|State of Maine
Department of Administrative & Financial Services
Bureau of Information Services
Development, Network, & Production Services
145 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0145
|ANGUS S. KING, JR.||Robert A. Mayer, Director||JANET E. WALDRON|
|GOVERNOR||Chief Information Officer||COMMISSIONER|
|TO:||Information Resources of Maine (InforME) Board|
|FROM:||Mary Cloutier, Staff|
|DATE:||October 13, 1998|
|RE:||Minutes of the October 8, 1998 InforME Board Meeting|
Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky, Chair
Anne B. Shink, Maine League of Women Voters
Marilyn Lutz, Maine Library Association
Lesley D. Sprague, Maine Association of Realtors
Richard Davies, Public Member
Jaynie Higgins, Public Member
Rudolph Naples, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Human Services
Richard Record, Director of Administrative Services, Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
Major Jeffrey Harmon, Department of Public Safety
Robert A. Mayer, Chief Information Officer, Bureau of Information Services
Gary Nichols, State Librarian
Sam Levy, Executive Director UNET, University of Maine System
Deborah B. Carson, Financial Operations Officer, Judicial Branch
Janet Waldron, Commissioner, Department of Administrative and Financial Services
Mary N. Cloutier, Staff to InforME Board, Bureau of Information Services
Rebecca Wyke, (Staff to the Chair) Assistant Secretary of State, Office of Secretary of State
Janet Grard, Technology Projects Coordinator, Office of Secretary of State
Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky (Chair of the Board) started the meeting by congratulating members on their appointment and thanking them for their willingness to serve on the InforME Board - a task not for the "faint of heart"! He opined that the InforME Board (IB) represents an innovative approach to expanding access to State electronic public information, and holds great promise, but will take effort and commitment to successfully implement. Following the self introduction of each of the members, Dan introduced Commissioner Janet Waldron, who provided an overview of how the InforME legislation came to be enacted.
Janet initiated her remarks by noting how appropriate it is that the Secretary of State, the statutory "keeper of the record" would lead the InforME effort to improve electronic access to public information. Janet relayed the charge to the Information Services Policy Board (ISPB) subcommittee (lead by Becky Wyke and herself) to expand electronic access to public information while supporting the existing infrastructure. She also discussed the InforME web site sponsored by team member Harlan Onsrud (of the University of Maine), which provided background information, a list of team members, and an opportunity for the public to comment upon the draft legislation.
The legislation to create InforME was reviewed by the ISPB, and several meetings were held with legislators, representatives of the Judicial Branch, and municipal officials to introduce the concepts of a public/private partnership. The bill was sponsored by Elizabeth Mitchell, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Mark Lawrence, the President of the Senate. The hearing before the State and Local Government Committee focused upon the relationship between InforME and the Freedom of Information Law (all information that is freely available via the FOIA, will continue to be available), and the definition of value added - or premium services. The committee was also concerned with defining "what is private, what is public", and the role of the network manager.
Janet summed up her comments by saying she is "excited by InforME's potential" to expand access to Maine's citizens.
Secretary Gwadosky then delivered a presentation entitled InforME: A Gateway to Democracy, outlining the purposes of InforME and the role of the Board. The presentation was followed by a live demonstration of GeorgiaNet (http://www.ganet.org/), and its premium services by Becky Wyke and Janet Grard.
Following a break, Board members had several questions:
Next, Chief Information Officer, Bob Mayer described the State's Request for Proposal (RFP) process as outlined in law. The process is designed to level the playing field between vendors and assure the State receives competitive pricing for the goods and services it seeks to purchase. The required procedural steps follow.
1. The State Purchases Review Committee reviews the RFP, which may not be released prior to the Committee's approval. A blank copy of the standard State of Maine Contract for Special Services (BP54) is attached to the RFP so that potential vendors will know in advance the standard Rider B terms and conditions with which they must comply if they are the successful bidder.
2. Advertisement of RFP in the Kennebec Journal for a minimum of 3 days. This advertisement is done by the department issuing the RFP (not Purchases), and must include the department/division issuing the RFP, a brief description of the services required, a contact person at the department, the date, time, and location for submission of proposals, and any other dates, times, and locations for significant events (bidders' conferences, for example.) Advertisement in addition to the mandatory 3 consecutive days in the KJ is permissible.
3. Bidder Responses due to the Division of Purchases. You must allow a minimum of fifteen (15) calendar days from the final day of advertising to the proposal opening date.
4. Review of the Bids.
5. (Optional) Bidder Presentations.
6. Selection of a Vendor, the bidder whose proposal receives the highest score. Award notification must be made, in writing, to all vendors who submitted proposals. These award notification letters must contain the statement that the award is conditional, pending State Purchases Review Committee approval.
7. Negotiation of a Contract. The contract start date can be no sooner than 14 days after the issuance of the award notification letters.
Bob recommended the Board think carefully about the Scope of Services section (broad vs. limited) and the criteria they will use to select a vendor (e.g. list of value added services, amount of money being proposed to establish the network, etc.) He noted that in other states, the network manager helps agencies computerize their records, and therefore bidders' quality of experience, and plans for providing services here in Maine are also critical components. The Board members asked additional questions as follows.
How many vendors can we anticipate will apply? A handful, perhaps 5-6 have expressed interest.
Can systems developed for use in other states be used here? Yes, depending on the Network Manager's previous experience.
Will charges for the premium services be part of bidders' proposals? Possibly yes, but none are in effect without the approval of the InforME Board.
Will the network manager subcontract? The Network Manager may elect to subcontract work; since they are only obligated to deliver the service, how they do it is their business.
Have there been problems in other States? Research found that agencies in Kansas initially felt that they had to be overly involved to start up the first system. It was a dial up system (older technology), and this problem has not surfaced in the more recent states to adopt the model to our knowledge.
Where does the money collected as a result of statutory fees go? Funds collected by the Network Manager under this category will be deposited on behalf of the appropriate agency as outlined in service level agreements signed with the data custodians.
In finalizing his remarks, Bob suggested the Board incorporate ample time to move through each of the steps to select a network manager. He recommended the Board set Presidents Day as its goal to have completed the process and selected a network manager.
Staff Mary Cloutier proceeded to review the draft RFP. She stressed that the draft represented a compilation of: 1) Maine's statutes; 2) RFPs from other network manager model states; and 3) Comments by an initial review team composed of Janet Waldron, Bob Mayer, and Becky Wyke.
The final RFP, however, is subject to change at the will of the Board. Following Mary's remarks, the Board decided to review the material and RSVP to Mary with comments by October 19. Mary will prepare a compilation of all the members' comments for review and, if appropriate, the Board will approve the RFP for release to the State Purchases Review Committee at the next meeting.
The Board accepted Bob Mayer's offer to establish an InforME web site for posting minutes, agendas and other public documents. Instructions regarding how to access this new site will be included with the agenda of the next meeting.
Secretary Gwadosky recommended members begin thinking about how they would like to collectively review and score the proposals that will result from advertising the RFP. He pledged to set the date for the next meeting to occur in late October.
Respectfully submitted, Mary N. Cloutier, Staff to the Board
Telephone: (207) 287-3631(Voice)
CIO: (207) 624-7840 (Voice)
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