth can take advantage of improved access channels. By providing virtual agencies oriented toward intentions, the public does not have to become expert web users, nor do they need to have an in-depth understanding of the structure of the Commonwealth. From day one, they are interacting with the Commonwealth in a structure that is oriented toward their needs.

Portal Environment

The systems and architectures that provide Commonwealth content represent a disparate array of agency-based systems. Each agency uses the technology and approaches to development that have arisen over years of individual growth, often without a focus on standardization or commonality across the Commonwealth. The result is that agency systems are difficult to integrate with new access channels and with each other. Their staffs often require skills that are difficult to secure and retain in today's employment marketplace. Common infrastructure and standards are rarely available requiring agencies to build these individually, often duplicating efforts of other agencies. The levels of service that the agencies deliver also vary. The variance in levels of service between agencies, which are very likely justified by cost, should not be visible to the customer.

Introducing the portal foundation will provide a basis for addressing these problems. It will enable cross-agency solutions providing the environment without requiring wholesale changes to agency processes and backend systems. The portal environment will allow agencies to develop an integrated front end, but will not dictate the backend systems that supply and process data for those services. In many ways, the portal environment is the "glue" that binds the agency offerings.

The portal environment should provide tools for:

  • Developing eApplications - agencies can choose to use these for new systems while still maintaining their current web offerings. The toolset should include content resources such as standard images and icons and development tools for actually generating content.
  • Managing portal content - information provided by the Commonwealth will be constantly changing and evolving over time. Agencies need to be able to rapidly and easily manage this change in a coordinated manner. The current Commonwealth web site provides a basic level of "Publish" functionality in this regard. In addition, the Public Access Architecture enables a beginning level of secure transactional capabilities. Both of these need to be enhanced.
  • Linking and managing integration with agency backend systems - The Commonwealth has Commbridge, which is currently used to connect within and between agency systems. This service should be extended to provide the management of multiple transactions between agencies. This can help manage the disconnect between differing agency business processes as well as their technical ability to provide service.

What does the term Portal Foundation mean?

The portal foundation provides the base from which all other services can be offered. As described in greater detail earlier in the report, the portal also provides the anchor for the shared services that the vertical applications make use of when processing customer requests and submissions.

These are the:

  • Constituent Access Channels - The constituent access channels are the homepage and high level site organization pages, such as "Citizen", "Business", and "Government".
  • Virtual agencies and vertical applications - These are the actual services presented to the customer. For example, "Starting a Business" will contain information about starting a business and the various on-line forms that new businesses can fill out to register on-line for various statutory and optional services.
  • Link to Agency IT systems - This is the service that makes the connection from the virtual agencies to the agency backend systems.
  • Common portal functions - These are the common functions that portals provide to enhance the experience of interacting with the Commonwealth on-line and include personalization,

Availability, Scalability and Reliability

The Massachusetts portal needs to be available on the customer's schedule. It's not enough to provide a new channel with the same level of service as traditional avenues - the portal needs to be a better option to conducting business with the Commonwealth.

To provide such a level of service, factors such as availability, scalability and reliability need to be addressed:

  • Availability - There is no doubt that services offered on the portal should be available near 24 hours a day. A customer should be able to conduct their business at the times it suits them. However, agency backend systems do not generally have this level of availability. In fact, many are available only during "normal" office hours. This disconnect can be addressed on a service-by-service basis. The portal infrastructure services for example, should be available on a genuine 24-hour basis. This is because they support all other applications and the requests made to the infrastructure services cannot reasonably be handed off or deferred. The portal applications, on the other hand, often present opportunities for deferment. For example, purchasing licenses can be made seamless by allowing the customer to receive a temporary authorization in advance of a mailed-out permanent license. Even if the backend system that supports the licensing is not available, the customer would conduct their business and the transaction would not be impacted. Some changes to legacy applications should be expected and included with agency technology plans.
  • Reliability - When undertaking a significant effort such as this to move transactions on-line, a minimum acceptable level of reliability should be defined. The best outcome for E-Government is that customers feel confident that their on-line dealings will be more reliable than office visits. This means that service levels need to be defined and systems should be built with appropriate backup and restore procedures, redundancy of systems and contingency planning.
  • Scalability - As both usage of E-Government services and the number of services offered on-line increase, performance needs to be managed. Nothing will drive people away from a portal more quickly than poorly performing transactions. The portal infrastructure needs to be architected so that it can grow with the demand. Additional servers and storage needs to be able to be rapidly deployed as the load increases.

Portal Implementation Process

The path to implementing the solution is described below because it forms a "critical" path for success; i.e. these actions need to take place in order for the rest of the eApplications to be implemented.

Phase I: Portal Architecture Integration

This phase is the first step of the portal foundation implementation and should occur before all other development takes place. (This should not slow existing efforts or delay initial analysis taking place on both the shared services and the eApplications.) The following diagram highlights the steps in this process:

Portal foundation implementation


Determine technology requirements. The Commonwealth must quickly identify business requirements, which will confirm the list of portal functions and the technology to support them. This list can then be used in the next step to evaluate the portal products.

Evaluate products and determine standards. It is simpler and more cost effective process to select and configure one of the major software solutions than it is to develop a portal "from scratch". This step includes:

Identifying, evaluating and selecting suitable portal software. Gaps between the functionality supplied by the portal software and that required by E-Government need to be identified and selected for custom implementation or postponed from the initial functional requirements until supported by the software. This will then direct the implementation of the portal and determine the stages at which eApplications can begin development.

Defining standards for development, execution, and operations environments. These standards will describe how portal applications should be built, how they should be run, and how they should be monitored and maintained. This will ultimately be driven from the governance structure of the portal that will provide the overall vision of portal operation; the challenge is to translate this to the everyday practicalities of operations.

Build the technology infrastructure. The final step is to build the technology infrastructure. Practically this means installing the software then configuring it to the Commonwealth's requirements and finally enhancing its capabilities to provide the services expected by the eApplications. This step would be expected to be an iterative process that continues to enhance and improve the portal, as requirements are uncovered.

Phase II: Access Channel Redesign

This phase can begin right away and should target implementation on the portal. The main focus is changing the site layout so that the goals of intentions based design can be achieved. A necessary component of intentions-based design is the virtual agency. Virtual Agencies are clusters of common functions grouped by user needs, regardless of the government agency providing the function. The process of defining and organizing the virtual agencies is described below.

Access channel redesign

Access Channel Redesign

Identify customer segments - This step is used to determine the customers that the Commonwealth serves, the way they are grouped and ultimately the top level of navigation for the site. This poses the greatest challenge, as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts government has a large and disparate customer base. The number of customer segments defined narrowly could be greater than the existing number of agencies.

The resulting navigational design would replace the long list of Commonwealth agencies with an even longer list of narrowly defined customer segments. The ability to find services easily would be compromised by a cumbersome navigational system.

Customer segments also cannot be defined and labeled if there are no or few services targeted to them. It does no good to be recognized as a customer segment if the electronic services for that segment are severely limited.

Additionally, a review of the practices of other states showed that those migrating to new portals identified a very small number of broadly defined customer groups on their homepage. In North Carolina, for instance, the homepage presents only three choices of customer self-definition: "Citizen", "Business", and "State Employee".

For these reasons, states have found it necessary to identify a small number of broadly defined customer segments for whom they are already providing extensive services on the internet and for whom new services are being planned. Accenture mapped 1308 pages of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website, with the results suggesting the following broad customer segments:

  • Resident (61.2% of pages)
  • Business (20.7% of pages)
  • Government (9.1% of pages)
  • State Employee (8.1% of pages)
  • Visitor (0.9% of pages)

Organize services by customer segment needs - The existing on-line services on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website can be grouped into basic needs for each customer segment. These needs are then summarized by the virtual agencies. A virtual agency is a grouping of current and future services, which may be interagency services, based on customer need.

For example, The State of Ohio built the following virtual agencies for the "Resident" customer segment:

  • Education
  • Employment
  • Family & Health
  • Vehicles
  • Consumer Services

Group basic needs into specific topics - Within a virtual agency, customer needs can be grouped in categories and subcategories. A category is a lower level division within a virtual agency. The category allows the customer to make an intuitive decision on the types of services available in the virtual agency.

For example, the State of Ohio created the following categories for the "Family & Health" virtual agency:

  • Children
  • Crisis
  • Disabled
  • Family Milestones
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Housing
  • Over 50

The nomenclature of the virtual agencies and categories can be adapted over time. Once initial virtual agencies are selected, the Commonwealth would benefit by conducting user tests of the site and monitoring traffic patterns to verify the virtual agencies and categories are easy to understand. It is important that the names used for virtual agencies and their categories are easily associated with the services they provide.

Link customers directly to the agency-provided services - the site navigation should link customers directly to the on-line services. A customer in a virtual agency should be able to access the services of many Commonwealth agencies without being required to enter through the agency homepages.

Design navigation to existing services - The navigation needs to be structured into a hierarchy: the customer selects the customer segment with which they identify, and then navigates to the on-line services via the virtual agencies. The intentions-based navigation system emphasizes the customer need and not the agencies providing the services.

In order to maximize its effectiveness, the navigation system must incorporate a common look and feel to be applied across the official Commonwealth site. The implementation of a consistent common look and feel throughout the Commonwealth site will provide users with the ability to differentiate between information that is internal and external to the Commonwealth. Options for implementing a consistent look and feel include vertical and horizontal navigation bars and the inclusion of a Commonwealth logo on each Commonwealth website page. It is important that all agencies be given a timeframe to transition from their differing appearances to a standard look and feel to be implemented Commonwealth-wide.

Technical Environment

The following table describes the issues that need to be addressed in order to implement the suggested solution.

Proposed Solution

Requirements to Implement

Portal Environment

The Commonwealth should actively seek a software package that will best fit their portal functional requirements. Portals are an emerging software market with a level of readiness that makes custom builds of portal difficult to justify. Such software provides a host of features such as making implementation and rollout of basic portal functionality extremely quick. This supports the goal of speedy portal implementation that enables E-Government initiatives to begin sooner rather than later. Moreover, choosing a package offloads some of the cost of maintenance, upgrades and development to the software provider.

Furthermore, new access methods such as Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) and value added features like language converters are being added at such a rate that even the best organization would find it difficult to enhance their custom built system to keep up.

Finally, many portal software packages provide the necessary features for maintaining the delivery of content; agencies can use the portal software to add new services and the content management tools to ensure that they provide the most up-to-date information.

Site Layout

The site layout is essentially an output of the process of implementing the portal environment then redesigning the access channels. The redesign should begin as soon as the portal environment allows it, hence the need for the speedy implementation of a software solution.

Links to Agency IT systems

The Commonwealth has a very useful tool in the form of Commbridge that provides connectivity between and within agency systems. It provides useful forms of communication such as batch (e.g. overnight), real time (e.g. immediate and wait for a reply) and deferred (e.g. send the message now but do not wait for a reply). Many of the opportunities have requirements that fall into one of these categories. The challenge for the Commonwealth now is to manage multi agency transactions with consistent reliability and fail-safe semantics. (i.e. the service needs to support eApplications in managing the sending of data to multiple agencies as a single transmission and to allow the application to reliably rollback that transmission in the event of failure or exceptions in business process.) It also includes being able to support the transparency of business processes irrespective of the actual backend processing that takes place. For example, the customer should be able to renew his license at any time, not just when the office is open. The reality is that many agency systems do not operate on a 24 hour basis; the reality is also that the customer doesn't care about the backend system availability - the links should be able to make the backend invisible to the customer.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

  • Cross-agency collaboration - A number of the eApplications that will be accessed via the portal involve transactions spanning multiple agencies. The agencies need to be able to freely collaborate to produce workable solutions in reasonable timeframes. The E-Government initiative needs to be supported by all agencies as a "whole of government" outreach to serving Commonwealth citizens and businesses.
  • E-Government project governance - A smooth transition from the current E-Government taskforce/steering committee guidance structure is required to the permanent E-Governance group. Furthermore, the E-Governance group needs to be able to actively promote the vision of E-Government to the organizations that will enact it and through the vision achieve a unity of mission.
  • Timeliness - In order for the Commonwealth to capitalize on the E-Government initiative, the portal foundation needs to be analyzed, scoped and developed urgently.
  • Securing a suitable package to speed implementation that provides a close fit with Commonwealth requirements.
  • Legacy systems - The Commonwealth currently has a multitude of agency legacy systems that perform the day-to-day business of government. A challenge exists in integrating the functionality of those systems with the services to be provided by E-Government.

Economic Business Case

In order to provide the Commonwealth with an understanding of the costs and benefits associated with implementing this opportunity, a high-level economic benefit projection has been included below.

High-level economic benefit projection


Assumptions Informing Estimates for Efficiency Gains

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Opportunity

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Drivers

Estimating
Assumptions

Cumulative 5 Year
Efficiency Gain Estimate:

Efficiency Gains

Employees saving time searching for Commonwealth resources

Saves each employee 2 minutes/day of searching @ employee loaded cost of $50000 and 200 workdays/year and 8500 employees (10% of workforce)

$9.73M


Program 2: Security Shared Service

Goal:

To provide for Enterprise-wide security, and to standardize the process by which individuals and businesses interact with the Commonwealth over the Internet.

Sponsoring Agency:

Enterprise wide

Scope of Impact:

Citizens, businesses, and state employees who need to "log in" to the enterprise portal in order to conduct transactions or gain access to information. Sites hosted by ITD have averaged in excess of 1.5 million hits over the last year.

Cost to Implement:

$1.9 million

Time to Implement:

6 months

NPV (Yr. 0-Yr. 5):

$7.6 million

Synopsis

A security service is used to identify (Who are you?), authenticate (Are you who you say you are?) and authorize (What resources are you allowed to access?) users of Commonwealth applications. For example, a driver needs to identify him/herself using their license number, authenticate using their social security number and a PIN. They will then be authorized to review their personal driving record but not necessarily anyone else's. The proposed Security shared service forms part of the Massachusetts E-Government Portal Infrastructure and provides a convenient set of tools for implementing application security.

As an illustration of the impact of the Security shared service, there are 700,000 professional licensees administered by the Office of Consumer Affairs, and 270,000 active and inactive teachers. Both of these groups will be served by applications that maintain very similar types of information, such as name and address. To build separate security systems for each group would be to duplicate much functionality and information. The Security shared service can also impact groups served by partially or fully applications such as MassTax and Virtual Education Space (VES). There are 4.5 million taxpayers and 1 million K12 students in the Commonwealth. These two applications currently use or will use their own security system; however, it would be advantageous for them to begin to use the Security shared service as upgrades and enhancements are made.

The key features of computer security are:

  • Identification - Who are you?
  • Authentication - Are you who you say you are?
  • Authorization - What are you allowed to do and see?
  • Accountability - What have you done?
  • Confidentiality - Are my messages protected from view and tampering by others?

Currently, the Commonwealth uses a distributed security infrastructure, in that each agency or department develops security for its systems independently. For on-line transactions, this means that a user could have a different identifier and password for each of the on-line applications provided by the Commonwealth. So, for example, a business could have a different identifier and password for MassTax than it has for Comm-PASS. As the E-Government initiative grows and the degree to which the Commonwealth offers both personalization of content on the portal and additional on-line transactions, the number of separate security systems could become unwieldy for the user and the Commonwealth, as well as expensive and complicated for the Commonwealth. The goals of the Security shared service are to:

  • Simplify the implementation of application security by designing and building a common security function that may be used inexpensively by a variety of applications, and
  • Provide a convenience to the Commonwealth's citizens and businesses whereby they can use the same set of security credentials to access all Government applications and resources.

A Security shared service would provide significant economies of scale because each agency will no longer have to separately administer its security program. The benefit to the user is also significant in that they no longer have to remember a multitude of identifiers and passwords in order to do business with the Commonwealth. A "single sign-on" will allow them access to all of the E-Government offerings of the Commonwealth. By utilizing the Security shared service, the Commonwealth is estimated to save around $7.6 million over the cost of implementing the security individually for each E-Government initiative. Furthermore, the savings accrue for each new application that uses the shared service, irrespective of whether it is an E-Government application or not.

Specific Functionality of Proposed System

The Security shared service is intended to facilitate both the implementation of web applications, and the streamlining of citizen and business interactions with the Commonwealth.

An important point to note is that the Security shared service, along with the ePayments and Customer Relationship Management shared services are not only targeted for initiatives related to E-Government but also to any Commonwealth application. They should also support multiple forms of access such as phone access and kiosks. From the agency's perspective, the Security shared service offers the following functionality and benefits:

Functionality and Benefits Conferred by the Security Shared Service

Functionality

Benefit

Identification

  • Common unique identifier used Commonwealth wide for all web interactions. More in-depth analysis available for usage of Commonwealth services
  • Citizens and businesses need only remember one identifier for all Commonwealth interactions

Authentication

  • Graded levels of security available depending upon the authentication requirements of the E-Government application
  • A citizen or business may be required to present multiple levels of credentials

Authorization

  • Provides limits on access to the various applications that the Commonwealth provides to authorized users
  • Access control mechanism architected centrally but administered locally
  • Agencies responsible for each of the applications determine the role types and what each role can access. The agencies then assign the roles to their clients according to their own business rules

Accountability

  • Provides non-repudiation of transactions (indisputable proof that transaction occurred)
  • Auditing also provides accountability in the sense that users are held accountable for their actions

Confidentiality and Integrity

  • Graded encryption of messages between citizens and business, and the Commonwealth ensures privacy and protection of information
  • Verifies that messages have not been tampered with
  • Guards against unauthorized access to Commonwealth systems

Availability

  • Ensures that the security system is itself available whenever needed by agency applications

In addition to the above functionality, the Security shared service needs to be fast and available, since there are many transactional applications envisaged for the portal. These applications should be able to use the service without fear of delays or outages.

Technical Environment

To implement the Security shared service and the functionality listed the table above, the following items should be addressed:

Requirements to Implement the Security Shared Service

Function

Potential Means

Implementation

Identification

Single Identifier

The Security shared service will provide a single place to store identities (user names, business names). A shared service would include the ability to add new users, delete users, and report on users with certain characteristics. These functions should be available via web pages and APIs. Applications will use the APIs when requesting verification of identifications, authentications and authorizations. The service should make use of existing sources of identification where suitable, since a great deal of user information already exists in Commonwealth systems.

Authentication

Password, digital signatures

Provide multiple levels of authentication strength to match the requirements of the various applications. Initially, authentication would be provided using passwords and digital certificates however the system should be able to incorporate new types of authentication schemes as they become available and mature.

Authentication tokens will be able to be created, maintained and revoked centrally. Citizens and businesses should be able to replace their passwords and request new certificates on-line.

Authorization

Role based access controls

The service will authorize users to access resources. Providing authorized access to portal and other resources will be managed by agencies using the web access control function of the Security shared service. The function will provide the ability to create, maintain and delete roles to which access privileges can be assigned. The agencies will then assign these roles to their users. The users will thus be allowed or denied access to resources on the portal according to the roles they have been given. Applications can then call APIs to authorize users to the application's resources. Roles should be able to be assigned and revoked on a default or automatic basis to users, as well as explicitly.

Accountability

Digital signatures, transaction logs, event logs, audit programs.

To provide accountability, two approaches need to be taken:

  • To guarantee that events are non-repudiable by both the Commonwealth and the user, strong identification and authentication methods should be specified. Application guidelines will require methods that can provide irrefutable evidence that an event took place by both parties
  • To provide evidence of the chain of events that have occurred, logs should be kept covering a range of areas; operating system logs, database logs, security access logs and so on. These can help reconstruct and trace interactions between the Commonwealth and the user

Confidentiality and Integrity

Encryption, checksums, timestamps.

  • The Security shared service will specify the levels of confidentiality that ranges of interactions between the Commonwealth and users should undertake. However, the actual implementation will be provided by the applications
  • Other specifications provided by the Security shared service will relate to the use of checksums, timestamps and other integrity checks and will need to be adhered to by applications

To provide a minimum level of service consistent with an enterprise-wide security system, the Security shared service should be available whenever applications need it. To support what will probably be a 24x7 requirement, the service will need comprehensive backup, recovery, redundancy and other fail-safe initiatives. It should also be fast. In order to be able to use the system in a truly transactional manner, the requests for identification, authentication and authorization made by applications should not add any significant time delays to the transactions. For this to occur, a very high specification needs to be made for the hardware, operating techniques and functionality. In particular the "operational" component should be separated out from the maintenance component and targeted for high performance. The maintenance can be carried out by a less time critical and therefore more affordable subsystem.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

There are a few barriers to success for the proposed Security shared service:

  • Performance - As mentioned in the requirements listed in the table above, a fast and responsive service is vital to application uptake. Agencies need to be comfortable that the service will not adversely impair their applications, and that it is consistent. If the service is not sufficiently fast, agencies will not see the benefit in using it and may choose to implement their own "bare bones" security system. This will erode the value that the shared service offers.
  • Integration - The Security shared service should make use of existing resources where suitable. Agencies will be less keen to integrate with the service if there is an expensive effort required to convert identifiers. By mapping the single identifier to existing agency identifiers, the effort will be minimized. This means being able to determine the agency's identifier for the citizen or business from the enterprise-wide identifier, and vice versa
  • Deployment speed - To make the most effective use of the shared service, it should be deployed rapidly. Like ePayments, many of the proposed initiatives need the Security shared service and cannot be implemented until it is operational and available. The more that agencies organize their own security systems, the lesser the value offered by the shared service
  • Legal and Policy - There may be legal or agency policy barriers to maintaining an enterprise-wide single identifier. These can involve privacy issues, for example, that will need to be resolved before those agencies can use the service

Economic Business Case

In order to provide the Commonwealth with an understanding of the costs and benefits associated with implementing this opportunity, a high-level economic benefit projection is included.

Security Shared Service

High-level economic benefit projection

Other Assumptions

  • Estimate based on using commercial security software. Cost includes providing a wrapper around the software with functions that the agencies can use to integrate the service, such as Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
  • A total of 10 services including E-Government opportunities listed in the first table will use the service (For benefit analysis purposes only - in fact, more applications are expected to use the shared service in subsequent years. These ten are just those included in the report.)
  • Does not include the cost for any legislative changes required to enable use of the service by individual agencies
  • Implementation team size 5 consultants

Enabling Technologies

Certain levels of authentication and non-repudiation are provided by a limited set of current technologies, such as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), of which there is an implementation as part of the current VPN. The applications that require these levels will be constrained to use those technologies, some of which are problematic to implement and manage. However, the Security shared service should be built in such a way as to be able to upgrade to suitable technologies as they become available. In this way, service levels and the ease of use should improve as technologies mature and become more widely accepted.


Program 3: ePayments Shared Service

Goal:

To achieve economies of scale by providing an Enterprise-wide, standardized architecture that manages on-line payment and routing of funds for a variety of Government transactions.

Sponsoring Agency:

Enterprise wide

Scope of Impact:

  • Commonwealth applications
  • Citizens and businesses wishing to make on-line payments

Cost to Implement:

$1.6 million

Time to Implement:

6 months

NPV (Yr. 0-Yr. 5):

$4.3 million

Synopsis

"ePayments" is a term used to describe the process of paying for goods and services electronically. ePayments can be made with credit cards, debit cards, electronic wallets and electronic checks.

Many of the current and newly proposed E-Government applications require a payment from the customer to the Commonwealth in order to complete the transaction. Rather than build an individual ePayments function for each separate application, the Commonwealth will achieve significant economies of scale by including a single ePayments capability. Without an Enterprise-wide ePayments function, for each new application, the implementing agency would need to consider and construct the ePayments facility from scratch, costing additional time and money. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts already has a number of on-line applications for which this process has been repeated, and the E-Government initiative will only add to the number of applications requiring access to ePayments.

The goal of the ePayments shared service is to:

  • Simplify the implementation of ePayments by designing and building a common ePayments function that may be used universally,
  • Standardize the lodging and settlement of ePayments by a variety of existing and yet to be announced payment methods,
  • Standardize the functionality and features apparent to the end user.

By implementing an ePayments shared service, the Commonwealth will gain added efficiency and additional economies of scale. It is estimated that the net present value (NPV) cost saving of the shared service over individual implementations for each of the initiatives will be in the order of $4.3 million.

Business Need

The following proposed E-Government applications will require an ePayments capability:

Proposed Funded E-Government Applications Requiring ePayments

E-Government Application

Agency

Potential Volume of Transactions

eChild Support Enforcement

DOR

Over 25,000 annually

Teacher's Certification

DOE

70,000 over 5 years

eSubmission of Environmental Permit applications

Env. Affairs

2,500 qualifying permits

On-line License Lookup and Notification

RMV

550,000 transactions annually

SPORT

Env. Affairs

367,000 permits annually

On-line License Renewals

OCA

20,000 transactions annually

Comm-PASS

OSD

TBD

Several existing E-Government programs, such as those administered by the Registry of Motor Vehicles, currently do use an ePayments function. However, their architecture has not been designed in such a way that allows scaling to larger populations. For the RMV and the other agencies that use their own ePayments services, there is no one standardized system that accepts a broad range of payment types, or that is able to collect and pass on revenue to other agencies' financial systems. The following table lists the flanking applications that are currently either using ePayments already or have been funded but not implemented:

Flanking Programs not initially in E-Government Initiative Requiring ePayments

E-Government Application

Agency

Potential Volume of Transactions

Distance Learning

UMS

18,000 undergrads, 6,000 grads

Registration renewals, citation payments, other transactions

RMV

4.2m vehicles

Campsite reservations

DEM

40,000 reservations

Functionality of the Proposed system

The ePayments shared service, along with the Security, Customer Relationship Management, and Geographic Information System shared services, are not only targeted for initiatives related to E-Government but, rather, to any Commonwealth application in general. They should also support multiple forms of access such as phone access and kiosks.


The following table lists the functionality and benefits that can be conferred by an ePayments shared service:


Functionality and Benefits Conferred by the ePayments Shared Service

Functionality

Benefit

Authorize ePayments

Provides a single service to authorize ePayments by users to the Commonwealth for goods and services. Payment information can be automatically sent to MMARS as well as agency response from authorization. Agencies do not need to create interfaces to MMARS or the payment network providers.

Payment Tracking and Auditing

Allows the applications to provide a tracking mechanism for their customers and/or their operations staff regarding individual payments. This function would ideally be folded into the eCRM opportunity. Auditing provides the Commonwealth with verifiable payment histories for troubleshooting and as input to the tracking system. Sources and destinations of payment lines can be tracked, such as fee origination.

Refunds and Payment Voiding

Allows payments that have been authorized but not settled to be voided, and payments that have been settled to be refunded. Refund and voiding policy however needs to be established by the individual agencies. It may be the case that these processes are manual, but the clerks can still accomplish the actual refunds and voids through the ePayments shared service. Additionally, providing voiding as well as refunding avoids unnecessary processing and subsequent cost, although the impact would not be expected to be great.

Reporting

Gives agencies the ability to report on aspects of ePayments such as transaction volume, voids, refunds etc.

Payment splits

Some transactions require funds to be forwarded to multiple agencies. This allows the application to add these in as line items to be directed to the appropriate accounts.

Technical Environment

Several technical elements are necessary to implement the ePayments shared service. The table on the following page lists the different functional elements of an ePayments system and discusses how each contributes to overall technical functionality.

Functional Element

Discussion

Authorize payments

Provide authorizations for a range of payment types. Information collected includes an electronic invoice (including item descriptions, billing agency, payment date, payment amount), payment information (payment type, account number, expiration date, security information) and payer information (name, full address, phone number). Authorizations will be accessible to applications via APIs and standard forms.

Payment Tracking and Auditing

Provide a tracking system to allow both agencies and customer service (e.g. eCRM) to track the status of payment's history, and approval/decline reasons.

Refunds and Payment Voiding

Provide the ability for refunds to be issued on previously authorized or settled payments, and for previously authorized but as yet unsettled payments to be voided.

Financial Reporting

Provide a reporting system able to generate financial and statistical reports for agency review. Report summaries and detailed information about settlements, returns, voids, refunds, processing fees.

Payment splits

Invoices will include a breakdown of the line items for a payment. Payments requiring splits to multiple agencies will have the agency codes and transaction identifiers attached. This will support routing of payments to the correct agencies. Record all payment lifecycle events. Supports troubleshooting payment problems, and backend and finance processing failures.

The service itself needs to be insulated from the applications by a layer that translates requests from the applications into functions on the ePayments engine. This allows the engine to be modified, upgraded or even replaced without incurring rework in the applications that use ePayments.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

There are few barriers to success for the proposed ePayments shared service:

  • Transaction Fees incurred by the Commonwealth - In certain situations, agencies providing chargeable services are legally unable to pass those fees on to citizens and businesses. A method for overcoming this barrier would be to fund fee payments separately, for example from an account specially created for the purpose. Providing an ePayments shared service can promote a better uptake of less expensive payment methods such as debit cards, than if the agencies implement ePayments themselves. This can help to avoid certain types of fees in the first place.
  • Deployment speed - To make the most effective use of the shared service, it should be deployed rapidly. The maximum benefit of the ePayments shared service will be derived when agencies use it, rather than organizing their own.

Economic Business Case

Following is a business case analysis for an ePayments Shared Service program. Key assumptions regarding the cost and benefit estimates are detailed in the following section.

Business case analysis for an epayments shared service program

Estimating Assumptions

  • Estimate based on using commercial ePayments software. Cost includes providing a wrapper around the software with functions that the agencies can use to integrate the service, such as Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
  • A total of 10 services including E-Government opportunities listed in the first table will use the service (For benefit analysis purposes only - in fact, more applications are expected to use the shared service in subsequent years. These ten are just those included in the report.)
  • Does not include the cost for any legislative changes required to enable use of the service individual agencies
  • Implementation team size 5 consultants

Program 4: Electronic Customer Relationship Management (eCRM) Shared Service

Goal:

To achieve improved customer service, satisfaction and compliance and through this effort, increased government operational efficiency

Sponsoring Agency:

Enterprise Wide

Scope of Impact:

  • Six million citizens
  • Four hundred thousand profit and nonprofit corporations
  • Hundreds of government agencies (local, state and federal)
  • Twenty four million visitors each year

Cost to Implement:

$27.6 million

Time to Implement:

Six (6) years

NPV (Yr. 0 - Yr. 5):

$2.3 million

Synopsis

The common thread running through the E-Government initiative is to better serve the customer; eCRM goes to the very heart of this by providing the mechanism for customers to get help quickly and with a genuine concern for their requirements. eCRM should support all service delivery channels, not just the portal. Thus, eCRM and its philosophy of customer service will permeate all of government.

eCRM is not just a technical solution; it is an entire strategy focused on customer service. The portal and eApplications allow customers to serve themselves. eCRM completes the picture by providing customers with the support when they can't serve themselves, or when their needs fall outside of the usual path of self-service. This could be anything from a question from a customer new to the Internet about a particular function and how to use it, to an in-depth tracking request from a city or town regarding their planning submissions. Whatever the request, the key to the strategy is to focus on bringing the customer's interaction to a satisfactory conclusion.

In serving the needs of the customer, eCRM helps serve government too by achieving operational efficiencies. With an organization dedicated to customer service excellence, the agencies that formerly expended much effort in a well-intentioned but often uncoordinated fashion are now free to confront customer requests and problems directly, without the overhead of maintaining individual call centers and helpdesks. Customers win too by being able to interact via a small set of easily locatable and usable channels (web pages, phone numbers) that are consistent across all of government.

Specific Functionality of Proposed System

The exact functionality of the Commonwealth's eCRM Shared Service will be determined through development of a detailed eCRM Roadmap (See phased approach to developing eCRM in the following section). However, given Accenture's experience with other public and private sector clients, we conceptualize a eCRM Shared Service that would provide a comprehensive customer service capability, serving as a vehicle for the delivery and management of all requests for service and correspondence within the state (e.g. general e-mail requests, applications for recreational permits and services, complaints, etc.). This capability, in conjunction with the portal redesign and the other shared services, lies at the heart of the Commonwealth's E-Government Initiative. The eCRM shared service would allow customers to interact with the Commonwealth on-line, while giving agency workers the tools to manage the fulfillment of service requests. The service initially focuses on web-based transactions, laying the foundation to include other customer channels (e.g. phone, fax, and mail). Possible components of a eCRM Shared Service include:

  • Customer Service Support

- Includes eCRM capabilities such as email management, telephone support, correspondence tracking, and workflow/task list tools to assist agency users in the execution of a service request, service monitoring and service level reporting.

  • Service Center

- Located on the Commonwealth's statewide portal, this tool is dedicated for customers to submit service requests (e.g. file a complaint, complete an application or request a public information record), review status of applications/transactions and get assistance in the execution of complex, cross-agency transactions (e.g. setting up a business). This is a capability required to support the important concept of "virtual agencies"

  • Service Request Management

- A tool designed to support the collection of data as part of the service request (e.g. a complaint against an insurance agent); it also provides the integration to legacy systems that, over time, will allow many transactions to be completed through self-service.

Business Need

As the Massachusetts community becomes accustomed to the convenience, reliability and responsiveness provided by early on-line solutions, such as renewing a driver's license or electronic income tax filing, customers will expect and demand a consistent approach from future offerings. The transformation will depend on the Commonwealth's ability to integrate customer responses across agencies, support the use of websites in a coordinated manner, and continue to tap into the diverse subject matter expertise of the personnel scattered within the agencies.

To leverage the power of the Internet and to get customers to go on-line, governments need to build confidence in their customers. A common eCRM shared service is a first step that the Commonwealth needs to take in order to help build that confidence. The following table describes the challenges of serving the Commonwealth and their solutions:

Business Opportunity

Proposed Solution

  • Lack of a central customer service unit frustrates and confuses customers because of the difficulty to locate general government information. As a result, customers often make multiple calls/visits into offices, disrupting caseworkers, investigators, examiners, etc.
  • A combination of the web redesign and a Customer Service Management capability increases the speed and quality of communication and reduces research time spent by agency staff responding to general information requests.
  • Significant annual expenditures to staff that operate and maintain separate customer service operations across for each agency.

  • Consolidation of non-core agency customer service operations reduces associated operational costs and increases convenience for customers to interact with government.
  • Lack of a common complaint submission process leads to fewer complaints because customers do not know how or where to process the complaint. As a result, the Commonwealth has limited capacity to hold its own operating entities or outside businesses accountable for good customer service.
  • A central Service Center increases the convenience for customers to file complaints. While this service will most likely increase the number of complaints, it will also offer the opportunity for the state to enforce more businesses/organizations to comply with state law.
  • Customer requests for information, either through the e-mail, phone, fax or mail are not responded to in a timely and consistent manner.
  • A Customer Service Management Capability increases the speed and quality of the state's response to customer inquiries, thus contributing to increased customer confidence and satisfaction.
  • No standard form submission process often results in agency staff engaging in actions to work with customers to correctly complete forms.
  • A central Service Center and Service Request process increases the speed and accuracy of the form submission process and increases time agency staff can dedicate to core tasks.
  • Lack of standard customer service process leads to inefficiencies in not actively managing the customer contact process (i.e. when metrics such as "average time to respond to an e-mail" are not actively managed, and standard scripts/protocols for customer interaction are not provided, the customer contact resolution takes more time than in a better managed process).
  • A Customer Service Management capability increases the quality of customer contact by providing customer service representatives with the tools and information they need to resolve an interaction.
  • Customer service resolutions usually require more than one person, which inflates the overall staffing numbers (i.e. calls may be transferred multiple times and/or the information to resolve the inquiry is not readily available, both requiring extra resources.
  • A customer service management capability decreases the number of staff dedicated to non-core customer service and increases the n umber of staff available to focus on core tasks such as casework and investigations.

Technical Environment

The eCRM Shared Service is an important and major E-Government initiative requiring three phases of implementation. Specific solutions and timeframes associated with the implementation of Phase 2 and Phase 3 are broad estimates of eCRM Shared Services. An opportunity assessment and detailed implementation plan are formal work products of the eCRM Roadmap.

  • Phase 1 - eCRM Roadmap and Portal Support.

This phase would include the development and validation of a long-term eCRM Roadmap, consisting of a current assessment of the Commonwealth's eCRM capabilities across participating agencies, an opportunity assessment and confirmation of the components of a eCRM Shared Service, preliminary software and hardware analysis, a refined business case, risk analysis and an action plan.

  • Phase 2 - Web-Based Customer Service Center.

During this phase key components of the eCRM Shared Service will be developed, pilot agencies identified and software/hardware selections finalized. This implementation will involve a broad array of functions; some available on the enterprise level, others limited only to the pilot agencies. Based upon our conceptual vision of the eCRM Shared Service this would include the development of the following capabilities:

  • Service Center: Common form creation and form submission wizard and email processing and routing rules.
  • Customer Service Management: Enterprise email response and correspondence management solution, including workflows and productivity tools such as task lists, templates, scripts and business routing rules.
  • Service Request Management: Automated tool to help customers complete self service transactions by collecting data from legacy applications and inserting the information as part of the form submission process.

  • Phase 3 - Comprehensive Customer Service Center.

This phase would extend the eCRM Shared Service to include phone support across the enterprise. In this phase the Commonwealth would achieve operational efficiencies associated with the consolidation of a focused customer service staff trained to handle non-core information requests and service requests across multiple government functions. The extension of customer service to other channels continues emphasizes the Commonwealth's understanding that not all customers have access to the Internet.


Current Operation

Proposed Requirements for the System

Implementation

Operational

  • Agencies operate multiple customer service operations, including call centers, field offices, and web self help with no enterprise-wide customer relationship standards or guiding principles.
  • Agency staff often performs double duty as customer service agents, taking away time from their core tasks as caseworkers, examiners, investigators, etc.
  • Some agencies such as the RMV and DOR have made investments in various components of eCRM. Specifically, the RMV has made a recent investment in telephony equipment to support their 150+ call center operation.
  • Project management and communication
  • Assessment of current capabilities
  • Confirm future shared services
  • Software selection
  • Systems development, testing, implementation & integration
  • Business Process Re-engineering
  • User Training
  • Marketing
  • Ongoing project management & cross agency communication
  • Software maintenance & content management
  • Development of new business requirements
  • Ongoing rollout, training & support.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

  • Agency Collaboration - It is vital for agencies to be able to collaborate fully on this initiative since it is their combined knowledge of their customers that will help shape the eCRM system, its processes and methods for solving customer problems. Given that a proportion of the eApplications cross agency lines, the continuing commitment of the agencies will be key to those applications being well supported.
  • New Concept for Government - There are numerous examples of eCRM - in private business. eCRM is a new concept and business strategy to government organizations previously concerned with process.
  • Complex Integration - While eCRM software is not particularly complex, integrating it with the operational dynamics of every agency will pose significant challenges.
  • Existing Customer Service Operations - Multiple projects existing across various touch points of the Commonwealth require coordination, integration, and buy-in with the eCRM Shared Service solutions for it to be effective enterprise-wide.
  • New Business Processes - Operational deficiencies will be exposed if agencies do not implement appropriate business procedures to support the rollout of new on-line customer service capabilities.

Economic Business Case

In order to provide the Commonwealth with an understanding of the costs and benefits associated with implementing this opportunity, a high-level economic benefit projection has been included below.

High-level economic benefit projection


e CRM Shared Service
Without a detailed eCRM Roadmap, the resulting cost/benefit analysis for Phases 2 and 3 focuses on a limited number of tangible benefits that we have feel can be confidently achieved. These benefits are directly related to cost avoidance activities and represent a conservative estimate of the potential benefits that a more thorough eCRM analysis would discover. The following cost assumptions were used to calculate the business case for eCRM.


Assumptions Supporting Efficiency Gain Estimates

Efficiency Gain /

Revenue Enhancement Opportunity

Efficiency Gain / Revenue Enhancement Drivers

Estimating
Assumptions

Cumulative
5 Year
Efficiency Gain Estimate:

Phase 2 Operational Savings

  • Benefits will be achieved through operational efficiencies gained from streamlined customer service operations.
  • Examples include: (Time saved by all agency due to decreased call volume into agencies, managing e-mail, responding to service requests, avoiding hand-offs between staff to respond to a request)
  • The combined FTE savings is 3 FTE per participating agency.
  • Participating agencies = 80
  • Loaded FTE salary of $50,000
  • Implementation will first occur with five (5) pilot agencies and increase to (80) in year 5.

$36.75M

Phase 2 Processing Savings

  • Benefits will be achieved through cost reduction associated with printing and handling of forms
  • Total of 5 forms per participating agencies
  • Annual form volume of 5000
  • 50% reduction in form mailings
  • $2.34 per form production and handling fee

$1.43M

Phase 3 Savings

  • Benefits will be achieved through operational efficiencies gained from a consolidated customer service unit
  • The combined FTE savings is 1 FTE per participating agency
  • Participating agencies = 80
  • Loaded FTE salary of $50,000
  • Years 4 and 5 overloaded to reflect continued increases in savings as processes are refined.

$20.25M


Program 5: GIS (Geographic Information System) Shared Service

Goal:

To enable easy mapping of data for selected E-Government applications.

Sponsoring Agency:

Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (MassGIS Division)

Scope of Impact:

  • Commonwealth agencies
  • 400,000 potential business
  • Commonwealth citizens

Cost to Implement:

$7.3 million including $2.8 million in state grants to municipalities

Time to Implement:

Phase I: 6-9 months

Phase II: 4 years

NPV (Yr. 0 -Yr. 5):

$0.2 million

Synopsis

A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer system capable of assembling, storing, manipulating, and displaying geographically referenced information (i.e. spatial data). Map-based representations of information make data accessible, easy-to-understand, and immediately useful in supporting different kinds of decisions made by businesses, individuals, and public officials on a daily basis. Many decisions in business and government involve location - decisions about siting new facilities, delivering services efficiently, protecting resources or planning for and encouraging the right kinds of economic development. GIS data provides the ability to support such decisions by integrating and combining information from a variety of sources in to a map. Any information that is "geo‑referenced" or linked to geographic location can be queried and displayed in a GIS. GIS becomes even more powerful when it is made available to citizens and businesses via the Internet.

The primary goals of the project are:

  • To provide a common shared service that enables a diverse range of web-enabled E-Government applications to include a map or a spatial query.
  • To develop extensive and accurate statewide data through collaborative initiatives with the cities and towns of Massachusetts that can support GIS-enabled applications on a statewide basis.

The project entails two phases. Phase One will be completed within 6-9 months. This phase will include the development of the server back end and development of the protocols that will enable applications to plug in GIS components. Phase One will also include a pilot program that would entail the use of the shared component with an E-Government application to add thematic mapping and additional functionality. Phase Two will be completed within 4 years. This phase reflects the data-intensive nature of GIS and it includes the bulk of the requisite data development. It also includes an incentive program to support a full range of E-Government GIS applications based on an integrated framework for state and local data. After the pilot phase, agencies will be able to plug GIS components into their applications providing additional functionality for various purposes.

By implementing a GIS shared service, the Commonwealth will be able to provide valuable, user-friendly decision support data to policymakers in the State government, and in cities and towns. In addition, the Commonwealth will gain economies of scale and avoid duplication of effort. It is estimated that the cost saving of the shared service over individual agency initiatives will be in the order of $232,000.

Specific Functionality of Proposed System

  • Integrate and combine information from a variety of sources - any information that is "geo‑referenced" or linked to geographic location can be queried and displayed in a GIS - in a visual format.
  • Develop standardized, accessible, well-maintained, accurate high quality data on a statewide basis.

Business Need

The goal of this suite of projects is to provide to Commonwealth agencies the ability to include a map or a spatial query result in web-enabled E-Government applications without the need of additional programming and application development. The chart below details several of the opportunities for improvement in the current system and illustrates how a Shared Service GIS program addresses these opportunities.

Business Opportunity

Proposed Solution

Presently most agency applications are limited to presenting data in text format.

GIS will enable data to be presented spatially with numerous map overlays. From one application, users can then view data from numerous related sources in a map format, as opposed to viewing various disconnected data lists.

Data development is limited and its expansion relies on coordination and standardization with Massachusetts's municipalities.

Grants to the municipalities will create a program of collaboration to benefit the municipalities' GIS development and the development of statewide Massachusetts GIS data.

Technical Environment

The requirements for developing an Internet-enabled GIS application component, in addition to the Internet infrastructure, are:

  • GIS data development
  • GIS technology (software development and platform)
  • Project direction & staffing

The chart on the following page details several of the functional elements required to implement an Enterprise-wide GIS service and discusses how they contribute to the overall functionality of the system.

Current Operation

Proposed Requirements for System

Implementation

Operational

MassGIS is currently limited in its scope and GIS components are not available enterprise-wide.

Extensive data development, additional GIS component software development and platform. Project management will be required at both phases.

Staffing support and ongoing development within the Commonwealth and with the municipalities.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

  • Sponsorship - The enterprise-wide mission of MassGIS needs to be adequately supported both financially (funding for the agencies and organizations that want to make use of it) and organizationally (the value of GIS increases with the richness of data associated with it. Organizations that could make use of GIS should be encouraged to investigate its potential.)
  • City and Town Data Input - Cities and towns are crucial in the development of accurate local data and therefore their support and cooperation must be enlisted
  • System Integration - Significant time and effort will be required to make the GIS system interoperable with the supporting applications

Economic Business Case

In order to provide the Commonwealth with an understanding of the costs and benefits associated with implementing this opportunity, a high-level economic benefit projection has been included below.


GIS (Geographic Information System) Shared Service

High-level economic benefit projection


Other Assumptions

  • Estimate based on using commercial GIS data software packages. Cost includes upgrading, customizations, API adjustments and other initial start-up costs.
  • Includes contingency of 30%.
  • Assumes one agency will be the early adopter in year one, and then five agencies each will utilize the GIS components in subsequent years.
  • Assumes an implementation team of 8 staff.
  • The savings represent the avoided costs that agencies would otherwise incur by purchasing commercial GIS data/software packages. One agency will avoid these costs in year) with the pilot program and five agencies each in each subsequent years.
  • In the estimated avoided costs, customization and integration of a commercial package would be part of the initial one-time start-up cost. There would be a 20% ongoing avoided cost for support and maintenance of the commercial GIS data/software package.
  • It is important to note that a commercial package would have limited functionality as compared to an enterprise-wide shared service.

Programs Serving Citizens


Program 6: MassCARES

Goal:

To improve the delivery and efficiency of health and human services Commonwealth-wide through the use of advanced technology and integration of existing information systems.

Sponsoring Agency:

Executive Office of Health and Human Services & 15 EOHHS agencies. Later phases of MassCARES implementation will support service delivery in:

  • The Department of Housing and Community Development;
  • The Executive Office of Elder Affairs, and
  • The Department of Education.

Scope of Impact:

Over $10 billion in Commonwealth & Federal resources

  • $9.1 billion Commonwealth
  • $1.3 billion Federal
  • $0.4 billion Other
  • Over 1.6 million health and human service beneficiaries;
  • Approximately 14,000 direct care workers in 15 EOHHS agencies;
  • Approximately 65,000 community-based workers.
  • Thousands of third parties (e.g. advocates, friends, family members).

Cost to Implement:

$23.6 million

Time to Implement:

  • Phase I: 2 Yr.
  • Phase II: 2 Yr. after Phase I [NT1]

NPV (Yr. 0 - Yr. 1):

$10.2 million

Synopsis

Beginning with Federal welfare reform in 1995, sweeping changes in health and human service programs have placed new demands for accountability and demonstrated results on state governments and public assistance beneficiaries alike. Facing the pressure to "do more with less," public officials and human service administrators nationwide struggle to develop more efficient ways of delivering services to families in need, to measure and report on performance metrics, and to encourage program beneficiaries to be self-sufficient.

Today, even with a 58% decline in the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) caseload since 1995, approximately 1.6 million Massachusetts citizens are beneficiaries of health and human services. As they do in other states, providers in Massachusetts face increased demand for efficiency and results, and yet have no system-wide infrastructure to support common operating functions and casework practices among Commonwealth agencies and community-based providers. This results in fragmented care, duplication of services, increased barriers to service for consumers and difficulty tracking and reporting results.

Over the past two years the Executive Office of Health and Human Service has been developing and piloting a prototype system designed to address these challenges. MassCARES is a suite of applications to assist caseworkers, and in some cases program beneficiaries themselves, to locate assistance resources, determine eligibility for certain programs, and coordinate the flow of information between providers involved with shared cases. This prototype is now ready for scaling and implementation Commonwealth-wide. MassCARES is an ambitious program, and successful implementation will make the Commonwealth a national leader in health and human service innovation. Once implemented, MassCARES will achieve three principle goals:

  • Make information and access to services and resources more available to the public,
  • Assist human service providers to coordinate services across Commonwealth agencies and community-based organizations,
  • Improve the management of over $10 billion in state and Federal resources.

As currently conceptualized, MassCARES health and human service providers, state employees, consumers, and third party advocates will be the primary users of MassCARES. After proof-of-concept, MassCARES will support the casework operations of the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Office of Elder Affairs, and the Department of Education.

Specific Functionality of Proposed System

The functional elements of MassCARES will be developed over the course of 4 years in two principle phases. Depending on the implementation plan followed, specific components of the full system may be function ahead of the full two-year time frame.

Phase I: (Two Year Implementation)

  • Enable integration of client information from 15 separate legacy systems for: high level query and data analysis for program and strategic planning purposes;
  • Provide comprehensive, searchable on-line database of Commonwealth-wide health and human service resources;
  • Assist in determining eligibility for certain public assistance programs;

Phase II: (1.5 Year Implementation, after Phase I)

  • Automate the transmission of intake information to certain Commonwealth-administered programs to facilitate referrals and client access to service
  • Enable secure, cross-agency view of client information for authorized users.

Business Need

MassCARES has several components, each of which addresses areas in which current service delivery and administrative management processes and practices need improvement.

Business Opportunity

Proposed Solution

  • Separate client information and financial systems for all 15 EOHHS agencies.
  • No Secretariat-wide risk identification, resource allocation, and strategic planning.
  • No organized means for service coordination and client-related communication across EOHHS agencies.
  • The Central Information Storehouse (CIS), a secure repository of historical client-level information from 15 EOHHS agencies, integrates extracts from legacy systems in to a single database. Public layer enables access to pre-formatted reports on client population, services, performance, etc. Analytical layer enables analysis of anonymous client data by authorized EOHHS staff.
  • Poor access to services for consumers, due in part to a lack of information.
  • No single, Commonwealth-wide source of information on health & human resources for consumers, service providers, and other third parties.
  • Time consuming process required to locate information on community resources.
  • A web-based Resource Locator with an interactive user interface will enable consumers, caseworkers, and advocates to search for information by service need and/or geographic region.
  • Complex eligibility rules for certain public programs are confusing.
  • Clients are often referred to programs for which they are not eligible.
  • Time consuming eligibility determination process for certain public programs.
  • A web-based Eligibility Wizard will allow consumers and/or service providers to enter demographic information into an interactive user interface in order to obtain information regarding services for which a client may be eligible.
  • Consumers often have to provide the same personal information to multiple providers.
  • Client intake is a time consuming process.
  • Intake information must often be re-keyed into legacy systems.
  • Build and implement a web-based "Referral Mechanism" which generates and transmits a secure, electronic communiqué containing intake information necessary to enroll in certain Commonwealth-administered programs.
  • Lack of communication among service providers involved with the same families often leads to inefficient duplication of services.
  • Build and implement a secure on-line, web-based "Case Monitoring System" which enables authorized caseworkers to review and monitor client progress through cross-agency view of information in the CIS. Slated for later-phase implementation, after CIS is functional.
  • EOHHS lacks a coordinated, data-driven community-based resource planning process.
  • EOHHS lacks a data-driven methodology for identifying highest-risk consumers.
  • Implement a web-based Risk Factor Reporting tool that will enable early identification of at-risk consumers.

Technical Environment

Because of its scope, the program should continue in a phased development plan. High-level system requirements are detailed below, and additional information on the suggested implementation plan is provided in the Appendix of this document.

Function

Potential Means

Implementation

Central Information Store house

Database

The CIS will be grounded in a set of databases that are populated by regular extracts from the contributing agencies. Each agency will provide in "cartridges" so that the store effectively becomes modular and allows agencies to join the store easily. A common identifier across the cartridges allows queries to cross the agency boundaries. It would be advantageous to use the Security shared service identification scheme to avoid a multiplicity of identification schemes. Each common identifier will be associated to the agency specific identifier. Storage requirements are easy to manage since agencies participate by cartridge and can be added without impacting the rest of the system. This assumes careful management of server loadings.

Resource Locator

Database and Web Form

This database, separate from the CIS, contains the provider information that can be queried by case managers and so on.

Eligibility Wizard

Database and Web Form

This database, separate from the CIS, contains a list of services and the demographic requirements to be eligible for each. The case manager can enter the client's demographic information and the wizard will return the list of services for which the client may be eligible.

Referral Mechanism

This function allows a case manager to forward a client's details to the organization responsible for a program in which the client is to enroll. The system will pull the relevant data from the CIS and forward it to the organization.

Case Monitoring

The particulars of this system are as yet unclear but would involve client data in the CIS and a tool by which various aspects of that data can be queried.

Risk Factoring Tool

This system will use a set of criteria that can be queried across the CIS in order to flag clients who may be at risk. The actual queries would be generated by a set of rules that help define and identify "risk." (Note: this component not covered by cost estimate.)

Security

The Security shared service is the key to providing graded access to the functionality contained in the MassCARES system. The proposed four levels of access are inherent to the design of access but the actual privileges granted to each level are provided by the agencies themselves. In this way, a complete profile for each level can be built from the sum of the agency privileges and each can individually manage their set. In this way, particular agency security requirements are not compromised and are easy to manage.

Shared Services to Facilitate the Implementation of MassCARES

Shared Service

Required

Comments

ePayments

No

In its initial development, MassCARES is not designed to accept payments.

Security

Yes

Authenticated access and overall security for the MassCARES CIS is extremely important to the success of the program.

eCRM

Yes

Depending on how MassCARES is implemented, an automated CRM function could assist customers seeking access to services.

Geo. Information System

No

Although not dependent on the availability of a GIS service, GIS mapping will significantly enhance MassCARES functionality, for policy analysis, program administration, and for geographic presentation of information for clients.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

The scope, size, and extensive cross-agency nature of MassCARES make the program vulnerable to a variety of challenges. Several of these challenges are noted below.

  • Confidentiality of Client Information. Pro-active planning and review of regulatory guidelines regarding information sharing is required to ensure appropriate use of client-level information among multiple agencies.
  • Building a viable, scale-able technical architecture. The ongoing viability of MassCARES depends on the development of a technically stable and scalable "core." Disciplined strategic planning is critical to ensuring that the current technical design of the system will support Commonwealth-wide implementation and scaling-up of each of the MassCARES components (e.g. the Resource Locator, Eligibility Wizard, Referral Mechanism, and the Case Monitoring system).
  • Collaborative planning and development. Properly designed, MassCARES has the potential to serve as a foundation for expanded, future efforts to integrate health and human service information and business processes, including billing, service tracking, and real-time case coordination. Collaborative planning with all involved Commonwealth agencies is critical in order to ensure that MassCARES has the potential to support new and more complex functions in the future.
  • Coordination of MassCARES development with other EOHHS initiatives. The Executive Office of Health and Human Services has identified a number of strategically linked initiatives designed improve the delivery of health and human services. These initiatives will enhance service delivery through improved data analysis, systematic sharing of authorized information across agencies, collaboration and leveraging of resources, targeted strategies, and improving tracking of program results. MassCARES is a technology enabler of this vision. Issues related to MassCARES are:
    • Consumer-Focused Office Design - This initiative is designed to present a "one-stop-shopping" view, of health and human services, to consumers. Presently, health and human services employ a traditional agency-centric service delivery model. While this framework works well for the delivery of agency specific programs, it has acted as a constraint to the holistic provision of consumer-focused services and inter-agency collaboration. There are presently over 170 leased EOHHS office space (representing over 2 million square footage at 149 buildings, in 57 cities and towns) across the Commonwealth. This has created a significant overhead in cost and resources. The benefits of this initiative include consumer friendly (one-stop-shopping) access to EOHHS services; coordinated and collaborative service delivery; opportunity to streamline business processes; increased service delivery effectiveness and efficiencies; optimized use of state owned properties; and significantly reduced property management cost.

  • Agency Business Process Improvement - This initiative is closely coupled with the Consumer-Focused Office Design initiative. The strategic linkage is to use the office design process to facilitate agency business process improvement. Such improvement would leverage the technology enabling tools derived from the MassCARES initiative. The benefits of this initiative include enhanced consumer services; improved agency interaction and collaboration; improved service delivery, productivity and efficiency; better use of collaborative and enabling technologies.

Economic Business Case

In order to provide the Commonwealth with an understanding of the costs and benefits associated with implementing this opportunity, a high-level economic benefit projection is provided on the following page. Relevant notes on this business case are the following:

  • Efficiency gains for MassCARES are driven by projected percentages of total EOHHS direct care staff who will use the suite of applications over time, and by projections regarding the percentage of their time that will be saved by usage of the applications.
  • The most important benefit of MassCARES is the improved health and welfare of program beneficiaries resulting that will result from better access to services and enhanced delivery of care overall through MassCARES. These benefits are extremely difficult to quantify. Although the projected benefits from efficiency gains within EOHHS are impressive in themselves, these unquantifiable benefits represent the true value of MassCARES.
  • Finally, just as the MassCARES system will make Commonwealth employees more efficient, the application will also improve the efficiency of direct care providers throughout Massachusetts, many of whom work in contracted community-based organizations. Preliminary efficiency gains estimates for this group of professionals approaches $25 million. However, since these benefits are not captured directly by the Commonwealth, they are not included in the overall MassCARES business case analysis.

MassCARES

MassCARES


Assumptions Informing Estimates for Efficiency Gains

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Opportunity

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Drivers

Estimating
Assumptions

Cumulative 5 Year
Efficiency Gain

Time Saved for EOHHS direct care personnel.

  • Percentage of MassCARES "users."
  • Percentage of time saved annually for users.
  • Time saved increases with overall usage.
  • 14,000 direct care EOHHS employees.
  • Average fully-loaded salary = $44,365.
  • Take up rate: Yr. 2: 6%; Yr. 3: 10%; Yr. 4: 30%; Yr. 5: 50%
  • Time saved rate: Yr. 2: 2%; Yr. 3: 4%; Yr. 4: 6% Yr. 5: 8%

$66.27 M

Efficiency Gains for POS Direct Care Personnel (not included in business case)

Time Saved for contracted Purchase of Service direct care providers

  • Percentage of MassCARES "users"
  • Percentage of time saved annually for users.
  • Time saved increases with overall usage.
  • Savings discounted by 75% to reflect incomplete capture by Commonwealth.
  • 65,000 POS direct care workers.
  • Average fully-loaded salary = $31,695
  • Take up rate: Yr. 2: 4%; Yr. 3: 8%; Yr. 4: 20%; Yr. 5: 40%
  • Time saved rate: Yr. 2: 2%; Yr. 3: 4%; Yr. 4: 6% Yr. 5: 8%
  • Take-up rate lags EOHHS employees.
  • Time saved rate is lower because POS providers to not have same level of access to system (e.g. CIS for information sharing, etc).

$58.66 M

*Not included in Commonwealth NPV analysis


Program 7: Child Support Enforcement

Goal:

To improve customer services and customer outcomes by enabling parents and employers involved with the Commonwealth's Child Support Enforcement program to complete child support transactions on-line.

Sponsoring Agency:

Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement Division.

Scope of Impact:

  • 600,000 children (approximate)
  • 191,343 non-custodial parents
  • 177,721 custodial parents
  • 40,000 Commonwealth employers
  • $330 million in annual collections

Cost to Implement:

$2.86 million (total)
$0.96 million (cost to Commonwealth after Federal IVD match)

Time to Implement:

  • Phase I: 6mo.
  • Phase II: 6 mo. after Phase I.
  • Phase III: 6 mo. after Phase II.

NPV (Yr. 0 - Yr. 5):

$10.4 million

Synopsis

Background. The Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Division provides services to over 1 million customers (children, custodial parents, and non-custodial parents) annually. Services provided include tracking down "deadbeat" parents, ensuring that appropriate payments are made to custodial parents, and providing information regarding case status, payment status, and parental rights. Providing these services requires the CSE Division to conduct over 7 million transactions each year.

Over half of the families on the CSE caseload are former welfare recipients who depend on receipt of child support payments in order to supplement relatively low wage jobs. However, data released by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) in April, 1999 indicated that only 18.6% of former welfare recipients who should have been receiving child support were actually receiving the support they were due.

Increasing Caseload and Call Volume. Compounding the problem of non-paying parents is an increasing case load and call volume. The past decade has seen steady increases in the overall CSE caseload, with an 18% increase in the last fiscal year alone. Commensurate with the rise in caseload, figures to date indicate that phone representatives are answering nearly 20% more calls in this fiscal year than they did in the previous year. The average wait time for customers calling the CSE customer service bureau has risen to 4.5 minutes, and over 25% of callers abandon their call before a phone representative is able to answer.

Many Transactions Can be Completed Over the Internet. Nearly 70% of all calls are pay inquiries ("where's my check?") or case status information requests. In many cases, this basic information can be made available to customer through an Internet self service program. Conservative estimates indicate that by its 5 th year of implementation, such a program could enable CSE workers and phone representatives to re-allocate up to 15% of their time to activities geared toward actually securing more payments and/or con ducting more investigations, rather than simply processing requests for information over the phone.

Increasing Numbers of Customers are "Internet Ready." Initial trend analysis indicates that an increasing portion of the CSE caseload is appropriately served by the Internet ("caseload" refers to both non-custodial as well as custodial parents). First, regular surveys conducted with a sample of clients who have recently contacted the CSE call center show that over 50% of these customers have access to the Internet. Second, Federal and Commonwealth welfare reform efforts have moved increasing numbers of welfare recipients into the workforce, where many of them may have access to the Internet. Third, related changes in Federal child support enforcement policy now require state-run CSE programs to process payments for many parents who were never recipients of public assistance. Increasing numbers of these parents, who in general have a significantly higher income than parents in the "traditional" CSE caseload, are requesting services and assistance from CSE. Because of their relatively higher income, these parents are more likely than lower-income customers to have access to the Internet, whether from work or home.

Taken together, this information provides a strong indication that increasing numbers of CSE customers have access to the Internet. This trend will continue as the next, younger, generation of parents and their employers become customers of the CSE program.

Specific Functionality of Proposed System

Phase I: Publish and Interact: Completed in Six Months

  • Re-designed web site to provide comprehensive information on CSE, including recent child support news, a message from the Governor, background information about child support services, and links to other CSE field offices.
  • Up-to-date, on-line method for customers to check on many aspects of personal child support data. These functions will include:
  • On-line payment status inquiry
  • Recent major case activities (i.e., enforcement actions taken, establishment status, etc.),
  • Child support guidelines calculator
  • Self-service change-of-address function
  • On-line requests and status check for order review and/or modification
  • Access to selected child support forms for download

Phase II: Transact: Completed Six Months After Phase I Implementation

  • Auto-withdrawal of CSE payment from non-custodial parent bank account
  • Electronic set up of direct deposit of funds into custodial parent bank account
  • Employee wage withholding updates
  • On-line self-service addition of a new dependent (child) to an existing case
  • Enhance automated New Hire Reporting form for employers
  • On-line application for services
  • "Call-me" buttons, and text chat to facilitate communication with CSE casework staff.

Phase III: Continuous Improvement: Completed Six Months After Phase II Implementation

Ongoing enhancement of features, functionality and reach of the Child Support Enforcement web site. The planning for this phase may determine that multiple phases are required to implement each of these and other identified items in a timely and useful manner. Items for consideration will include:

  • Non-custodial parent payments via credit card,
  • In-hospital paternity acknowledgement interaction,
  • Foreign translation,
  • Personalized homepage,
  • Internet-based customer relationship management features, including screen synchronization, co-browsing, web callthrough, clickstream analysis, email subscription for selected case updates and other critical information, and chat rooms.

Phase IV: Interface with Trial Court System (Not included in business case analysis)

This phase would focus on facilitating communication with the Trial Courts. Trial Court interaction is considered separate from Phase 3 because it is not included in the business case (the costs and benefits for this Phase have not been identified to date). However, depending on priorities, this functionality could be implemented prior to the completion of all Phase 3 functions.

Business Need

The intense service needs of some CSE customers result in frequent, often repeated phone calls to CSE customer service staff. In FY00, CSE phone representatives handled over 700,000 calls. Average wait time on the phone for customers is nearly 4.5 minutes, and over 25% of customers hang up the phone before a phone representatives answers their call. 65% of these calls are payment inquiries ("where's my check?") from custodial parents or calls requesting information on the status of a case.

These are calls for basic information that can be provided easily over the Internet, enabling customers to receive this information more quickly and conveniently, and resulting in streamlined operations for CSE staff. The chart below details opportunities for improving the current business process and outlines a brief description of the proposed method for capitalizing on these opportunities.

Business Opportunity

Proposed Solution

  • Parents and employers have limited choice, convenience, and control regarding how they interact with the Commonwealth's CSE system.
  • Customer bureau staff receive increasing phone inquiries and average phone wait time has risen to 4.5 minutes from 30 seconds over the past year.
  • Regional CSE staff have limited means of accessing case information.
  • Implement a variety of web-based customer self-service options to enable customers to conduct basic transactions without unnecessary human intervention. Many of these options are delivered in Phase I of the eCSE program. Additional options are slated for Phase II implementation.
  • Limited payment methods for non-custodial parents.
  • Provide credit card payment option.
  • Enable electronic billing.
  • A high volume of calls are "where's my payment?" calls, and receipt of payment often depends on mail.
  • The CSE Division spends unnecessary funds on check printing and mailing.
  • Checks frequently must be re-issued due to inaccurate home address.
  • Implement a direct deposit option for custodial parents.

Technical Environment

The requirements to implement eChild Support vary, depending on the Phase of implementation. The chart below summarizes the technical requirements to implement the proposed program.

Current Operation

Proposed Requirements for System

Implementation

Operational

Legacy system, COMETS, is on a Unisys mainframe, using Unisys DMS 1100 data-base and is written in COBOL. System is conditionally certified under Federal guidelines; DOR CSE Division is working to address outstanding certification issues.

Three tiered technical platform with the following components:

  • Client Browser,
  • Firewall,
  • Web Server,
  • Application Server,
  • Mechanism to leverage COMETS system & data.
  • Possible small support team to provide technical support and enhancements for a defined period.

Shared Services Required to Facilitate the Development of an eChild Support Enforcement System

Shared Service

Required

Rationale

ePayments

Yes

Building on a scalable, Enterprise-wide ePayments system will reduce the cost of providing flexible Internet payment options to non-custodial parents.

Security

Yes

Transmission of account-specific information over the Internet requires sophisticated security and authentication consideration.

eCRM

Yes

Child Support Enforcement officials have identified several Internet service options that will be supported by the CRM shared service. These include "call me" buttons, screen synchronization and co-browsing, and "text chat" options, all of which facilitate communication between CSE workers and customers. These are "Phase III" implementation features.

Geo. Information System

No

Using GIS maps to show regional office and court locations may enhance the CSE web site. Additionally, overall program administration and policy analysis may be enhanced through mapping of the CSE customer base.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

  • Confidentiality and Security of Customer Information. In order to be successful the Commonwealth must ensure the secure transfer of information via the Internet. Four services should be considered to achieve secure communications: Confidentiality (protect confidential information), Authentication (identifies the entities involved in a transaction), Data integrity (protects data from illegal tampering), and Nonrepudiation (avoids false claims about a transaction).
  • Communication and Marketing to Encourage Customer Uptake and Usage. The CSE Division must pursue an aggressive customer education program in order to encourage usage of new electronic service options and reduce barriers to Internet access.
  • Training and Worker Communication. The CSE customer service unit and case workers must be aware of the site, how it can assist them in better serving their customers, and how to respond to client questions that may be received.
  • Function Implementation. A solid and comprehensive release plan must be used to manage the successful implementation of web functions focusing on the correct priority and sequence.
  • Language and Literacy Barriers. Although data from the CSE Division indicates that an increasing portion of its customers (non-custodial and custodial parents alike) are Internet-ready, many customers may not be prepared to access and receive information over the internet because of language and/or literacy restrictions.

Economic Business Case

In order to provide the Commonwealth with an understanding of the costs and benefits associated with implementing this opportunity, a high-level economic benefit projection has been included below. The benefits and efficiency gains quantified in the business case tell only part of the full story regarding the value of an Internet-based child support enforcement system. Many of these intangible benefits actually represent the true value of the system. These benefits include the following:

  • By enabling re-allocation of CSE staff to the field, enabling them to conduct more investigations and to focus their time on the cases that attention the most, more children will receive the support they deserve, when they deserve it.
  • An enhanced public image of the CSE system to its customers, including both employers and parents
  • Improved morale and reduced burnout of CSE employees through a reduction in unnecessary or redundant manual processing.

High-level economic benefit projection



Child Support Enforcement

Assumptions Informing Estimates for Efficiency Gains

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Opportunity

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Drivers

Estimating
Assumptions

Cumulative
5 Year
Efficiency Gain:

Additional revenue from credit card payment option

  • Availability of in-court credit card payment and on-line option will encourage a (limited) portion of non-custodial parents to make payments they otherwise wouldn't make.
  • By Year 6, 1% of 128,695 NCPs in arrears (behind in payments) would pay.
  • Average of $9,346 per case in arrears.
  • 5% recovery on additional collections.
  • Less 2% credit card fees.

$0.960M

Efficiency gains for FTEs

  • Decreased call volume will enable re-allocation of staff resources to other functions.
  • Average fully-loaded CSB salary is $49,665.
  • Gradual increase in time saved from 4% in Year 1 of system implementation to 15% by Year 6.

$2.73M

Reduced time for field staff in attempting to access case information and/or meet customer service requests

  • Easier access to client information.
  • Decreased time spent meeting customer service requests.
  • Average fully-loaded regional staff salary is $52,245.
  • Gradual increase in time saved from 2% in Year 1 of system implementation to 10% by Year 6.
  • eCSE program will save relatively less time for field staff than for customer service staff because of lower total proportion of field staff spent on business functions that are web-enabled.

$6.78M

Reduced check printing and mailing costs for direct deposit option.

  • Direct deposit option for custodial parents reduces use of paper-based checks.
  • By Year 6, 20% of 84,205 CP's with paying, obligated cases will participate.
  • $1/check printing & mailing cost.
  • CPs receive an average of 52 checks/yr.

$2.32M

Reduced bill printing and mailing costs for electronic billing option.

  • Electronic billing option for non-custodial parents reduces use of paper-based bills.
  • By Year 6, 10% of 126,822 NCPs with obligated cases participate.
  • $1/bill.
  • 52 bills/year.

$2.42M

Reduced check re-issue b/c of direct deposit and self service change of address function

  • Fewer checks required re-issue by CSE because addresses are up-to-date, or because direct deposit option obviates the need for address changes.
  • Estimated .025% of all checks mailed to 84,205 CP's with paying, obligated cases checks currently returned b/c of bad address.
  • Reduce returned checks by 80% by Year 6.

$.030M

Program 8: On-line Teacher Certification and Recruitment

Goal:

To increase the number of certified educators in the Commonwealth by streamlining the teacher certification process and facilitating easier recruitment of educators.

Sponsoring Agency:

Department of Education

Scope of Impact:

  • 1 million students, 371 school districts
  • 270,000 current educators (active and non-active)
  • 6,000 new teachers annually recruited
  • 700 teacher prep programs and 60 providers
  • $4.5 billion in annual expenditures

Cost to Implement:

$2.55 million

Time to Implement:

6 months

NPV (Yr. 0-Yr. 5):

$(3.7) million

Synopsis

"This education crisis demands further action" Governor Cellucci proclaimed in his State of the State Address on January 17, 2001. The Commonwealth expects to lose 23,000 of its 70,000 teachers to retirement in the next five years due to the Teacher Early Retirement Bill passed by the Legislature last year. This new legislation, coupled with the fact that the majority of teachers who entered the teaching field in the 1970s are now approaching retirement age, will drastically reduce the number of educators in the Commonwealth over the next several years. Compounded by the 2% annual increase in student population, and the push to reduce class size, there is a strong need to focus efforts on recruiting new educators and improving services for existing educators. As Cellucci directed, "we have to act creatively to attract men and women in other careers to become teachers." To help address this situation, the Department of Education proposes an e-educator portal designed to serve all aspects of being an educator from marketing the profession through "Tomorrow's Teachers" club and scholarships, to certification, and through to retirement.

An average of 16,000 educators certify or recertify each year, and recertification is necessary at least every five years. The Commonwealth aims to double the number of teachers certifying in the next five years to counter the expected shortage. Several opportunities are combined in the e-educator portal. The first phase involves web-enabling the certification process and implementing an on-line recruiting system. An on-line certification process will:

  • Reduce barriers to teacher certification by minimizing the paper submission process and shortening the review process;
  • Make process more user-friendly with 24x7 status inquiry;
  • Enable information on educators to be shared more efficiently among Commonwealth agencies and citizens moving to new communities.

The recruiting initiative aims to:

  • Reach out to qualified individuals and provide information on certification guidelines, prerequisite programs, and educator openings;
  • Initiate communication between school districts and potential educators.

Specific Functionality of Proposed System

Phase I: Completed in Six Months

Teacher Certification Process:

  • Inform applicants about certification process;
  • Enable on-line application submission;
  • Receive prospective educators' test scores from testing centers;
  • Allow educators to inquire about the status of receipt of required certification documentation such as their test scores, transcripts, and graduation certificates.

Educator Recruiting and Development Services:

  • Direct potential applicants to preparatory programs;
  • Interface with multiple channels on potential educators and position availability;
  • Provide educators with professional development course offerings.

Phase II: educator Portal (Not included in business case analysis)

This Internet portal will bring together existing applications (Tomorrow's Teachers' Scholarship, Massachusetts Educators Career Center) while developing further applications, including:

  • Teacher Preparatory Program Approval Process: Planned in conjunction with the Board of Higher Education, this will web-enable the teacher preparatory program approval and renewal process in order to decrease the volume of paper submitted, and the length of time to process and approve.
  • Interface with Teachers' Retirement Board: Info-sharing data on educator salaries, certifications, and competencies, with the Massachusetts' Teachers' Retirement Board is a third initiative of the e-educator portal that is in the planning stages.

Business Need

The current teacher certification process is lengthy and burdensome for applicants and labor-intensive for DOE staff. The following table provides an overview of the opportunities in the current system and how the proposed initiative will address them.

Business Opportunity

Proposed Solution

  • Respond more effectively to inquiries by educators on requirements for certification
  • Offer a more coordinated source of information for prospective teachers
  • Increase the number of potential educators who choose public schools in Massachusetts
  • Develop a guide and publish on the web explaining certification process and identifying certification requirements, interfacing with teacher preparatory programs.
  • Reduce burden of certification/recertification process on potential and active educators
  • Reallocate processing/supervising FTE time to more value-added activities
  • Recruit potential educators
  • Build an automated application process that triggers active recruitment of educators, allows application entry with guiding rules, and capability for change of address/name.
  • Decrease length of time to receive certification
  • Reduce FTE time devoted to reviewing/supervising
  • Respond to inquiries regarding status of application
  • Build an application review process that automates verification of applicant requirements and email generation to applicant.
  • Provide real-time status inquiry.
  • Reach out to qualified individuals
  • Aid educators with job placement
  • Work with school districts to employ qualified educators
  • Provide interface with source systems receiving information on potential educators, post educator resumes and position openings, and link to professional development courses.
  • Encourage continued teaching efforts
  • Implement approval system that automates emails granting certification, notifying for recertification.
  • Reduce number of unqualified educators
  • Develop a certificate revocation application that identifies certificates in need of revocation and automates email notifications.
  • Collect fees for certifications
  • Provide epayment function for applications.

Technical Environment

The chart below summarizes the technical requirements to implement the proposed program.

Requirements for Implementation

Function

Potential Means

Implementation

Certification Process

Web enable application

Application for certification common with review functionality-access to edit status determined by Security shared service

Active recruitment

Interface with Higher Education

Specify a standard format interface to receive notification of graduation from various Higher Education providers

Certification Renewal

E Mail

  • Batch process to select the teachers with upcoming certificate expirations
  • Batch process to select newly granted certificates
  • Batch process to auto-generate e-mails to teachers using list created by prior batch processes

Shared Services Required to Facilitate the Implementation of On-line Teacher Certification and Recruitment

Shared Service

Required

Comments

ePayments

Yes

Educators must submit a fee to receive certification.

Security

Yes

Each educator must submit biographical information, test scores, past experience, and other confidential information. This initiative requires security to protect this information.

eCRM

Yes

An eCRM system could alleviate time currently spent on responding to inquiries and could make the status of an application accessible to users.

GIS

No

A geographic presentation of information on educator competencies and dispersion across the state would enable DOE to better target groups of educators who will most improve student results. However, the implementation of teacher certification is not dependent upon GIS.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

  • It will be necessary to obtain electronic signatures by the applicants in order to receive authentication.
  • Collaboration among DOE, Board of Higher Education and the Teachers' Retirement Board will be necessary in rolling out the different phases.
  • Integration to sources of data (schools, higher education programs) is a key factor to success in implementing the proposed initiative.

Economic Business Case

In order to provide the Commonwealth with an understanding of the costs and benefits associated with implementing this opportunity, a high-level economic benefit projection has been included below. While the business case results in a negative NPV, it is important to consider the intangible benefits associated with this opportunity. Although not directly quantifiable, these intangible benefits represent the true value of an on-line teacher certification program. A streamlined, on-line certification system can be expected to contribute to the following outcomes:

  • By removing some of the unnecessary administrative barriers to becoming a teacher, the program will encourage qualified individuals to teach in public schools in Massachusetts;
  • As the student population is Massachusetts increases, the Department of Education will be faced with an increasing need for innovative programs that contribute to an overall increase in educators to accommodate this increase. This will also drive a decrease in the student-teacher ratio, which can be expected to improve the overall quality of education in the Commonwealth;
  • A sophisticated, customer friendly on-line presence for DOE will enhance the overall image of the department as an innovative place to start or continue a career in teaching.

On-Line Teacher Certification & Recruitment

On-line teacher certification & recruitment

Assumptions Informing Estimates for Efficiency Gains

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Opportunity

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Drivers

Estimating
Assumptions

Cumulative 5 Year
Efficiency Gain Estimate

Minimize processing costs

  • Application info downloads directly into system
  • Fewer resources needed to re-key applications
  • Average fully-loaded annual cost per FTE is $51,600.
  • DOE currently employs 15 FTEs dedicated to processing applications.
  • 6,000 new teachers are recruited each year, expected to double within 5 years.
  • DOE certifies 10,000 people annually.
  • Certification is required at least every five years.
  • Workload can be decreased by 30% with automation.
  • Takeup rate in year 1 is 10% of total number of teachers certifying, and 50% by year 5.
  • Value in savings lies in how much more will be saved with automation.

$.66M

Reduce reviewing costs

  • System automates verification of application requirements
  • Reviewing FTE time freed
  • Reduced errors due to built-in error checks and internal system of validity checks
  • Average fully-loaded annual cost per FTE is $51,600.
  • 10 FTEs currently review 16,000 certifications.
  • Workload is eased by 30% with automation.

$.44M

Decrease supervising costs

  • Less FTE time devoted to processing and reviewing translates to fewer hours spent supervising
  • Fewer errors due to built-in error checks and no interpretation of handwritten documents
  • Average fully-loaded annual cost per FTE is $64,500.
  • 8 FTEs currently hold supervising positions.
  • Automation eases workload by 30%.

$.44M


Program 9: SPORT (On-line Recreational Licensing)

Goal:

To create a one-stop shop for customers to purchase or renew multiple recreational permits at the same time and location on the Internet.

Sponsoring Agency:

Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Environmental Law Enforcement

Scope of Impact:

  • 250,00 citizens who purchasing recreational permits annually
  • 115 Environmental enforcement officers
  • $ 11 million annual volume in licenses, permits

Cost to Implement:

$640,000 (To bring to completion)

Time to Implement:

4 months

NPV (Yr. 0-Yr. 5):

$(314,000)

Synopsis

The mission of the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Environmental Law Enforcement (DFWELE), as a department within the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, is to protect the Commonwealth's natural resources, while at the same time assisting citizens to enjoy them. One of the ways in which DFWELE achieves this mission is by issuing recreational licenses and permits. Unfortunately, the process by which citizens obtain licenses and permits is fragmented. Currently, citizens need to visit two different offices within DFWELE in order to renew or purchase ATV, snowmobile, motorboat, and non-commercial lobster licenses. Fishing or hunting licenses must be secured at yet another state office or at a town clerk office or a few bait shops scattered around the state.

The fragmentation of the environmental licensing system is an inconvenience to citizens who would rather be "casting a line than waiting in one," and it ultimately leads to a reduction in license sales. Additionally, many citizens are not aware of the different types of licenses required for each recreational activity. SPORT aims to web-enable the purchase and renewal of most recreational licenses and permits offered by three divisions within DFWELE. DFWELE handles approximately 300,000 recreational licenses, registrations, and titles each year, ranging in fee from zero cost to $94.50 depending on recreation type, residency, age, and other variables.

SPORT will benefit both citizens and DFWELE staff by:

  • Increasing the convenience for consumers purchasing licenses by creating a single channel for all purchases,
  • Diminishing the long lines at state offices during the busy boating season,
  • Allowing customers to renew multiple licenses at the same time,
  • Improving environmental enforcement efforts by expediting the license-checking process.

Specific Functionality of Proposed System

  • Enable citizens to submit applications on-line,
  • Accept credit card payments on-line,
  • Automate renewal notification system to prompt citizens to renew their permits and licenses.

Business Need

Purchasing and renewing permits and licenses can be a cumbersome, time-consuming process for both citizens and DFWELE staff that can be alleviated through an automated process. The following table provides an overview of the opportunities in the current system and how the proposed initiative would address them.

Business Opportunity

Proposed Solution

  • Permits are sold at a number of different locations, requiring citizens to visit DFWELE, city/town clerks' offices, bait shops to purchase permits.
  • There is no single source of information on recreational permits.
  • Fishing and hunting licenses cannot currently be renewed via mail.
  • SPORT integrates licensing of three divisions, allowing citizens to purchase and renew all recreational permits in one stop on-line.
  • Checking whether a citizen is holding a legal permit takes time and cannot quickly be performed in the field.
  • Coordinate records within DFWELE, enabling environmental enforcement officers to efficiently perform license checks over the Internet.
  • Collecting payment consumes valuable DFWELE staff time.
  • Form an alliance to offer an epayment system.
  • Sending out renewal notifications does not efficiently reach citizens holding permits.
  • Automate renewal notification system using database of permit holders.
Technical Environment

Current Operation

Proposed Requirements for System

Implementation

Operational

The SPORT application has been developed and is in testing. For actual deployment, it requires technical, functional, and aesthetic enhancements.

  • Integrated on-line permit purchase: There are some modifications to be made to SPORT prior to web-enabling it. The main requirement for this initiative is to provide web access to the existing application.
  • Automated renewals: SPORT will regularly scan its database of licensees in order to create a list of the citizens holding permits due to expire. This list will then be used to notify the licensees that they may need to renew their licenses soon.
  • Technical support
  • Help desk support

Shared Services Required to Facilitate the Implementation of SPORT

Shared Service

Required

Comments

ePayments

No

SPORT already has plans to form a strategic alliance providing an epayment system. It is possible that DFWELE will want to utilize the common system in the future, but SPORT is not reliant upon the system for implementation.

Security

Yes

Users will need to login, but authentication and authorization are not necessary.

eCRM

Yes

A central eCRM will partially alleviate the costs of the planned help desk.

GIS

No

SPORT could benefit from a geographic presentation of information on mapping recreation areas and usage rates. However, SPORT is not dependent upon the implementation of GIS.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

  • Inter-departmental Coordination. SPORT requires the coordination and participation from the separate divisions within DFWELE. Each division must support its share of the operating expenses.
  • Limited Licensing. Not all permits can be web-enabled because they require submission of some type of proof on behalf of the citizen.
  • Communication and Marketing. Significant usage of SPORT by citizens is critical to the success of the program. DFWELE will need to make marketing the readiness of SPORT a priority.

Economic Business Case

In order to provide the Commonwealth with an understanding of the costs and benefits associated with implementing this opportunity, a high-level economic benefit projection has been included below.


SPORT (On-Line Recreational Licensing)

High-level economic benefit projection

Even with the shared ePayments service, DFWELE still has to cover credit card costs. DFWELE is planning on offering its own ePayment function with SPORT, but is interested in utilizing a statewide system should one be implemented. There are discussions over who will bear the additional fees accompanying credit cards. If agencies receive assistance supporting their additional costs, SPORT's business case significantly improves. Assuming a statewide system is functional by year 3, eliminating these costs from DFWELE's operating budget leads to a positive 5 year cumulative NPV of $743,000.

Assumptions Informing Estimates for Efficiency Gains

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Opportunity

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Drivers

Estimating
Assumptions

Cumulative 5 Year
Efficiency Gain Estimate:

Additional revenue gained from impulse purchases

  • Convenience of purchasing permits in one stop at one location
  • Ability to purchase permits at any time of day, from anywhere
  • Bundling of permits
  • Agency estimate of Internet sales increasing annually by approx. 30,000.
  • Annual impulse purchases increase by .5% of estimated Internet sales, starting at 1% in year 1, reaching 3% by year 5.
  • Avg. permit cost is $30.

$1,156,000

Reduction in hiring temporary employees

  • Automated submission process reduces burden on processing, easing need for hiring temporary workers
  • Past budgets allotted an average of $100,000 per year for temporary hires.

$550,000

Reduction in retention fees paid to Town Clerks' offices

  • Convenience of purchasing permits on-line will lead to a decrease in licenses purchased at Town Clerks' office
  • Fee is $.5 per application.
  • 75% of licenses are purchased at offices.
  • Reduction based on estimated take up rate of permits sold on-line.

$352,000

Programs Serving Businesses &
Non-Profit Organizations


Program 10: Drivers' Record Lookup and Notification

Goal:

To enable individual drivers and authorized Commonwealth employers to obtain web-based access to driving records.

Sponsoring Agency:

Registry of Motor Vehicles

Scope of Impact

  • 4.3 million licensed drivers
  • Estimated 10,000 employers who make 450,000 requests annually for access to employee driving records

Cost to Implement:

$825,000

Time to Implement:

1 year

NPV (Yr. 0-Yr. 5):

$49,000

Synopsis

By drawing on the opportunities offered by E-Government and by keeping a clear focus on improving customer service, the Registry of Motor Vehicles has transformed its customer service operations in the past two years. Today, wait times in branch office lines have been reduced by almost half for common transactions, and the number of customers who renew their registrations on-line nearly exceeds the number who do so by walking in to a branch office. RMV leadership has achieved these changes not only by establishing the extremely successful "MassRMV.com" on-line service center, but also by streamlining operations at branch offices and hiring additional customer service staff.

The mission of the Registry is to protect the safety of the driving and traveling public. One of the many ways the Registry fulfills its mission is to help employers of professional drivers track the driving safety records of their employees. Continually seeking new ways to achieve its mission in an increasingly customer-focused environment, the Registry struggles to manage nearly 450,000 requests annually from employers and the 52,000 requests from individual customers for driver records and license status checks. Providing on-line access to eligible records for authorized employers and customers will achieve five goals:

  • Enable superior protection of public safety by ensuring that businesses that employ professional drivers (e.g. bus and taxi companies, delivery and trucking companies, etc.) have up-to-the-minute notification regarding "events" on employee driving records
  • Provide a value-added service to businesses seeking information on employed drivers
  • Enable individual customers to obtain a copy of their driving record on their own time
  • Reduce the number of customers who are prevented from renewing their license and/or registration due to unknown outstanding parking tickets and/or excise tax payments
  • Improve the efficiency of RMV operations to process these record requests and re-assign staff to customer-facing positions

In addition to achieving these goals, providing on-line access for customers is the first step in addressing one of the thorniest customer service issues facing the RMV. This is the organization's inability to collect outstanding excise taxes and parking ticket payments from customers who are prevented from renewing their license and/or registration because of outstanding payments. Enabling RMV customers to determine on-line whether they have outstanding payments is the first step in a process geared toward eventually enabling the RMV to collect these fees for customers and transmit them to the appropriate municipality.

Specific Functionality of Proposed System

For Customers:

  • Login to MassRMV.com using a Personal Identification Number
  • Specify the type of record desired
  • Pay on-line for status check and/or driver history (fee is currently $10 for most requests)
  • View and print record

For Employers:

  • Enable individual driver to provide (renewable) time-limited authorization to RMV and employer for access to driving history and/or license status information;
  • Verify employer access to specified RMV records
  • View specified records to which they have authorization;
  • Subscribe to a fee-based program that enable the RMV to send automatic notification to an employer whenever there is an "event" of a specified type (e.g. license suspension) on a record to which employer has authorized access

Business Need

The proposed on-line license lookup system provides a new value-added service to employers, provides a new convenience for drivers, and will achieve business efficiency gains for RMV operations staff in both branch offices and in the central RMV business center.

Business Opportunity

Proposed Solution

  • Individual customers often walk in to an RMV branch office to renew their license and/or registration and are unable to do so due to unknown unpaid parking ticket or excise tax fees.
  • Enable customers to log in to MassRMV.com prior to going to a branch office, in order to determine whether they have outstanding tax and/or ticket payments. Customers would then be able to resolve this issue before making a trip to the RMV.
  • Employers often find out late-or fail to find out at all-of the occurrence of "events" on an employee's driving record.
  • The RMV receives a significant number of calls from employers making license status requests.
  • Customer service staff spend at least five minutes per request answering walk-in and phone requests for records.
  • Offer a subscription service to authorized employers for automatic notification regarding changes in registered employee records.
  • Provide on-line access program (as an alternative to a subscription service) to enable employers to obtain information without assistance from an RMV worker.

Technical Environment

The technical requirements to implement and operate on electronic lookup and notification system are outlined in the chart below.

Requirements for Implementation

Function

Potential Means

Implementation

Driver's License Lookup

Web forms

This function should allow the user to supply a variety of criteria in order to look up a licensee's details. Sometimes the user and the licensee will be the same person; in other situations they will be different. The Security shared service will provide the means to authorize access to other's license details. In this situation, the user should be pre-authorized by the licensee to view their license details. Every access should require payment; users may choose to set up their account details, for example if they are an employer that frequently accesses this service. Practically, this means recording their payment details and perhaps some more personal details.

Subscription Service for Businesses

This would provide automatic notification to employers regarding events on specified driving records. This would be achieved by a batch process that regularly searches the driver's database for additions to the driver's records. This list is compiled and then the drivers are matched to the subscribers that have subscribed to their particular licenses. E-mails are forwarded to those subscribers notifying them of the change. There are two possibilities for completing this process: the subscriber could be required to hold an account. In this situation, the record could automatically be forwarded (subject to legal constraints). Alternatively, the subscriber could just be notified of the change and then would need to go on-line to review the record.

Shared Services Required to Facilitate the Implementation of On-line Look-Up and Notification System

Shared Service

Required

Comment

ePayments

Yes

Individual customers pay a $10 fee for a copy of their driving history.

Security

Yes

Individual customers and employers must both pass through a security system in order to access information for which they have authorization.

eCRM

No

The RMV has invested in a CRM system whose initial development will support the operations of the RMV call center. Continued development and/or expansion of this system to support the RMV's on-line operations, with additional functionality for on-line service support over time, will enhance the MassRMV.com service center.

GIS

No

Electronic access to license information does not depend on the presence of a GIS shared service.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

There are several risks and potential barriers to success for on electronic look-up and notification system. These cover several points.

  • Existing Relationships with Third Party Vendors. The RMV currently contracts with third party vendors who have access to the RMV system through a connection operated by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). These vendors provide a service to trucking companies, livery services, rental car companies, and other businesses with a need for driver record information. These vendors provide this information using the AAMVA system with back-end access into the RMV legacy system. Whether the RMV would offer a subscription service through these vendors or whether these businesses would contract directly with the RMV for this service is an issue that will require further investigation.
  • Privacy Restrictions. Federal regulations prohibit the RMV from releasing private information to third parties. While much of the content that is requested by employers is public information (e.g. license status and driving history), information that is not public includes social security numbers, medical information, and pictures. The content of information provided cannot, therefore, include these items.
  • Fee and Revenue Potential. The fee currently charged by the RMV to employers for access to driver information depends on the burden to the RMV of providing this service. This fee is $1 for a license status check and $4 for a driving history. The proposed electronic lookup and notification system has the potential to reduce this burden, and thus may affect the fee (and hence the revenue potential) calculated in the business case for this program.

Economic Business Case

In order to provide the Commonwealth with an understanding of the costs and benefits associated with implementing this opportunity, a high-level economic benefit projection has been included below.


Drivers' Record Lookup & Notification

High-level economic benefit projection


Assumptions Informing Estimates for Efficiency Gains

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Opportunity

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Drivers

Estimating
Assumptions

Cumulative 5 Year
Efficiency Gain Estimate

Revenue from increase in record requests over the current revenue generated from walk-in and phone requests.

  • Greater number of requests due to new convenience for customers.
  • Gradual increase in requests over 5 years, with 10% more requests by Year 5.
  • Assumes $10 fee charged for requests.
  • Estimated revenue takes into account cost to RMV from credit card fees.

$0.22M

Revenue from value-added automatic notification subscription service for Commonwealth employers.

  • Businesses will be willing to pay an additional amount for the value of having automatic notification regarding certain events on employee driving records.
  • Business case analysis is based on number of individual businesses making requests, estimated at approximately 10,000. Number of businesses is derived from total individual requests from businesses over the last fiscal year.
  • Assumes gradual take-up of system with graduated fee schedule, depending on the number of annual requests by a given business.
  • Assumes by Year 5, 50% of businesses which currently make these requests will be willing to pay an average of 50% more for the value added service. With current charges at $1 for a status check and $4 for a driving history, this assumes a fee for $1.50 for a license check and $6 for a driving record.

$1.7M

Efficiency gains from streamlined back-end operations

  • Electronic system enables re-deployment of FTEs to value-added positions.
  • Average fully-loaded salary of FTEs is $27,009.
  • Hourly wage equivalent is $14.00
  • 5 minutes required to process an in-person or phone request.
  • By Year 5, 35% of the current 52,00 walk-in or phone requests will be handled over the Internet.

$.08M


Program 11: Professional License Renewal & On-line Complaint Submission

Goal:

To improve service to citizens and professional service providers by allowing them to renew licenses and file complaints on-line.

Sponsoring Agency:

Office of Consumer Affairs

Scope of Impact:

  • 6 million Commonwealth of Massachusetts citizens
  • 1,000 Office of Consumer Affairs employees
  • Businesses

Cost to Implement:

$4.3 million

Time to Implement:

Phase 1A: 7 months

Phase 1B: 7 months

Phase 2: 6 months

Phase 3: 12 months

Phase 4: 12 months

NPV (Yr. 0-Yr. 5):

$3.9 million

Synopsis

The Commonwealth protects consumers through the licensing and regulation of professional service providers. To be successful in its consumer protection efforts, the Commonwealth requires sophisticated systems to:

  • Grant, regulate, and renew professional licenses
  • Manage complaints and concerns from consumers who are dissatisfied with business services they have received.

Currently, these two activities are carried out independently, without an automatic "feedback loop" between license and complaint management systems. As a result, the Commonwealth has limited capacity to hold negligent business accountable, putting the satisfaction or safety of consumers at risk.

Using current systems and processes, it takes medical professionals 6-8 weeks to renew their medical license. This process takes up valuable medical professional time that could be devoted to helping patients. The Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) takes over 30 days to process a consumer complaint. Due to time backlog, citizens may lose interest in their complaints before the issue is properly documented or resolved.

Most agencies indicate that they lack the resources necessary to meet the current demand, generating a backlog of license renewals and complaints. For example, an investigator at the Division of Professional Licensure may have up to eighty open cases at one time. The sheer volume of cases not only delays investigations, but also makes it difficult for the investigator to focus on the details of each complaint. Consequently, it gives substandard service providers the chance to continue their poor level of performance. As government iscontinuously asked to do more with less, its ability to regulate and ensure consumer safety decreases. The license and complaint application suite addresses this problem by:

  • Increasing the accountability of substandard service providers
  • Reducing the license renewal burden on licensees
  • Redirecting government resources to regulating and investigating activities.

Specific Functionality of Proposed System

The application suite is composed of three components: a license look-up system, on-line complaint submission and license renewal system. High-level descriptions and expected benefits of each initiative are outlined below.

Phase I-A

License Look-Up

This application allows citizens and businesses to research public information on licensees. Locating general and specific license information can be a difficult and time-consuming task for consumers and businesses. For those seeking license information two pieces of information must be known, which agency is responsible for the license and how to contact that agency. Since most people who make inquiries do not know the answers to those questions, government personnel spend a significant amount of time routing calls to the appropriate contacts. Once the inquiry reaches the appropriate agency, additional government resources are spent researching and reporting the results. With improved access to licensee information, including disciplinary history, OCA aims to:

  • Enable consumers to make a more informed decision with whom they choose to do business
  • Redirect resources from answering license look-up inquiries to complaint processing activities.

Phase 1-B

Board of Registration in Medicine License Renewal Pilot

The license renewal application allows licensees to update their personal profile and renew and pay for their license. Every two years in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, approximately 21,000 practicing physicians are required to renew their medical license. In addition, the Board renews an average of 4,000 limited licenses (doctors in training) each year. The renewal fees generate an estimated $6 million in revenue for the Commonwealth. The current renewal process is labor intensive and takes an average of 6-8 weeks to complete. Physicians openly voice their frustration and displeasure, requesting a process that focuses on better serving their needs. Fortunately, many of the shortcomings of the current process are routine activities that lend themselves to automation. With that in mind, the goals of the initiative are threefold:
  • Reduce the time it takes to renew a license
  • Eliminate backend processes and free up FTEs for other tasks
  • Reduce telephone inquiries regarding license renewal status.

Phase II

Division of Professional Licensure On-line Complaint Submission Pilot

The complaint submission application enables citizens and businesses to file complaints against licensees. Last year, the Division of Professional Licensure received approximately 3,000 complaints. Currently, complaints must be submitted in person or via the mail. This restriction is not only a burden to consumers, but increases the likelihood of consumer apathy with regard to professional services. This initiative will use an electronic complaint system to provide added convenience to consumers who feel the need to file a complaint regarding a business or service. Specifically, the initiative's goals are to:

  • Improve customer service by making it easier to file a complaint
  • Improve the ability of government to respond to concerned consumers
  • Increase the accountability of professional service providers

The Division of Professional Licensure is well-positioned to initially implement the on-line complaint submission pilot because of the nature of the users and data transmitted. There are few main user groups (insurers, agents, brokers, and licensees) and minimal private information is exchanged.

Phase III

Enterprise-Wide Complaint Submission

Phase III extends the on-line complaint submission pilot to the remaining 8 OCA divisions.

Pilot Schedule

The Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) was chosen to pilot the application suite because of its broad interaction with service providers and consumers. Last year, OCA processed over 500,000 license renewals and 33,000 complaints. OCA's nine divisions will implement the license renewal system and on-line complaint submission in three phases.

The following chart depicts the expected rollout schedule within OCA.

OCA Division

License Look-Up

Complaint Submission

License Renewal

Alcohol Beverages Control Commission

ƒ

'

Board of Registration in Medicine

Exists

ƒ

Div. of Banks

ƒ

'

Div. of Energy Resources

ƒ

'

Div. of Insurance

'

'

Div. of Professional Licensure

Exists

ƒ

'

Div. of Standards

ƒ

'

Div. of Telecommunications and Energy

ƒ

'

State Racing Commission

ƒ

'

Key: = Phase I ' = Phase II ƒ = Phase III

Enterprise-Wide Rollout and Expected Benefits

While the Office of Consumer Affairs is the pilot agency for the application suite, the suite could, if properly designed, become a cross agency platform, providing a scaleable service to assist all Commonwealth agencies that issue licenses and/or handle consumer complaints. The more agencies that utilize the application suite and its platform, the greater the benefits and savings will be for the Commonwealth. It is expected that savings will surpass costs by year 2 or near the end of phase II.

After discussing the initiative with the Division of Professional Licensure and the Division of Professional Licensure, it became evident that the initiative, under its current scope, would add an additional channel for the submission of complaints. By making this process radically easier, OCA actually invites a possibly sharp increase in complaint filing. If complaint volume increases, while the complaint process and number of investigators remain the same, complaint backlogs would surely rise, which could increase processing delays, thereby adding to consumer frustration and apathy. For this reason, it is imperative that the on-line complaint submission not be implemented until a more thorough analysis of the backend processes can be completed.

Based on the brief discussions with the aforementioned divisions, significant savings and benefits can be achieved by re-engineering the backend processes. According to the Division of Professional Licensure, "much of the delay in complaint processing can be attributed to investigators spending too much time on the phone, answering general questions." Comments such as these require further investigation and warrant at least a six-week analysis of OCA's complaint processing procedures. The proposed study is similar in nature to the CRM analysis discussed previously in Section 5.


Economic Business Case

The license and complaint application suite is expected to return five year discounted savings of roughly $4 million. While all phases are not positive business cases, rolled together the suite of applications will more than pay for itself in five years.

High-level economic benefit projection

Assumptions Informing Estimates for Efficiency Gains

Year Implemented

Phase

Estimating
Assumptions

Cumulative 5 Year Efficiency Gain Estimate

0

Phase I

Refer to phase I business case

$.7M

1

Phase II

Refer to phase II business case

$7.8M

2

Phase III

Refer to phase III business case

$1.7M

3

Enterprise Wide

  • OCA represents 75% of licenses and complaints filed enterprise wide
  • OCA processes 500,000 renewal licenses and 33,000 complaints each year
  • 50% of enterprise license renewal applications are suitable for on-line submission
  • Average savings of $6 a renewal application
  • Average savings of $14 a complaint

$3.3M

Total

$13.5M


Program 12: On-line Submission of Applications for Environmental Permits & Certifications

Goal:

To provide a one-stop shop for businesses to apply and renew environmental permits and licenses on-line.

Sponsoring Agency:

Department of Environmental Protection

Scope of Impact:

  • Over 16,000 businesses in the Commonwealth
  • 2,000 Employees at DEP, DFWELE, MEPA, DFA
  • $2.3 million annual revenue from permits and certifications

Cost to Implement:

$3.4 million

Time to Implement:

Phase 1: 3 months

Phase 2: 6 months

NPV (Yr. 0-Yr. 5):

$1.3 million

Synopsis

To protect the environment, the Commonwealth requires that all businesses in the state certify their compliance with environmental regulations. Companies complain that the current paper-based process is cumbersome and the regulations themselves confusing. Companies are often unsure of the statutory requirements, with the result that non-compliance has reached as high as 60-70% (according to an Enterprise Results Program study conducted in 1997) of companies, even though non-compliance can results in fines of up to $25,000 a day.

Second, those companies that are trying to comply with the regulations find they cannot easily check on the status of their application, even though they technically cannot continue with their business until certified or permitted. Given the importance of certification and permitting to a business, those companies attempting to comply often flood the Department of Environmental Protection with inquiries about the status of an application, consuming valuable staff time better spent on actually reviewing the certification applications themselves.

DEP annually issues over 5,000 environmental permits and compliance certifications, resulting in $2.25 million in revenue each year. DEP also collects $30 million annually in permit and certification fees, enforcement fines, and cost recovery from parties found to be liable for waste site cleanup activities. An on-line submission process is necessary to protect the environment and public safety, to reduce the high rate of non-compliance, and to ease the burden on businesses. eSubmission of DEP permits and certifications and integration of DEP databases aim to accomplish three objectives:

  • Increase the rate of compliance and improve environmental performance
  • Eliminate redundant reporting efforts and reduce the time of submission process for the businesses and environmental agencies
  • Improve allocation of limited government resources to target areas of highest concern.

Specific Functionality of Proposed System

The above goals can be accomplished through implementation of two phases of an on-line submission system.

Phase I: Web-Enable ERP: Completed in Three Months

DEP will begin by web-enabling the Environmental Results Program (ERP) because its database is already functioning to accept the applications from some 2,300 small businesses. ERP is a program that currently allows dry cleaners, photo-processors, and printers to self-certify through a performance-based standard and whole-facility certification process

Phase II: Extend Process to Other Permits/Certifications: Completed in Six Months

Together, both phases will offer the following functions:

  • Enable businesses to access information on required permits
  • Allow businesses to complete application form and submit applications, statutory reporting documents, and other required documents proving compliance over the web
  • Offer ability for businesses to submit payment on-line
  • Access for businesses, citizens, government officials to view the status of permit or certification applications

Business Need

The current process of certification is time-consuming for both businesses and DEP staff. An on-line system would expedite the process, relieving the burden for businesses and staff alike. The following table provides an overview of the opportunities in the current system and how the proposed initiative would address them.

Business Opportunity

Proposed Solution

  • Respond more effectively to inquiries by businesses on what permits/certifications are required
  • Increase number of businesses certifying
  • Redeploy staff to analyze trends and compare performance evaluation by industry/type of pollution
  • Target inspection in areas of greatest concern
  • Build a lookup function providing info on permits according to industry sector, directing businesses to proper applications, and enabling on-line submission of applications and information.
  • Collect fees for permits/certifications
  • Provide ePayment function for applications.
  • Reduce risk of errors committed by temporary staff
  • Allocate limited resources to field inspections
  • Decrease lengthy wait time for businesses to receive permits/certification
  • Automate backend processes and post status information, freeing processing, data entry time.
  • Ease financial burden on small businesses complying
  • Reduce significant punitive fees for businesses identified as non-complying
  • Web-enable ERP self-certification workbook and submission of Return-to-Compliance plan.

Technical Environment

The on-line submission process will build off existing applications. The chart below summarizes the technical requirements to implement the on-line certification process.

Current Operation

Proposed Requirements for System

Implementation

Operational

Applications and certifications are available on-line for downloading and paper copy submission. DEP currently uses an integrated environmental information system, EPICS, that includes a permit information management and tracking applications (PIMS) and the Environmental Results Program certification application (ERP). Both PIMS and ERP are browser based Oracle database applications that would be a component of the esubmission system.

  • Needs front-end system with security
  • EPICS needs additional tables, fields, applications to include all permits
  • Requires some additional servers and Oracle software
  • System administration
  • System maintenance

Shared Services Required to Facilitate the Implementation of On-line Submission of Applications for Environmental Permits and Certifications

Shared Service

Required

Comments

EPayments

Yes

Businesses must submit a fee with each certification application. Nearly 34,000 bills are generated each year for payments totaling $30M. DEP's high volume of transactions would significantly rely on a central payment system.

Security

Yes

Businesses will use a login application, however, authentication is not necessary for businesses, in basing the new system on the same level of security already employed by DEP.

ECRM

Yes

The system to be implemented should field many of the user's inquiries. An eCRM system could alleviate staff time currently devoted to it.

GIS

No

DEP already has a GIS unit currently creating data layers of DEP data which is integrated with MASS GIS.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

  • Gaining Business Participation. It is estimated that over 10,000 businesses are currently not complying. Consequently, they are not accounted for by DEP and there will need to be an aggressive outreach to encourage the system's use for certification.
  • Limited Licensing. Not all permits are capable of being applied for on-line because of the type of documents required for submission. It is estimated approximately 70% of permits can be web-enabled.
  • Cross-agency Coordination. A single environmental portal for businesses will require cooperation among the different departments within EOEA.

Economic Business Case

In order to provide the Commonwealth with an understanding of the costs and benefits associated with implementing this opportunity, a high-level economic benefit projection has been included below. While not included in the business case, it is important to note the significant savings to businesses totaling $8.3 M over five years, due to ERP businesses demonstrating a reduction in volatile organic compounds (VOC's). With ERP reducing the VOCs with a tracking capability for smaller businesses, the potential cost of VOC reduction decreases for larger businesses. Moreover, the intangible benefits of improving air quality for all citizens of Massachusetts must be taken into account.

High-level economic benefit projection


Savings/Revenue Enhancement Opportunity

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Drivers

Estimating
Assumptions

Cumulative 5 Year
Efficiency Gain Estimate:

Increase number of facilities complying

  • On-line system informs businesses on required certifications
  • Ease of certification process
  • 10,000 treatment facilities in industrial sewer program are not complying.
  • Permit fee is $400.
  • 600 large treatment facilities are expected to certify by first year of implementation, 2003.
  • Takeup rate for treatment facilities is 20% in Y3, 30% in Y4, 40% in Y5.
  • Revenue gains of $4,000,000 are expected with full usage, expected after Y5.

$5.84M

Minimize processing costs

  • 10 FTE's currently devoted to processing
  • Application info downloads directly into system
  • Less resources needed to re-key applications
  • Average fully-loaded annual cost per FTE is $73,530
  • Workload can be decreased by 30% at full usage.

$.47M

Reduce need for temporary hires

  • Automation of backend system
  • Less resources, including engineers and scientists, needed to enter data
  • Hiring temporary workers costs DEP $100,000 annually.
  • Freed time is based on takeup rate for businesses.

$.22M

Reduce time spent responding to status inquiries

  • System allowing businesses to view status on-line
  • Average fully-loaded salary is $73530.
  • Four FTE's are currently responding to calls, including status inquiries.
  • Freed time is based on given takeup rate for businesses.

$.16M

Decrease time spent handling fees

  • EPayment system eases workload of reconciling payment info with permit applications
  • Average fully-loaded salary is $73,530.
  • It is estimated that one FTE could be freed for other work, given full usage of system.

$.16M

Program 13: Comm-PASS Enhancements and eProcurement Portal

Goal:

To create a fully integrated end-to-end eProcurement system, building and improving on the existing automation of Comm-PASS and EMall.

Sponsoring Agency:

Operational Services Division (OSD)

Scope of Impact:

  • 10,000 businesses using Comm-PASS. Comm-PASS gets 50,000 hits per month
  • All state employees with procurement needs
  • All entities eligible to use state contracts -- cities, towns, quasi-public entities, the legislative and judicial branches of state government, non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, other states, and public buying collaboratives
  • $2.7 billion in procurement for the Commonwealth

Cost to Implement:

$13.5 million

Time to Implement:

Phase I: 2 Years

Phase II: 3 Years, beginning after Phase I

Phase III: 4 Years, beginning mid-way through Phase II

NPV (Yr. 0-Yr. 5):

$10.6 million

Synopsis

The Commonwealth has led the nation in eProcurement, with the development of Comm-PASS in 1996 and the launch of the EMall in 1998. The Commonwealth now has the opportunity to maintain its role as an innovator in eCommerce solutions by beginning to automate the entire procurement process, from the development of the bidding documents to the final contract closeout. As shown by the graphic below, the Commonwealth has eCommerce-enabled two major steps in the procurement process - publication of bids and ordering from existing contracts. The challenge remains to begin to automate the parts of the process that are currently very manual, time-intensive and paper-intensive - bid development, bid receipt, analysis of bids, development of contract documents, and ongoing performance management of contracts.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts eStrategy Procurement Cycle

All of these activities could be automated in a document management system. The scope of this proposed project would include enhancements to the existing Comm-PASS system and development of new document management capabilities. This project will make purchasing more accessible and efficient for the Commonwealth, significantly streamlining the process. Developing a truly end-to-end procurement system would be revolutionary because it would take the paper out of the process and put efficiency and visibility in. Vendors and eligible public entities across the state would gain significant efficiencies in addition to those achieved by the state.

Scope of opportunity: A total of $2.7 billion in goods and services is procured each year by Commonwealth entities, in more than 100,000 transactions, with approximately 10,000 business contracts. Cities, towns, non-profit organizations, higher educational institutions, and quasi-public agencies procure an additional amount nearly equal to that of the Commonwealth. This constitutes a significant opportunity for reducing the time and effort required for procurement, and for leveraging the magnitude of the spending to secure lower prices on goods and services procured. The time and money saved by the Commonwealth and other public entities on procurement can be spent on other pressing policy needs.

Project goals. Goals of the project include:

  • Provide a single procurement portal for all users across the Commonwealth
  • Gain additional volume discounts by including eligible entities not currently participating -- cities and towns, quasi-public agencies, higher education institutions, the legislative and judicial branches of government, non-profit organizations, perhaps even other states
  • Increase ease of use for potential suppliers, thus increasing competition for new awards
  • Decrease cycle time from bid to award by reducing paper processing
  • Improve performance-based contracting by enabling on-line contract monitoring and management
  • Improve management information about purchasing processes

Specific Functionality of Proposed System

Phase 1 - Overall System Requirements Definition and Initial Comm-PASS Enhancements

· Develop detailed requirements for system that will provide a single source of data, integrating bid announcements, solicitations, any relevant amendments, awards, and the resulting contracts

  • Define systems integration requirements for end-to-end solution
  • Implement key Comm-PASS enhancement functions, such as:
    • Develop on-line vendor registration capability
    • Increase ease of site navigation for businesses seeking bid opportunities, including advanced search capability
    • Allow participation from entities outside the Commonwealth Intranet firewall
    • Develop pro-active email notification capability for vendors by area of interest
    • Enable electronic receipt of bid responses, including secure "sealed" bid receipt, where necessary
    • Automatic routing for award approvals
    • Automatic on-line publication of award upon approval (to be linked to EMall)
  • Complete requirements analysis for further Comm-PASS enhancements, as required
Phase 2 - Further Comm-PASS Enhancements and Integration to Desktop Buying (EMall)
  • Enable auctions, reverse auctions and other dynamic pricing methods
  • Automatic integration of new awards into EMall and MMARS
  • Design and build a single eProcurement portal that links Comm-PASS and EMall with available public information on procurement
  • Enable seamless end-to-end tracking of projects from solicitation posting to award and contract execution
  • Refine systems integration requirements for contract management capability, based on enhanced functionality in Comm-PASS and EMall.
Phase 3 - Development of Document Management Capability
  • Develop decision support tools for bid tabulation, including methods for determining best value
  • Develop interactive document sharing capability for evaluation teams
  • Develop document library for solicitations for evaluation teams
  • Create capability to automatically generate elements of contract file from solicitation documents
  • Develop automatic tickler to announce upcoming contract renewals
  • Provide easy to navigate single public source of Commonwealth contract documents in text-searchable format

Business Need

Comm-PASS was a leading edge system when it was developed. Now, with the advancement of technology and the advent of the EMall, it is time to evolve the Commonwealth procurement technology to take advantage of the increases in computing efficiency that are happening in "internet time."

Business Opportunity

Proposed Solution

  • There is no single source for procurement information or contracts available that includes all eligible entities in the Commonwealth, including quasi public agencies, cities and towns, higher educational institutions, non-profit agencies, the legislative and judicial branches of government, and the other states and public buying consortiums that could be included
  • A single procurement portal could provide information and buying opportunities to all eligible entities.
  • Basic vendor and project information is currently entered multiple times into multiple systems - Comm-PASS, EMall and MMARS are all separate and require separate data entry.
  • An integrated end-to-end solution could enable single time data entry and multiple use of the same data.
  • No source currently provides searchable and editable templates and sample documents for procurement officials in the state agencies, or in other eligible entities so that best practices can be shared across entities.
  • A single portal that included a document management capability and library would provide information, knowledge capital and reference materials on best practices to eligible entities, saving them time and money in their procurement. Solicitation documents and contracts could be designed without the need to "reinvent the wheel."
  • Cities and towns, and interested vendors have some difficulty navigating the Comm-PASS system. Often they can't find what they need using the existing search function.
  • Improved navigation and search functions, and on-line help, will assist businesses in learning about opportunities, and can increase the number of bids received. Improved navigation will help cities and towns use state contracts to a greater degree, driving up volume and providing the opportunity for greater volume discounts.
  • Buyers in cities and communities cannot post bids to Comm-PASS due to firewall issues

  • Comm-PASS enhancements could open the system up to more users inside and outside the state, increasing volume and potentially lowering prices
  • Comm-PASS and EMall do not link, so there is no one system that integrates bidding and buying. No single source of information links bidding documents to the resultant contract in an accessible format.
  • A single procurement portal would link all procurement related activities in a world class system
  • There is no integrated on-line contract management capability currently available to government agencies in the Commonwealth, and no consistent way to notify procurement officials of pending contract end dates
  • Integrated, on-line contract management would provide a single paperless repository for contract documents and would allow analytic tools such as proactive notification of contract end dates. New contracts could be developed far more easily from an electronic contracts library, with relevant language cross-referenced by topic.
  • There is currently no single source of easily accessible performance measures to evaluate the extent to which vendors meet the terms and conditions of their contracts with the Commonwealth. Currently, performance measures are submitted by vendors, but there is no centrally located electronic storage or analytic capability for this data
  • A contract management capability could be designed to capture performance measures from vendors and integrate that to an electronic contract file that would be accessible to the contracting entity or even to the public
  • There is currently no formal way to capture data on the extent to which cities and towns use the state contracts. As a result, it is difficult to use the volume generated by the state contract to negotiate lower prices on contracts. There is also no way to measure the extent to which cities and towns save time in developing their own bids by using the public documents provided by the state through Comm-PASS
  • A single, integrated procurement system could capture data on city and town spend, particularly if they participated in the EMall.

Technical Environment

Current Operation

Proposed Requirements for System

Implementation

Operational

  • Comm-PASS for bid posting. Comm-PASS uses outdated technology model which needs to be updated and made accessible to eligible public entities
    • MMARS is the financial and accounting system

  • New software selection for bidding (Comm-PASS)
  • Significant systems integration required
  • Document management software required
  • Ongoing project management
  • Hosting
  • Ongoing requirements definition

Shared Services Required to Facilitate the Implementation of Comm-PASS

Shared Service

Required

Rationale

Epayments

Yes

Facilitate payments from vendors for basic or premium services, or for other revenue generation opportunities identified.

Security

Yes

Encrypt sensitive transaction data as well as sealed bid information prior to bid opening date. Also encrypt confidential contract documents. Also, work with security team to develop method for secure access by cities and towns to Commonwealth bid posting data.

ECRM

No

Not directly applicable

GIS

No

Could enable geographic analysis of purchasing patterns by the Commonwealth. Cities and towns can scan contracts for geographic proximity. Evaluation teams can use GIS to screen potential bidders for new solicitations, where appropriate.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

  • Lack of existing models - creating something new has inherent risk
  • Current eProcurement solution provider community is still evolving and viable providers are still yet to be determined
  • Existing Comm-PASS firewall issues
  • Long-term funding is required, but due to annual appropriations process cannot be guaranteed
  • Vendor participation and uptake of technology, particularly small businesses
  • Agency and other entity participation and uptake of the system

Economic Business Case

In order to provide the Commonwealth with an understanding of the costs and benefits associated with implementing this opportunity, a high-level economic benefit projection has been included below.

High-level economic benefit projection

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Opportunity

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Drivers

Estimating
Assumptions

Cumulative 5 Year
Efficiency Gain Estimate:

Fees paid by vendors for basic services offered by Comm-PASS

  • Extent of take-up of usage of the system by vendors
  • $100 fee per vendor, based on experience to date in Maryland
  • Estimate that 50% of all vendors will subscribe for basic services

$2.9 million

Fees paid by vendors for "premium services" offered by Comm-PASS

  • Driver is extent of take-up of system by vendors
  • $250 fee per vendor
  • Estimate that 20% of vendors will subscribe for premium services

$2.9 million

Additional volume discounts realized by aggregating increased demand resulting from including more eligible entities

  • Extent of usage of statewide contracts by eligible entities not currently participating (cities, towns, quasi-public entities, other states, etc.)
  • Ability to capture data on spend to use in negotiations with vendors
  • .5% of total commodity spend in year 5
  • Gradual increases in adoption from years 1-5

$3.7 million

Pass-through supplier cost savings realized through easier bid preparation and lower cost to market to the state

  • Extent of vendor adoption of system for on-line services and degree to which on-line services reduce supplier marketing and delivery costs
  • .25% of total services spend in year 5
  • Gradual increases in adoption from years 1-5

$18.7 million

State processing cost savings from collaboration and re-use of existing knowledge capital

  • User take-up of document management system
  • 1928 solicitations per year, based on FY00 actuals
  • 40 hours saved per solicitation
  • $38.46 per hour saved

$9.3 million


PROGRAM 14: CORI AUTOMATED SCREENING SYSTEM (CASS) (Phase III)

Goal:

To provide a one-stop service for on-line criminal background information.

Sponsoring Agency:

Criminal History Systems Board (CHSB)

Scope of Impact:

  • $1.9 million in annual revenue to the CHSB from processing record requests.
  • Businesses and non profit organizations that are certified to access criminal record information;
  • Commonwealth agencies which request criminal record information
  • Citizens who make CORI requests

Cost to Implement:

$507,000

Time to Implement:

6 months (after Phase II)

NPV (Yr. 0-Yr.5):

$6,000

Synopsis

Each year the Massachusetts Criminal History Systems Board (CHSB) answers over 800,000 requests from day care providers, school districts, nursing homes, and other certified organizations for criminal background checks of prospective and current employees. The Commonwealth's role in facilitating accurate, timely access to this information is absolutely critical in order to protect the health and welfare of many of its most vulnerable citizens. By extending current efforts to automate the CORI check system and by creating a "one-stop shop" for multiple sources of criminal information on-line to authorized users, this E-Government opportunity will ensure that certified individuals and organizations have coordinated, timely access to criminal background information on time and in their own venue.

The CHSB has recently automated the process by which certified organizations and individuals obtain criminal offender record information (CORI). Additional automation efforts will enable organizations to complete the certification process itself and, once certified, to request and receive CORI checks on-line. On-line access to criminal records is already funded through the IT bond, and will be completed in next fiscal year. These system enhancements will minimize the turn-around time for requests as well as minimize the amount of FTE time devoted to these processes.

Extending the capability of the CHSB system to link with other relevant databases of criminal record information will provide additional ease of access to critical information for authorized users. For example, sex offender, probation, and parole status is information that may be lawfully disseminated, but that exists in separate databases maintained by separate organizations. These organizations include the Office of the Commissioner of Probation, the Chairperson of the Parole Board, the Chairperson of the Sex Offender Registry and the Commissioner of the Department of Correction.

Phase III of the CASS would allow the public to make all of these inquiries from a single website. Clearly this would require the participation of all of these agencies, however, each agency maintains an automated database and all are linked by the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) operated by CHSB. A further phase of CASS could also consider providing RMV information for those customers (such as UPS) who would be interested in acquiring both criminal history and driver's record information. CHSB currently runs a backup system for RMV for the use of the criminal justice community.

Currently the Commonwealth is exploring the possibility of funding part of this project through a federal grant.

Primary goals of the project:

  • To coordinate with other Commonwealth entities that maintain criminal history information in order to provide more information to their collective constituencies.
  • To enable customers (with varying degrees of authorization) to directly input requests on-line and receive information from multiple departments instead of having to make separate requests regarding the same individual(s).

Specific Functionality of Proposed System

  • Develop bridge among various databases to enable single and complete query for each individual request.

Business Need

Under the current, fragmented system, customers need to make requests to three or four separate departments to receive full information regarding an individual's criminal history.

Business Opportunity

Proposed Solution

CHSB, Department of Correction, Parole, Probation and Sheriffs offices all have information regarding criminal histories of individuals (with varying levels of authorization). Currently, a customers have to make requests at three-four different departments to get a full composite on a single person

  • The bridge would link the backend systems so that each request would query the various databases and compile the pertinent information (some authorization applies).

Technical Environment

To implement this bridge among the multiple databases which house criminal information, the agencies involved will have to conduct a thorough assessment of current capabilities. Currently there is some shared data among these agencies, but the information may not be current or accurate.

Current Operation

Proposed Requirements for System

Implementation

Operational

Each agency maintains an automated database and all are linked by the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) operated by CHSB.

Commbridge may provide the necessary link.

Accurate and timely information will be necessary. CHSB currently supports and operates CJIS, so the incremental cost of ongoing support should be minimal.

Shared Services Required to Facilitate the Implementation of CASS

Shared Service

Required

Comments

ePayments

Yes

For Phase II, to web-enable the CORI requests, ePayments will be necessary for all of the paying customers (not all customers are required to make a payment). Note that Phase II is already funded through the IT bond and Phase II will be implemented within the next 12 months. Phase III will not require any additional ePayment component.

Security

Yes

This will be of great importance since the multiple databases will have data that only authorized users can access. Also, in Phase II, security will be absolutely necessary in web-enabling the CORI requests.

eCRM

No

GIS

No

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

  • There may be organizational challenges in coordinating with the Sheriff's Offices (on the County Level) and the Probation department (through the judiciary).

Economic Business Case

In order to provide the Commonwealth with an understanding of the costs and benefits associated with implementing this opportunity, a high-level economic benefit projection has been included below.

High-level economic benefit projection


Assumptions Informing Estimates for Efficiency Gains

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Opportunity

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Drivers

Estimating
Assumptions

Cumulative 5 Year
Efficiency Gain Estimate:

Increased revenue due to incremental increase of requests.

An incremental increase of requests will result in additional revenue generated for the Commonwealth.

The estimate is based on an incremental increase of 5% each year of all criminal history requests.

Efficiency Gain Analysis will require further research with each of the participating agencies.

Other Assumptions

  • These are only preliminary estimates and further analysis is required. Complete assessment of FTE and other potential efficiency gains among all participating agencies must be conducted.
  • Implementation costs reflect 30% contingency. Initial cost estimates based on CHSB/ITD estimates.
  • Support is 7.5% of implementation cost. This lower percentage was used since it is not anticipated that the ongoing operations will entail a significant incremental cost to current support of CJIS.

PROGRAM 15: eFiling of Non-Profit Financial Reports

Goal:

To streamline the Uniform Financial Reporting requirement for non-profit organizations.

Sponsoring Agency:

Division of Operational Services, Executive Office of Administration and Finance

Scope of Impact:

1400 Non-profit organizations that are required to submit UFR

Cost to Implement:

$948,000 plus $310,000 annually for support

Time to Implement:

6 months

NPV (Yr. 0-Yr. 5):

$519,000

Synopsis

The Commonwealth spends over $4 billion in state and Federal resources for contracted health and human services. Nearly 1400 vendors, most of which are non-profit organizations, provide these services. These organizations must file Uniform Financial Reports (UFR's) and related information with multiple Commonwealth agencies. These agencies include the Division of Operational Services, the Office of the Attorney General, and one of approximately 28 contracting Commonwealth agencies.

Uniform Financial Reports consist of audited financial information. In addition to UFR's, vending organizations file performance information with OSD on the units of service they provide, the number of hours involved, service outcomes, and a range of additional performance-related information. The plan for eFiling that OSD has proposed would integrate the submission process for both financial and performance information into a single web-based application.

In addition to generating efficiencies relating to the submission and dissemination of information, web-based filing of this information will facilitate improved management and analysis of critical information on over $4 billion in Commonwealth and Federal resources. This will enable more efficient resource allocation and tracking of results and performance relating to these expenditures.

eFiling of UFR's and related performance information would:

  • reduce a time consuming submission process, both for provide organizations and for Commonwealth agencies;
  • enable information to be shared more efficiently among Commonwealth agencies;
  • reduce time-consuming manual efforts by OSD to respond to over 1000 annual requests for this information under the Freedom of Information Act.

In 1997 OSD developed a limited web-based system for the submission of some performance information. The Division reports that increasing numbers of organizations have used the system each year. This indicates that the 1400 involved vendors are "Internet ready" and in a position to benefit from eFiling without a tremendous amount of new investment

Specific Functionality of Proposed System

  • Enable the on-line submission of Uniform Financial Requirements
  • Automate the tracking the filing and review status of UFR information
  • Enable real-time on-line viewing and printing of UFR's by authorized parties

Business Need

The primary goal is to provide 1400 vendors/non-profit organizations with timely access to UFR information to assist them in making management and oversight decisions.

Business Opportunity

Proposed Solution

  • Furnish timely access to UFR data. Currently UFR's are available in paper format only. Some data is available in electronic format, but not enough to recreate the forms submitted.
  • ON-LINE ACCESS AND FILING: The proposed solution would provide users the ability to file UFR's on-line. All data would be stored electronically and easily accessible. Authorized users would be granted access and printing privileges.
  • Provide seamless integration of data.Vendors submit currently submit data for upload into OSD's database on 3.5 diskettes. The use of diskettes limits the amount of data that can be submitted and creates delays in availability of data to authorized users.

  • UPLOAD: The UFR information would be sent to OSD using a file transfer system. The entire upload process would be automated.

  • Provide users with current filing and review status on a real time basis. Currently, distribution of this information occurs in a manual time-consuming process.

  • TRACKING: The proposed solution would replace the manual tracking process.

Technical Environment

Successful implementation will depend on OSD's ability to determine how to handle audited data electronically. No decision has been made regarding the use of electronic signatures to verify and authenticate the party filing the audited financial reports. OSD has very successfully piloted a program for filing performance data for the 1400 vendors. The pilot has indicated that most of these vendors are "Internet-ready."

Current Operation

Proposed Requirements for System

Implementation

Operational

Current process is largely paper based. Providers supply a considerable volume of reports and standard forms that are entered by OSD staff.

  • Provide a web based set of forms for the standard data. Data can be entered to OSD databases after validation.
  • Provide an integrated file upload utility for provider reports.
  • File management will need to be addressed for the large volume of files expected.

Shared Services Required to Facilitate the Implementation of eFiling of UFRs

Shared Service

Required

Comments

ePayments

No

e-filing UFR's is not designed to accept payments.

Security

Yes

Authentication required for submission and review of audited financial data.

eCRM

Yes

An automated CRM function might benefit users, but not necessary for implementation.

GIS

No

Data captured by e-filing UFR's does not lend itself for GIS mapping.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

Authentication of party filing audited UFR. Financial reports to be filed by 1400 vendors need to be audited by an outside institution. The reports require a signature. Review of E-SIGN requirements is necessary before this application can be fully implemented.

Economic Business Case

In order to provide the Commonwealth with an understanding of the costs and benefits associated with implementing this opportunity, a high-level economic benefit projection has been included below. Relevant notes on this business case are the following:

  • Just as the eFiling of Non-Profit Financial Reports will ease the administrative burden of Commonwealth employees, the application will also result in administrative efficiencies for Purchase of Service Providers. Preliminary efficiency gains for these providers approaches $1.5 million. However, since these benefits are not captured directly by the Commonwealth, they are not included in the overall eFiling for Non-Profit Financial Reports analysis.

High-level economic benefit projection


Savings/Revenue Enhancement Opportunity

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Drivers

Estimating
Assumptions

Cumulative 5 Year
Efficiency Gain Estimate:

Reduction in manual UFR processing and error resolution time

  • Manual download from disks eliminated
  • Communication regarding error resolution occurs on-line.
  • Data automatically aggregates in dbase
  • 2 FTEs @ ave. $61.2K manage submission process; eFiling reduces time spent by 50%
  • 5 FTE's @ ave. $52.9K review UFR's; eFiling reduces time spent by 15%.

· 176 hours of $51.6K IT staff time saved in data transfer

$500,000

Reduction in time to respond to FOIA requests

  • UFR and performance information readily available on-line
  • Expected 65% reduction in time manually processing FOI requests

$160,000

Reduction in processing time for other state agencies

  • On-line availability of UFR and related financial information meets needs of the 28 state procurement offices which contract for services.
  • Estimated 1.5 FTEs @ 28 different state procurement offices. Estimated average salary $46.4. Estimated 30% time saved with eFiling.

$2,780,000

Efficieny Gains for POS Providers (not included in business case)

Reduction in time communicating re. error resolution (combined total all vendors)

  • Communication regarding resolution of errors occurs on-line
  • "Phone tag" time reduced
  • Internal checks built in to proactively prevent errors
  • Expected annual average of 7 hours/vendor saved for average $51.6K FTE
  • Audit/ in-house staff at vending orgs have email & Internet access

$1,155,000

Partial reduction in hardcopy reproduction (combined total all vendors)

  • Partial reduction in report production (copy, binding costs)
  • 50% reduction in number of reports that must be produced by 1400 vendors @ average $2/report

$133,000

Partial reduction in postage costs (combined total all vendors)

  • Partial reduction in postage/Fed Ex expense
  • 50% reduction in postage costs, estimated at $12 report x 4 reports/vendor x 1400 vendors

$160,000

Programs Serving Cities and Towns

PROGRAM 16: Municipal eFile

Goal:

To enable municipal employees and officials to complete a range of routine transactions with the Commonwealth on-line.

Initial applications will allow municipalities to use a web-based system to draw-down education grant funds and to submit materials required under Executive Order 418 on-line.

1. Submit Exec. Order 418 Materials

2. Request Education Grant Funds

Sponsoring Agency:

Department of Housing & Community Development, with:

  • Exec. Office of Environmental Affairs
  • Exec. Office of Transportation & Construction, MassHighways;
  • Dept of Economic Development.

Department of Education

Scope of Impact:

351 cities and towns

$600 million in Federal & Commonwealth discretionary grant funds

351 cities and towns

$364 million in Commonwealth-administered Local Aid resources

Cost to Implement:

$610,000

$450,000

Time to Implement:

1.5 years

6 months

NPV (Yr. 0-Yr. 5):

$(645,000)

$(708,000)

Synopsis

Municipalities throughout Massachusetts conduct an estimated 500,000 transactions with the Commonwealth each year. Officials at both the Commonwealth and local level typically process these transactions manually, even though many submissions and filing requirements are simple and easily automated. A "Municipal Portal" which enables Internet-based transactions and coordinated access to information for municipal officials will address the filing and informational needs of both municipal and Commonwealth officials. Over time, the Portal will become a "One-Stop Shop" for municipalities in their dealings with the Commonwealth, making Massachusetts among the first in the nation to provide comprehensive internet-based service for municipalities.

An effective portal provides not just information to customers, but enables them to conduct business in a convenient, coordinated manner. The Division of Local Services is currently developing a range of eFiling applications for cities and towns. Two additional eFiling applications are proposed here. These are:

1. eFiling of Community and Housing Plan Information as mandated by Executive Order 418 to four separate Commonwealth Agencies.

Signed by Governor Cellucci in 2000, EO 418 will address the critical housing shortage facing the Commonwealth by providing concrete incentives to municipalities that demonstrate an effort to create new housing options. The order requires a range of submission and filing actions by localities.

  • The Department of Housing and Community Development (Lead)
  • The Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
  • The Executive Office of Transportation and Construction, MassHighways Division
  • The Department of Economic Development

2. eSubmission of "Request for Grant Funds" forms by local school districts to the Department of Education.

Local school districts submit over 16,500 paper-based forms annually to the Department of Education to request distribution of grant funds administered by DOE. This application would be the first of a multi-phase program to automate DOE's entire grants management process. In addition to streamlining internal DOE grant administration operations, this system will alleviate considerable burden to local school districts, where many of the most under-resourced schools often have the least resources to pursue and manage grants.

Functionality of Proposed System

Throughout its development, the applications that provide transactional functionality to the Municipal Portal will perform different tasks, based on the business need and nature of information exchanged between the Commonwealth and municipalities. Basic functionality of the two applications proposed here includes:

On-line Submission of EO 418 Materials:

  • Web-based forms with direct upload to legacy systems;
  • File transfer program for electronic documents;
  • Login and track status of submission;
  • Store partially completed forms for later submission;
  • Searchable databases for a) certified community planning vendors and b) community best practice information;
  • File share and transfer between Commonwealth agencies.

On-line Submission of "Request for Grant Fund" forms:

  • Web-based form for automated fund request;
  • Login and track status of request, grant balance, draw-down history;
  • Store partially completed forms for later submission;

Business Need

Together with the DLS On-line Government program, the two Municipal eFiling applications proposed here represent the first of many future eFiling applications, all of which may involve, as these do, different Commonwealth agencies and policy areas. A brief synopsis of the program and policy issues relevant to these eFiling applications is provided below.

Executive Order 418

Housing costs in Massachusetts have escalated sharply in recent years with increases in overall demand. It has been a challenge for the Commonwealth to provide for construction of new housing, especially new high-density medium-to-low cost housing. To encourage cities and towns to streamline processes for new construction, Governor Cellucci issued EO 418 in January 2000 requiring state agencies issuing discretionary grants to give priority towns and cities that undertake efforts to increase the supply of housing for individuals and families across a broad range of incomes. Complying with EO 418 and enforcing compliance of the order represents a significant challenge for the 4 state agencies involved as well as the 351 towns and cities. Internet filing of EO 418 materials would:

  • reduce the burden to localities of filing multiple reports and pieces of information with the Commonwealth,
  • facilitate exchange of information among the four separate Commonwealth agencies charged with oversight responsibility;
  • enable tracking of services delivered by community planning consultants;
  • enable development of a "best practices" database, to disseminate information on successful community plans throughout the 351 cities and towns.

Electronic submission of Executive Order 418 materials would ease the review process, enable instantaneous delivery to the multiple parties in Commonwealth agencies, and facilitate the management of diverse and extensive information between multiple parties at the local level.

Business Opportunity

Proposed Solution

  • Provide additional, convenient channels through which local communities can submit EO 418 materials.
  • Streamline cumbersome manual document collection, management, and review process for DHCD, EOEA, MassHighways, and DED.
  • Reduce the cost of postage, copying, and "lost time" to both the Commonwealth and municipalities due to the current paper based system.
  • On-line, web-based forms that feed certain types of EO 418 information directly into "back-end" databases.
  • Coordinated file upload functionality for submission of electronic documents and GIS files.

  • Provide coordinated access to information on the EO 418 process to cities and towns.

  • On-line, searchable database of certified community planners, rates, and geographic location.
  • Best practice database will enable cities and towns to share information regarding how they met EO 418 requirements.
  • Improve inter-agency communication regarding municipal information for which there is a common business need.
  • File transfer and/or viewing system will facilitate sharing of information among different Commonwealth agencies.
  • "Bulletin board" system will enable Commonwealth officials to communicate regarding the status of municipal transactions that affect actions taken by more than one Commonwealth agency.

Department of Education: On-line Submission of "Request for Grant Funds" forms

Each year the Department of Education administers $600M in Federal and Commonwealth grant funding for over 750 individual organizations, most of which are local schools, charter schools, and non-profit organizations involved in education-related activities. These grant funds support a variety of "academic support" programs, including after-school programs, programs for children with special needs, and enrichment programs for lower-income students.

The current process by which these grant funds are distributed requires manual processing of over 16,500 individual paper forms submitted by grantees each year. These single-page forms are used to report spending to date and to request distribution of additional funds.

Enabling on-line submission of these forms is a first step in the automation of the entire grants management process, and would relieve school districts from having to submit multiple forms for different grant awards. The bulk of benefits from this program would accrue to the Department of Education, which currently has a team of personnel dedicated primarily to processing these requests. Re-allocation of these personnel resources would enable the Department to spend additional time auditing and tracking performance of funded programs.

Business Opportunity

Proposed Solution

  • Streamline cumbersome manual processing of forms by DOE personnel.
  • On-line, web-based forms that feed fund request information directly into "back-end" databases.
  • Improve customer service to school districts.

  • Expedite provision of funds through on-line submission.
  • Enable school districts to track the status of fund requests, check grant balances, and view draw-down history.

Technical Environment

Although the proposed Municipal eFiling system is based on a single, flexible eFiling and file transfer architecture, the back-end databases and systems into which information must flow may need to be re-designed or developed from the bottom up in order to support eFiling. These implementation requirements will vary, depending on the Commonwealth agency involved and the nature and intended use of the information transmitted. The chart below summaries the technical requirements necessary to bring on-line the two eFiling applications proposed currently.

Additionally, the Commonwealth may consider assisting certain municipalities with re-design of their own back-end systems and Internet readiness. This issue is discussed further below.

Requirements for Implementation

Function

Potential Means

Implementation

eFile EO418 Requirements

Web forms

The filing should be accomplished using on-line forms with fields for direct entry. Filings will be routed to the backend databases of the relevant agencies.

Best Practices

This would be provided by a standard set of queries over the DHCD backend databases.

File Submissions

File Upload

Submitting files should be achieved with a utility linked to the web page. These should be auto routed to storage locations related to the submitter.

Practitioner Database

This is a database of practitioners that can assist cities in completing their EO418 submissions.

Bulletin Board

Portal

This should be provided by the portal foundation as it is the type of function that could be made available to the wider Commonwealth.

Submit "Request for Grant Fund RF-1" forms

Web forms

The filing should be accomplished using on-line forms with fields for direct entry. Filings will be routed to the backend database.

Shared Services Required to Facilitate the Implementation of Municipal eFiling

Shared Service

Required

Rationale

ePayments

No

Financial transfers between municipal government and the Commonwealth take place through electronic transfer of funds.

Security

Yes

Officials in cities and towns will require authenticated access to relevant back-end systems

eCRM

Yes

Systems to track the status of different submissions and to assist in communication between local and Commonwealth officials regarding submissions.

GIS

Yes

Particularly as it relates to eFiling of EO418 requirements, GIS is a critical element of many municipal filing, and GIS capability will extend the capacity of the Commonwealth to use and manipulate municipal information and data.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

  • Participation and "Take-Up" of Municipalities and School Districts. Many municipalities may require assistance in order to fully participate in an eFiling program. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that many municipalities are Internet ready. For example, DHCD reports that its staff communicates via e-mail with over 80% of cities and towns.
  • Development of a feasible technical architecture. The need for a single, flexible platform to support a variety of filing needs is clear. However, given the complexity of the different back-end systems involved and the extensive differences between the types of information involved, developing a common architecture will be a challenge.
  • Integration of existing programs. The Division of Local Services, under the auspices of the Department of Revenue, is in the process of implementing an eFiling option to support the submission of financial reports and tax rate determination forms, as well as several future forms and options. Any Commonwealth-wide Municipal eFile program must coordinate with and support the development of existing programs.

eFiling of Executive Order 418 Materials

Economic Business Case

In order to provide the Commonwealth with an understanding of the costs and benefits associated with implementing this opportunity, a high-level economic benefit projection has been included below.

High-level economic benefit projection

eFiling of Executive Order 418 Materials

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Opportunity

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Drivers

Estimating
Assumptions

Cumulative
5 Year
Efficiency Gain Estimate:

Personnel efficiency gains with new system

  • eFiling option reduces manual processing time for Commonwealth staff.
  • Average fully-loaded hourly wage equivalent is $25.00 for all staff involved.
  • Estimated time avoided is based on detailed TQM analysis of probably EO418 submission process.
  • Take up rate for municipalities is: 30% Yr.1; 50% yr. 2; 60% Yr. 3; 70% Yr. 4; 75% Yr. 5.

$.269M

Postage and copy costs avoided

  • Total copies created and postage expenses significantly reduced
  • Ave. cost of postage = $2/piece mailed (large mailings)
  • $.02 / copy
  • Take up rate for municipalities is: 30% Yr.1; 50% yr. 2; 60% Yr. 3; 70% Yr. 4; 75% Yr. 5.

$.092M

Efficiency gains by non-DHCD personnel

  • EFiling system enables EOEA, DED and EOTC staff to allocate time to other functions
  • Estimated at 30% of total time saved for DHCD (lead agency) staff

$.269M

On-line Submission of "Request for Grant Fund" Forms

Economic Business Case

Economic Buisness Case


On-line Submission of "Request for Grant Fund" Forms

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Opportunity

Savings/Revenue Enhancement Drivers

Estimating
Assumptions

Cumulative 5 Year
Efficiency Gain Estimate:

Personnel costs avoided with new system

  • On-line submission option reduces manual processing time for Commonwealth staff.

  • Average fully-loaded hourly wage equivalent is $25.00 for all staff involved.
  • Take up rate for school districts is: 25% Yr.1; 50% yr. 2; 60% Yr. 3; 70% Yr. 4; 85% Yr. 5.

$.206M


Program 17: On-Line Auto Excise Tax and Ticket Payment (Preliminary Scope)

Goal:

To streamline the excise tax collection process

Sponsoring Agency:

Registry of Motor Vehicles

Scope of Impact:

  • Municipalities
  • 25,000 citizens who cannot complete transaction due to outstanding excise tax or ticket payments

Cost to Implement:

Requires further analysis

Time to Implement:

Requires further analysis

NPV (Yr. 0-Yr. 5):

Possibly Negative; requires further analysis

Synopsis

This concept will provide Commonwealth citizens with the option to pay their outstanding parking ticket fines and auto excise tax obligations through the Registry of Motor Vehicles at the same time they seek to re-new their license or driver registration. The program would be rolled out to participating cities and towns only.

Currently, Registry of Motor Vehicles officials estimate that 25,000 customers who come to a branch office for the purpose of renewing their license or registration cannot complete this transaction because of unpaid local excise taxes and/or parking tickets. This creates not only frustration on the part of customers, but creates a significant inefficiency for the Massachusetts communities, as RMV cannot pursue these delinquent payments on behalf of the municipalities. In FY00, non-compliant drivers owed Commonwealth municipalities over $5M for outstanding excise taxes and over $5.1M in outstanding parking tickets.

Under the current system, drivers must settle payment of these outstanding obligations by making payment to the appropriate city/town, which often requires that the customer go in person to the appropriate receiving office in the correct municipality. To compound this situation, the customers often discover that the delinquent bill has been sent to a private collection agency, since many municipalities contract this function out to a private vendor. The customer must then locate and travel to the private collection agency regardless of where it is in the Commonwealth.

A system to enable the RMV to collect this payment from customers on behalf of municipalities saves tremendous time and frustration for motorists and significant resources to the Commonwealth. Approximately $500K in personnel costs are expended by the RMV on working with drivers who are attempting to resolve outstanding payment issues. With an on-line system to enable these payments, and with the capability to collect these payments in a local branch office, the time spent by these RMV employees could be dedicated to serving other customers.

In summary, On-line Excise Tax and Parking Ticket Payment would:

  • enable the citizen to pay delinquent taxes and tickets on-line;
  • increase the on-time payment of excise taxes and parking tickets;
  • decrease the lost person-hours in the private sector due to payment errands.

Potential Risks and Barriers to Success

  • Potential for unreliable data. Accrual of interest rates on excise tax prevents capture of real-time information on amount due. Data available to the state with this new application might not be reliable.
  • Public relations campaign required to address vendor concerns. Vendors have penetrated this market because of the revenue opportunity that it provides them. Political capital will need to be expended to address possible vendor concerns.
  • Credit card fees. Size of excise payments results in relatively large credit card fees. Passing fee on to municipality is not feasible.
  • Organizational barriers. Different municipalities currently use different vendors. Some municipalities are not Internet ready. The RMV would have to develop a plan to address these concerns prior to fully implementing this new application.

Economic Business Case

Potentially negative business case. Although not enough time and information are available to conduct a rigorous cost-benefit analysis, a cursory look at the nature of the costs and benefits associated with this application indicate a potential negative business case.

Costs:

  • Cost associated with implementing and maintaining the new application.
  • Extensive credit card fees due to size of excise payments.
  • Political capital expended to address vendor concerns.
  • Time spent addressing organizational barriers.

Benefits:

  • Potential $500K efficiency gain by RMV due reassignment of personnel necessary to help resolve outstanding payment issues.

Note : Money collected by the RMV for excise tax payment and parking tickets will be going directly to municipalities. The Commonwealth will not benefit from that revenue stream under current statutes. Given that municipalities might actually be receiving funds that would otherwise go uncollected, they might be willing to "share" some of the revenues with the state. This idea needs to be analyzed further.


[1] We are providing a Table of Contents for this Section due to its length.

[2] Several of these programs have already received Information Technology Bond funding and are already underway. These programs are presented here as "new" because they each have been expanded or modified to provide greater scope and functionality. This expansion or direct coordination with the portal itself requires additional investment.