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EOTSS Annual Report 2022: Cross-Agency Strategic Engagements

EOTSS offers guidance, project management, and support to other agencies through strategic engagements that seek to increase the efficiency and responsiveness of state agencies by improving service delivery and adopting new technology-enabled business solutions

Table of Contents

Overview

EOTSS regularly collaborates on cross-secretariat and cross-agency engagements ranging from the procurement of large multi-million-dollar applications and systems to the deployment of new technology-enabled business solutions.

A consulting team from the EOTSS Office of Strategy Management (OSM) often takes the lead and pulls in other divisions and subject matter experts as needed depending on the scope of the engagement.  

These efforts are true partnerships between the agency business and IT organizations as they work with the Strategy Team to define the problem, redesign business processes, oversee procurements, and manage the technology implementations.

Demand for Strategy Services has increased steadily over the last several years. Through the team’s collaboration with partner agencies, EOTSS has gained success in influencing and directing agencies to make smarter choices and better decisions in technology procurements.

Demand for Strategy Services has increased steadily over the last several years. Through the team’s collaboration with partner agencies, EOTSS has gained success in influencing and directing agencies to make smarter choices and better decisions in technology procurements.

Past engagements include technical support on agency-driven, constituent-focused IT improvement projects such as: 

More recent examples of the Strategy Team’s efforts include collaborations on critical business and technology initiatives at the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development (EOHED), the Executive Office of Labor & Workforce Development (EOLWD) and the Executive Office of Public Safety & Security (EOPSS). 

Housing & Economic Development Engagements

Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) Rental Assistance Discovery & Strategy Workshops 

The Strategy Team conducted a series of discovery workshops from July to September of 2021 to understand the challenges that the Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) was facing in response to a surge in emergency rental assistance funding and applications. They assessed DHCD's plan to buy an end-to-end technology solution.  

The Strategy Team developed and delivered recommendations to DHCD to mitigate project risks and increase chances of success – including a draft roadmap for implementation through manageable, incremental steps based on need and priority. Additionally, the team recommended working with Strategy to conduct a lo-fi proof of concept for a centralized case management system first to determine feasibility of the solution, define challenges and risks, and arrive at a unified workflow for all stakeholders involved.  

DHCD Proof of Concept 

From September to November of 2021 the Strategy Team developed a low-fidelity proof of concept (POC) of a standard, central case management process for DHCD. The team interviewed staff at three of the 12 regional administering agencies (RAAs) – drafting three example case management processes, identifying differences and pain points in these processes, and then consolidating them into one standardized workflow.  

The Proof of Concept was well-scoped and served as an effective way to learn what was unknown in a short period of time to inform DHCD on how best to proceed in procuring a central case management system.

DHCD Case Management System Procurement 

Based on the DHCD engagements, the Strategy Team developed a procurement strategy and prepared a comprehensive procurement package for DHCD's central case management system.  

Completing the proof of concept allowed DHCD to proceed to a procurement with greater understanding of their current state, validation that a unified workflow was technically feasible, and a better-defined future state. The discussions with DHCD about procurement goals, scope, and approach were grounded by better understanding of their stakeholder's needs and priorities, where their biggest decision points were, and what the actual deltas were likely to be with respect to different options for the future state system.  

The Strategy Team expects DHCD to receive better proposals and cost estimates through the procurement process as a result. 

Labor & Workforce Development Engagements

In the COVID-19 Response section, this report highlighted the critical collaborations between EOTSS and EOLWD with respect to UI Online, DUA’s pandemic response, and the standup of the new PUA program across the Commonwealth. EOTSS has also worked closely with EOLWD on recent engagements concerning the new Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program and newly-created Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML).

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)  

Beginning in 2019, EOTSS partnered with Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) on the creation of digital content and strategies for DFML and the rollout for the Commonwealth’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) system – conducting early user research and prototype testing that was critical to a successful launch of the PFML program.

The EOTSS Strategy Team, working with EOTSS Procurement and Legal Departments, conducted market research, developed DFML's technology and procurement strategy, managed the procurement, and assisted with negotiating contracts with three vendor partners hired to implement an end-to-end solution for delivering paid family and medical leave benefits to the Commonwealth. From FY20 through FY22, Strategy, working with Mass Digital, helped oversee and manage the implementation of the paid leave program and the transition to live operations.

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) is the first digitally native public service in Massachusetts. On January 1, 2021, eligible workers were able to claim benefits for paid medical leave and paid paternity and maternity leave.

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) is the first digitally native public service in Massachusetts. On January 1, 2021, eligible workers were able to claim benefits for paid medical leave and paid paternity and maternity leave. Unlike other benefit programs, PFML has no physical customer-facing service centers and has been primarily web-based since its inception.

Paid leave homepage

This successful engagement allowed for the build out of the underlying framework for the PFML benefit program ahead of the January 2021 launch date. Claimants can apply and manage their benefits 100% online via a modern, streamlined, mobile-friendly, user-friendly, web-based program. Additionally, data analytics and citizen feedback allow for continuous improvements to the system moving forward. 

HRD Leave Assist/Leave Management System

HRD requested a short-term leave/absence system to provide a central repository to process, store, and track information on Executive Branch employee leave requests in time for the Massachusetts PFML program to go live. 

The Strategy Team was responsible for managing the project, gathering requirements, and working with the EOTSS Operations team to develop the Leave Management System workflow in Service Now and coordinating training for HR users. 

Public Safety & Security Engagements

A top priority of EOTSS is to address or increase responsiveness to crises affecting citizens and businesses in the Commonwealth. We have adopted an IT policy and Public Safety policy frameworks in support of this priority, as well as developed readiness and preparedness frameworks to ensure the continuity of government services.  

Moreover, EOTSS regularly collaborates on EOPSS programs, projects, and initiatives with a focus on IT and cybersecurity. Recent Public Safety engagements have stemmed from the 2018 Criminal Justice Reform Law and 2021 Police Reform Law.  

Criminal Justice Reform 

Governor Baker signed the landmark Criminal Justice Reform Law in April of 2018, which brought a number of important reforms to the criminal justice system along with new data collection and reporting standards. The law also established a new Justice Reinvestment Policy Oversight Board (chaired by the EOTSS Secretary), charged with monitoring the development and implementation of justice reinvestment policies relative to the collection, standardization, and public availability of data. 

Track-Kit 

Collaborating with Lt. Governor Polito and EOPSS, the EOTSS team developed and deployed a statewide Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Tracking System – known as ‘Track Kit’. This web-based system provides sexual assault survivors the ability to track the location and status of their kit from point of collection through transportation, testing, and final storage. ‘Track-Kit’ offers survivors an experience that is mobile-friendly, anonymous, confidential, and free. Track-Kit not only empowers survivors; it provides medical facilities, law enforcement departments and laboratories the ability to monitor and manage their workflows to ensure that no reported sexual assault evidence collection kit ever goes untested.

Since it’s deployment in March of 2020, Track-Kit is being used in over 80 medical facilities, over 400 law enforcement agencies, two criminal forensic laboratories, and the 11 district attorney’s offices. Based on the widely adopted use of the tracking system, EOPSS is now able to publicly report on how long it takes to administer, transport, and analyze sexual assault evidence collection kits throughout the entire state.

Since it’s deployment in March of 2020, Track-Kit is being used in over 80 medical facilities, over 400 law enforcement agencies, two criminal forensic laboratories, and the 11 district attorney’s offices.

In the last year, additional features and functionality have been deployed to further improve the system.  Now Track-kit will monitor the number of kits at each medical facility and automatically generate a new order from the supplier when inventory drops below a certain threshold.  Most importantly, the system is now capable of tracking toxicology kits that are administered to a survivor to determine whether drugs, or other substances, were present in the survivor’s system. Massachusetts became the first state in the country to launch this feature. 

Office of the Child Advocate (OCA)  

To improve transparency and public access to Commonwealth data, the EOTSS Data Office partnered with the OCA to design a new interactive data website that allows members of the public and researchers to visualize the state’s juvenile justice system data sets.  

Through phase one of the project, which was completed in November 2020, the new site improves data transparency, meets statutory reporting requirements around the juvenile justice system, and reduces the number of public information requests to participating agencies. 2021 saw the completion of phase two – where the Data Office updated existing data and added new system touchpoints. Ongoing upkeep and maintenance were then transitioned to the OCA.  

Criminal Justice Reform Cross-tracking System  

A number of key departments within EOTSS are partnering with EOPSS on the creation of a comprehensive criminal justice cross-tracking system, designed to bring together disparate data sets maintained by criminal justice agencies, such as the DOC, Sheriffs, Parole, the Trial Court and Probation.  Aspects of the data would be used to inform public policy and internal agency decision making.   

This is an enormous undertaking that involves a number of key criminal justice stakeholders. To build and support the establishment of this data sharing platform, the Commonwealth has partnered with Google Cloud. Harnessing the power of Google Cloud Platform, the cross-tracking system will make legislatively required demographic data available to the public via dashboards, data visualizations and access to previously hard to access data sets.  To facilitate the data sharing between so many agencies, the project team leveraged the EOTSS developed data use license agreements (DULA).  The DULA process provided a framework to facilitate the successful agreement of 20 key agency heads on what data will be shared within this system, and how it will be shared and secured.  

Phase 1 of this project is scheduled to be released to the public toward the end of the Summer of 2022. 

Police Reform 

Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Justice, Equity and Accountability in Law Enforcement in the Commonwealth into law in January of 2021. EOTSS is engaged with EOPSS and other public safety partners in three areas created by the new statute: the establishment of the MA Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission, the creation of a Law Enforcement Body Camera Task Force, and the enactment of new training requirements and protocols for the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC). 

Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission  

The Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission is charged with creating a mandatory certification process for police officers, as well as processes for decertification, suspension of certification, or reprimand in the event of certain misconduct.  

At the time this report is being published, EOTSS is serving as the technical and business level staff to the POST Commission. The Chief Engagement Officer and several members of the EOTSS’ Strategy Team, the Chief Operating Officer and team as well as the IT recruiting team have been assisting the POST Commission as they begin to hire and standup their organization. This engagement involves a VIP level of care regarding the deployment of technology equipment, business applications and collaboration tools, security protocols, and identity management.  

Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) 

The Strategy team worked with Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) to evaluate whether its existing for-purpose training software would continue to meet MPTC’s expanded needs.  Strategy delivered a report summarizing the team’s assessment and recommendations, which spanned conducting a competitive procurement and hiring expert staff to better support MPTC's technology systems and improve the working relationship with MPTC’s vendor. Strategy also managed the preparation phase of MPTC’s procurement by issuing a RFI jointly for MPTC and POSTC and providing guidance to MPTC on their RFR and SST. One Strategy team member is also participating as a voting member of the SST, to help support the vendor evaluation and selection process.  

By supporting the competitive procurement, Strategy ensured that MPTC was well-equipped to represent their requirements, including those stemming from the police reform bill to the technology vendor that they will work with in the near/medium term. 

Additionally, MPTC worked with the Mass Digital video staff to produce 17 Bridge Academy classroom videos and 11 Bridge Academy practical videos to educate 20,000 police officers throughout the Commonwealth. Topics include Single and Multiple Officer Response to an Active Shooter, Unknown Risk and High-Risk Motor Vehicle Stops, and Lifts and Carries.  

Body Camera Rollout & Law Enforcement Body Camera Task Force 

The EOTSS team worked with EOPSS and the Massachusetts State Police to design, build and deploy the body camera program. Specifically, EOTSS provided technical support in designing and managing the network infrastructure at all State Police facilities and cruisers that support the operation of the program. 

Furthermore, EOTSS participates as a member on the newly-formed Law Enforcement Body Camera Task Force. More specifically, the Task Force is responsible for proposing regulations and establishing a uniform code for the procurement and use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement to promote consistency throughout the Commonwealth, should law enforcement choose to use body cameras. Moreover, the Task Force must propose minimum requirements for the storage and transfer of audio and video recordings collected by body-worn cameras.  

To fulfill its mandate, the Task Force is conducting public hearings to collect and consider testimony from the public regarding the use of body worn cameras by law enforcement. EOTSS is providing technical guidance to fellow members as part of its engagement and service on the Task Force.

Date published: May 10, 2022
Last updated: May 10, 2022

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