Legislature(2001 - 2002)
04/03/2001 01:38 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE April 03, 2001 1:38 PM TAPE HFC 01 - 70, Side A TAPE HFC 01 - 70, Side B TAPE HFC 01 - 71, Side A CALL TO ORDER Co-Chair Mulder called the House Finance Committee meeting to order at 1:38 PM. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Eldon Mulder, Co-Chair Representative Bill Williams, Co-Chair Representative Con Bunde, Vice-Chair Representative Eric Croft Representative John Davies Representative Carl Moses Representative Richard Foster Representative John Harris Representative Bill Hudson Representative Ken Lancaster Representative Jim Whitaker MEMBERS ABSENT No members were absent. ALSO PRESENT Jim Duncan, Commissioner, Department of Administration; Larry Walsh, Director, Information Technology Group, Department of Administration; Bill Smith, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Public Safety; Kim Garnero, CPA, Director, Division of Finance, Department of Administration; Joseph Reeves, Deputy Director, Division of Administration, Department of Corrections; Karen Morgan, Deputy Director, Information Technology Group, Department of Administration PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE There were no teleconference testifiers. GENERAL SUBJECT(S): HB 47-APPROP: GOVERNOR'S CAPITAL BUDGET Overview: Information Technology Projects The following overview was taken in log note format. Tapes and handouts will be on file with the House Finance Committee through the 22nd Legislative Session, contact 465- 2156. After the 22nd Legislative Session they will be available through the Legislative Library at 465-3808. LOG SPEAKER DISCUSSION TAPE HFC 00 - 70 SIDE A INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PROJECTS 100 JIM DUNCAN, Discussed the review process. The COMMISSIONER, Telecommunication Information Council DEPARTMENT OF (TIC) was created 1987 and is comprised ADMINISTRATION of the Lieutenant Governor, Commissioners, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, two members of the legislature, a member of the University of Alaska and a public member. Their duties are to establish guidelines and prepare a short and long-range information systems plan, establish guidelines and direct state agencies to develop agency information system plans and establish guidelines for accessing information by the public. The Lieutenant Governor appoints a TIC policy group, which meets on a monthly basis. He reviewed the membership of the TIC policy group. A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is composed of the chief technical representative of each agency. The TIC policy group did the overall review. 432 Commissioner Duncan The TIC put forward initiatives used in the review. One was to continue to use the Internet to service the state's external customers and improve internal state operations. Alaska is one of the leading states in moving transactions to the Internet. The state is also moving to digital democracy and to evolve emergency communication plans. He noted that service in rural Alaska needs improvement. 599 Commissioner Duncan Top priority projects were selected and referred to the TAC for review and debate from a technical viewpoint. The Information Technology Group (ITG) also reviewed the impact of state network and mainframe computer infrastructure. 689 Co-Chair Williams Questioned if the (Telecommunications) RFP was discussed by the TIC. 701 Commissioner Duncan Noted that the RFP was discussed separately. A request for telecommunications services was issued in August. There were three respondents. They are currently evaluating the respondents and hope to award by August 1, 2001. Further explained that the projects in the current request would be needed with or without the RFP with a private vendor. 638 LARRY WALSH, Noted that the TAC discussed problems DIRECTOR, with projects in an attempt to assist. INFORMATION Look at the ability to deliver to rural TECHNOLOGY GROUP, areas. Discussions occur regarding using DEPARTMENT OF central solutions to problems as opposed ADMINISTRATION to reinventing the wheel. Pilot projects were discussed, which would allow other agencies to utilize experience. 988 Commissioner Duncan Clarified that a contract would not reduce the need for the requested projects or reduce their cost. EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION CAPITAL PROJECTS 1108 BILL SMITH, DEPUTY Noted that the Emergency Communication COMMISSIONER, Task Force prioritized the emergency DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC communication capital projects. Four SAFETY AND CHAIRMAN, projects were recommended. He discussed EMERGENCY the first priority: Emergency COMMUNICATION TASK Communications Southeast Upgrade, FORCE Department of Public Safety. The request would provide general law enforcement communications traffic. 1221 Mr. Smith The cost would be $400 thousand dollars. This is the number one priority due to the lack of existing infrastructure and is consistent with the Emergency Communications: Land Mobile Radio Migration project. 1389 Representative Croft Observed that the project contains $50 thousand dollars in Oil and Hazardous Substance Prevention and Release funds. 1412 Mr. Smith Explained that Oil and Hazardous Substance Prevention and Release funds were used because the system would be used in the case of an oil spill. 1455 Mr. Smith The Marine Highway would use the communications in an emergency situation. 1460 Mr. Smith Discussed the Emergency Communications, Land Mobile Radio Migration request. He observed that the project has had state involvement since 1995. There is a federal mandate to move to migrate to 12.5 megahertz. He noted the difficulty of communicating among entities in the time of an emergency. The new system would allow multiple agencies or entities to communicate. Wide band radios will not be available. He noted that portions of Western Alaska do not have the infrastructure. However, portable units could be deployed. 1789 Mr. Smith Discussed system design from a study in the lower 48. The request would give the state the initial step to begin the transition. 1837 Representative Questioned if the federal money would go Hudson to the state for the acquisition of equipment. 1859 Mr. Smith Noted that it would go to the state for state and municipal use. There is an additional $7 million dollars flowing to participating federal agencies. Federal agencies are mandated to transition by 2005. 1925 Representative Croft Summarized that it makes sense for the state to move in the same direction. 1939 Mr. Smith Added that the wide band equipment will no longer be available. He discussed the LAN system. 1959 Mr. Walsh Explained that it is similar to a cellular phone system. Instead of each entity using its individual stove pipe they would share the same core. 1984 Representative Croft The request anticipates another $28 million dollars in future appropriations. 2017 Mr. Smith Noted that the system will cost more than the $16 million dollars contained in the request. The system analysis is prepared. 2035 Representative Croft Questioned if the state leverage would be similar. 2044 MR. Smith Stated that the same leverage would be pursued. 2066 KAREN MORGAN, DEPUTY Responded that the state is hopeful that DIRECTOR, future funding would be upcoming. INFORMATION Discussions have occurred with Senator TECHNOLOGY GROUP, Stevens' office. The state of Alaska is DEPARTMENT OF ahead of other states. The state of ADMINISTRATION Alaska's design involved federal, municipal and state agencies. She felt that the prospects of future funding are good. There are a number of grant sources. The Military and Veterans Affairs funding jump-starts the process. The state portion would be a compliment. 2193 Mr. Smith Clarified that there is no federal mandate that the state transfer, however the manufacture of the old technology is expected to stop. He stressed the opportunities to the state. 2227 Representative Acknowledged the opportunity to upgrade Hudson the technology and utilize federal resources to establish the project. He questioned if there is an offset of the new system in addition to efficiency. 2270 Ms. Morgan Thought that there would be some savings. 2319 Representative Spoke in support of the request. He Hudson emphasized the improvement of technology in saving lives and stated that a showing of fiscal savings would benefit the project. 2353 Representative Asked how many agencies would use the Lancaster system and if there is any salvage value in the current system. 2368 Mr. Smith Noted that the current sites would be utilized. Most of the radio equipment would be replaced. TAPE HFC 01 - 70, Side B 14 Mr. Smith He estimated that there would be 100 entities using the system: 40 - 50 municipalities, federal agencies, state of Alaska. 142 MARK JOHNSON, Discussed the Emergency Communications: MEDICAL HEALTH Emergency Medical Services in the Department of Health and Social Services. He noted that there are problems with the existing equipment. Local Satellite phones have been used. The request focuses on volunteer services around the state. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA can be used as a partial funding source. 442 Representative Croft Noted that a six-year funding need is a total of $2 million dollars. He questioned why the federal grant hasn't lowered the six-year total. 488 Mr. Johnson Explained that the department has just begun work with the federal government and noted that the projection would be updated, as more information is available. Observed that ¾ of a million has been spent in the prior 3 years. The first phase of the project is the Rail Belt. This request focuses out of this area. 601 Mr. Johnson Explained that the LAN project page 18 is a digital trunking system for multiple agencies. It will take longer to expand the system to the rural areas (if there are ever all covered). 711 Representative Croft Questioned if this project and the LAN together would cover the entire state. 730 Mr. Johnson Responded that the intent is to cover the entire state between the two. 875 NICO BUS, Discussed the Emergency Communications: ADMINISTRATIVE Rescue Coordination Equipment Replacement SERVICES MANAGER, request. He noted that it would relocate DIVISION OF SUPPORT to optimal locations the Military and SERVICES, DEPARTMENT Veterans Affairs antenna. The cost is OF NATURAL $56.7 thousand dollars. The request would RESOURCES; also upgrade the radio equipment to the new technology. 994 Representative Croft Questioned if the equipment is compatible with the other projects. 1038 Mr. Bus Noted that the project would only transfer the receiver. It would not be part of the LAN system immediately. 1086 Representative Questioned why Oil and Hazardous Hudson Substance Prevention and Release funds are not being used for the project. 1100 Mr. Bus Explained that the Oil and Hazardous Substance Prevention and Release funds are for specific projects. He stated he would check into the possibility. KIM GARNERO, CPA, Discussed the Payroll and Accounting DIRECTOR, DIVISION System Replacement Analysis $400.0 OF FINANCE, Capital Project Request. DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION Ms. Garnero The Division of Finance operates and maintains two large mainframe computer applications that serve all state departments except for the University: • AKSAS provides statewide accounting and disbursement services • AKPAY provides statewide payroll services Ms. Garnero Observed that both of these systems are highly customized: • AKSAS was built specifically for the state by a professional accounting firm • AKPAY is a vendor supplied product that was substantially modified to meet our needs. 1192 Ms. Garnero Both are mature from a system development life cycle standpoint: • AKSAS is 16 years old • AKPAY is 11 years old They are having difficulty-attracting employees and are starting to see signs that the environment in which they operate may become unstable over the next several years. Both systems currently run under ADABAS database management software. 1237 Ms. Garnero The payroll software vendor has officially notified the state that their product will no longer support ADABAS after 2002. Inquiries to the ADABAS vendor noted that few new copies of this product are being sold. This type of situation generally does not bode well for the long-term future of software products. 1264 Ms. Garnero The short-term solution will be to convert the payroll system to another database product: DB2. This is a major conversion project that would begin next year. It will take training for Finance staff and the help of ITG to accomplish. Emphasized the need to start planning for replacement of both of these aging mainframe systems. The current technology for accounting and payroll functions is integrated modules within an Enterprise Resource Planning System. Examples of this type of software include Peoplesoft, SAP, and Oracle Financials. 1300 Ms. Garnero Integration provides opportunity for streamlining processes in cross- functional areas such as accounting, payroll and human resources. The days of standalone, single function administrative systems are numbered for large, complex organizations. This is why we are requesting the money to look at these existing systems holistically and strategically plan for their coordinated replacement. 1317 Representative Croft Questioned why the state doesn't go straight to Oracle. 1359 Ms. Garnero Responded that the cost would be too great. 1439 Ms. Garnero In response to a question by Representative Whitaker, observed that a RFP and study would take no more than 2 years. 1463 Representative Noted that the system would be well over Whitaker 20 years old. 1477 Ms. Garnero Observed that change is driven by both the system technology and the experience of the analyst. 1523 Representative Stressed that the system needs to be Whitaker updated. 1533 Representative Spoke to the salary structure. Hudson 1566 Ms. Garnero Commented that the salary schedule has been dropping off. The people that know the technology that is being run are not young people. 1603 Representative Commented that when the system starts Hudson collapsing there will be problems throughout the state. 1623 Co-Chair Williams Recommended leasing equipment rather than purchasing in order to keep up with the times. 1646 Mr. Walsh Noted that the study would help to determine what the best way would be to help the Department. 1665 Ms. Garnero Noted that the accounting system is old and it is functional. There are recording systems that cause problems for the Division. 1700 Co-Chair Williams Suggested that the State should keep updated with the changes. He asked if there was a company that could help with that concern. 1730 Ms. Garnero Noted that there are many users of the systems. Stability is difficult and constant change would run counter productive. 1755 Representative Croft Acknowledged that leasing was a good option, the application would still need to be written. He spoke to data storage. 1777 Representative Noted that this was a major element for Hudson the University also. He wondered if the systems would be interchangeable. 1801 Mr. Walsh Stated that the University and the Division work closely. 1828 Mr. Walsh Commented that there has been a revised IT plan for the State. That will be available for review in the early fall. 1865 Co-Chair Williams Asked if all the requests would be for the short term. 1873 Mr. Walsh Said no. Many agencies are facing the same challenges. 1892 Mr. Walsh ARCS Video Automation and Control Project 1907 Ms. Morgan Noted that the project would automate some of the switching equipment, which currently happens manually. The funding would be used to purchase a computer based video/audio automation system that will enable ARCS to receive video programs. 1966 Mr. Walsh Electronic Signatures Project - noted that the fund would be used to purchase hardware, software and provide staff to evaluate and pilot the technology. 2027 Representative John Asked if there was a specific agency that Davies would be using the project. 2040 Mr. Walsh Replied that there are several agencies that have expressed interest. The Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Commerce have both expressed interest. 2081 Mr. Walsh Discussed the Mainframe Improvements, Equipment Replacement, Virus Scanning, and Metadirectory Development request. He explained that the funding would be used to purchase the highest priority equipment, including hardware and software to meet anticipated customer demand. 2144 Co-Chair Williams Asked if there were manufacturers working on the project. 2157 Mr. Walsh Replied that some are. Many states are partnering up with key providers. 2174 Mr. Walsh Reviewed the Upgrade Internet and Intranet, and Implement Network Technology request. He noted that the project would combine circuits for voice and data traffic by making use of voice over internet protocol technology. DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 2256 TERRY ELDER, Discussed the Securities Database DIRECTOR, BANKINGS request. He emphasized that the database SECURITIES AND affects how files are processed. The CORPORATIONS, Database is a WANG database converted to DEPARTMENT OF ORACLE and is close to 20 years old. COMMUNITY AND Clerical staff has to retype data ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT multiple times. It also has limited uses. 2366 Mr. Elder He discussed the deficiencies of the current database. TAPE HFC 01 - 71, Side A 10 Mr. Elder Continue discussing the deficiencies of the current database. He noted it would be difficult to develop the database in- house. There is one programmer. The Department can purchase a database. He concluded that it would be more expensive to develop a new database. There are some existing databases that could be purchased. An analyst was included in the operating budget to assist with the project. He stressed that the request is reasonable. 448 Representative Croft Questioned if $300 thousand dollars were sufficient for the purchase. 464 Mr. Elder Affirmed that the database could be purchased for the requested amount. DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS 495 JOSEPH REEVES, Reviewed the Criminal Justice Management DEPUTY DIRECTOR, Information's System Replacement request. DIVISION OF The program replacement request was begun ADMINISTRATION, in Nov. 1991. DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS 846 Mr. Reeves Noted that there are 1,200 data elements. The request would complete the last 10 percent of the project. He acknowledged that the request would not end the department's need for database funding. 923 Mr. Reeves Discussed the Computer Network Hardware Replacement Upgrade request. He observed that 34 sites are connected. Hardware needs to be changed every 5 years. DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME 1056 Mary McDowell, Discussed the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commissioner, Commission Permit and Vessel Licensing Commercial Fisheries request. The request would be funded Entry Commission through fees. The goal is to backup the system to prevent disaster in case of a failure and to upgrade. 1177 DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES Mr. Bus Discussed the Land Use Data Base System for Industry and Public Access request. He noted that the system is old and land records are now available on line. Access is limited due to the antiquity of the system. ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at 3:35 p.m.