Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/03/2001 01:38 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 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                                                           
 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                                                                 
 1837 Representative        Questioned if the federal money would go                                                            
     Hudson                to the state for the acquisition of                                                                  
 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                                                              
 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                                                            
 2044 MR. Smith             Stated that the same leverage would be                                                              
 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                                                                 
 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                                                              
 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                                                                                                             
      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                                                               
      Ms. Garnero           Observed that both of these systems are                                                             
                            highly customized:                                                                                  
                            • AKSAS was built specifically for the                                                              
                               state by a professional accounting                                                               
                            •    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                                                                    
 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                                                            
 1317 Representative Croft Questioned why the state doesn't go                                                                  
                            straight to Oracle.                                                                               
 1359 Ms. Garnero           Responded that the cost would be too                                                                
 1439 Ms. Garnero           In response to a question by                                                                        
                            Representative Whitaker, observed that a                                                            
                            RFP and study would take no more than 2                                                             
 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.                                                                    
 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                                                             
 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                                                                 
 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                                                                   
 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                                                                   
 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                                                               
 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                                                              
 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                                                            
 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                                                                                                             
 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.                                                                           
                            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                                                              
      ADJOURNMENT           The meeting was adjourned at 3:35 p.m.                                                            

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