Program Review and Investigations Committee

MEETING MINUTES

Thursday, December 16, 2010

1:00 PM in Room 2D of the LOB

The meeting was called to order at 1:15 p.m. by Chairman, Sen. Kissel J. S07.

The following committee members were present:

Senators:

DeFronzo D. S06; Fonfara J. S01; Frantz L. S36; Guglielmo A. S35; Kissel J. S07; Maynard A. S18

   

Representatives:

Candelora V. 086; Carson M. 108; Giuliano M. 023; Mushinsky M. 085; Urban D. 043

   

Absent were:

 
   

Senators:

   

Representatives:

Sharkey B. 088

Other Legislators: Representative Roberta Willis

Staff Present: Brian Beisel, Michelle Castillo, Maryellen Duffy, Eric Gray, Jill Jensen, Bonnine Labbadia, Scott Simoneau, Janelle Stevens, and Carrie Vibert.

With Senator Kissel in the chair, the meeting began at 1:15 p.m.

Two-Part Higher Education Study: 1) Higher Education Governance and 2) CSUS Administrative Functions

PRI staff Scott Simoneau and Janelle Stevens presented the staff findings and recommendations report on higher education governance structure, part one of a two-part PRI study related to higher education. Regarding part two of the study, Connecticut State University System (CSUS) administrative functions, staff explained that due to data problems, a final report in that area was not complete. CSUS staff was working with PRI staff to resolve the data problems. PRI staff recommended that work continue on that part of the study into the new year for the next eight weeks or so, in light of the significant time and effort expended to date by both CSUS and PRI.

The committee asked questions and generally discussed the report. Representative Willis, Co-Chair of the Higher Education and Work Force Development Committee, was in attendance and participated in the discussion also. Senator Kissel moved, seconded by Senator Fonfara, to adopt the report on higher education governance structure. The motion passed 11-0. Voting affirmatively were: Senators Kissel, DeFronzo, Fonfara, Frantz, Guglielmo, Maynard, and Representatives Mushinsky, Candelora, Carson, Giuliano, and Urban.

The approved recommendations from the study entitled Higher Education Governance Structure are as follows:

A public agenda for higher education shall be developed that includes: statewide goals based on identified state needs; provisions for the development of strategies and monitoring of performance measures to achieve those goals; and incentive funding to ensure that goals are met.

This should be accomplished by the appointment of a leadership group made up of 14 members and be appointed by the governor (seven appointees) and the six legislative leaders (one appointee each) from among various individuals from business, the executive and legislative branches of government, and education. The commissioner of the Department of Higher Education or designee shall be an ex officio, non-voting member. None of the appointed members should be employed by or on the board of any constituent unit or private higher education institution. The governor shall select the chair. The leadership group shall:

a. develop a public needs report, based on an analysis of data that describes:

i. the current and projected condition of the state over the next 20 years in terms of education, workforce, social, and economic needs. Such analysis will consider: population and demographic trends; economic and workforce conditions and needs; state of college preparation; extent of postsecondary access, completion, and affordability; student learning options; and education finance;

ii. where changes and improvements need to take place to meet the needs; and

iii. specific responsibilities of both public and private higher education institutions in meeting the state's needs and priorities. Such analysis should recognize and reinforce differences in constituent unit missions and capacities.

b. develop a higher education policy audit report that assesses the extent to which current policies contribute to or inhibit the state's ability to meet the needs identified in the public needs report;

c. engage stakeholders, including the constituent units and private colleges, and solicit feedback on the public needs report and policy audit;

d. use the above analysis and feedback to develop a public agenda priorities report, which shall include specific strategies as well as measureable and quantifiable objectives and interim benchmarks to address each priority;

e. analyze and produce a finance report on current financing policies, practices, and accountability to determine how:

i. to align them with priorities of the public agenda;

ii. current state funding practices can be improved to support the public agenda, including the development of a finance model for the allocation of state appropriations among the constituent units that includes a base amount and the use of performance-based incentive funding for at least a portion of the allocation;

iii. constituent units' expenditures, staffing, and state support - including the block grant, administrative expenses, personnel fringe benefits, capital improvement bonds, and state financial aid to students - will be consistently and periodically reported to the legislature and the public in a clear, concise, and thorough manner; and

iv. examine if current student financial aid policies ensure that scarce resources are producing desired results and support the public agenda.

f. present the public agenda priorities and finance reports to the governor and General Assembly by January 31, 2012.

The Department of Higher Education shall be responsible for monitoring and reporting annually to the General Assembly on progress in implementing the public agenda by constituent unit, by public higher education institution, and for the state as a whole. Beginning no more than ten years after development of the initial public agenda priorities report and minimally at every ten year interval thereafter, the Board of Governors for Higher Education shall reanalyze the education, workforce, social, and economic trends described above, compare the trends to the stated goals of the public agenda, and revise the statewide goals and strategies to meet emerging needs as necessary.

Department of Transportation Project Delivery Process: RBA Pilot Project Study

Next, PRI staff Jill Jensen and Brian Beisel presented the staff findings and recommendations report on the second PRI RBA pilot project, focusing on the Department of Transportation Project Delivery Process.

The committee asked questions and generally discussed the report. Senator Kissel moved, seconded by Senator DeFronzo, to adopt the RBA pilot project study on the DOT project delivery process. The motion passed 10-0. Voting affirmatively were: Senators Kissel, DeFronzo, Fonfara, Frantz, Guglielmo, Maynard, and Representatives Mushinsky, Candelora, Carson, and Urban.

The approved recommendations from the study entitled Department of Transportation Project Delivery Process: RBA Pilot Project Study 2010 are as follows (using RBA method references):

Progress on Population-Level Results

1. Amend existing statutory language to replace the department's current master plan requirement with an annual transportation system progress reporting process based on Results-Based Accountability principles. Each year, by January 15th, the Department of Transportation shall submit to the legislature, and publish on its website, an RBA framework that includes the quality of life results statement for the state transportation system and an assessment of progress toward those results based on key indicators.

2. The framework, results statement, indicators, and annual progress reports should be prepared jointly with the Transportation Strategy Board, with input from major partners and stakeholder groups.

3. As part of an RBA data development agenda, DOT, in consultation with its partners, should review the adequacy of current indicators and related data resources for assessing progress toward desired results for the state transportation system. Together, they should determine whether there may be more appropriate alternatives for primary indicators and what additional secondary indicators are needed to provide greater public accountability. Preference should be given to indicators that are compatible with the national performance measures.

Program Performance Assessment: DOT Project Delivery Report Card

4. DOT create a performance measurement results steering committee comprised of top managers representing each bureau. It should meet quarterly with performance measures staff and the commissioner to review and discuss current results data, identify successes and problem areas, and direct actions to improve outcomes.

5. The department incorporate RBA as a primary tool for promoting performance measurement and management for results throughout the agency.

6. The department continue developing the centralized project initiation process and have it in place through a formal department policy statement by July 1, 2011. This process should be used to maintain and regularly update the agency's five-year capital planning document.

7. Implementing the new integrated project management system as scheduled be a top priority of agency leadership. Also, the department should ensure the new system will be able to track all major steps of the preconstruction process, including: consultant hiring; agreement execution; rights-of-way and utility relocation milestones; and timeframes for environmental reviews and permitting.

8. The quality assurance office organize and sponsor a lessons learned event to evaluate project delivery success for a sample of completed projects at least annually.

9. The quality assurance office work with the performance measures unit to develop quantitative measures of compliance and quality for projects the department delivers. As a first step, quality assurance and performance measurement staff should compile, review, and summarize the results of evaluations of contractor and consultant performance to share with top agency managers.

10. Legislation be enacted to permit the department to use design-build and other alternative contracting approaches on pilot basis. Prior to project initiation, the department shall submit a project, and the criteria used to select it as a pilot for design-build or other alternative contracting method, to the legislature's Transportation Committee for review and approval. DOT also shall evaluate the delivery success of the pilot project in terms of timeliness, cost, and quality, and report the results to the Transportation Committee within three months of project completion.

11. DOT and DEP re-evaluate the requirements of the current memorandum of understanding regarding support for permit staff to ensure they include realistic reporting requirements of how the funding is used, how it makes the transportation project permit processing function more efficient, and what benefits DOT (and the state) receives from its funding of DEP positions. Any revisions to the MOU should occur by October 1, 2011.

12. The commissioners of DOT and DEP establish an interagency workgroup to meet and discuss ways to fully achieve a balance between expediting transportation project delivery and ensuring proper protection of the environment. Issues to be discussed within the workgroup should include: maximizing environmental permitting coordination and streamlining; involving DEP in the transportation project design phase as early as reasonable; examining alternative mitigation strategies, assessing the implementation of creative contracting methods (including design-build); and identifying ways to fully attain and maintain efficient and effective communication. The workgroup should be established by July 1, 2011, and relevant information, including agendas and meeting minutes, should be posted on each agency's website.

13. The Office of Environmental Planning begin to fully track its performance for processing environmental review documents and permit applications for transportation projects. The office should determine its main performance measures and frequently gauge its performance against those measures. The results should become part of the department's overall performance measurement system. The department also should determine whether its new automated project management system could contain information to better track and measure environment-related activities within the transportation project delivery process.

How Much Did We Do?

14. The department, as part of its effort to establish a centralized new project initiation process, develop and maintain a database that can identify and monitor the agency's complete project delivery workload.

15. The transportation department seek the assistance of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering in preparing a talent assessment of its existing staff capacity and projecting its future staffing needs for capital improvement project delivery implementation. The results of this assessment should be completed by July 1, 2012, and shared with the legislature's Appropriations and Transportation Committees.

16. The department should establish a mechanism to track the direct and indirect costs of the design, construction inspection and administration, and project management services its employees provide on a per project basis. Measures of project delivery workload, such as project dollar value per employee, also should be developed and used to monitor trends in internal staff capacity.

17. The Department of Transportation conduct an analysis of transportation project design costs that compares the costs associated with work done by department employees to costs of using private design firms. The analysis should be conducted and completed by July 1, 2012, with a report of the results forwarded to the legislature's Transportation and Appropriations committees on or before that date.

How Well Did We Do It?

On-Time Performance

18. The Department of Transportation continue to examine ways to streamline the time it takes to complete major milestones within the project delivery process. Once the agency's new integrated project management system is fully operational, targets for completing each major step of the design process should be set and monitored by the engineering bureau, with the assistance of the performance measures unit. Attention should be paid to: 1) the degree to which design consultants and staff engineers meet established deadlines for designing projects; 2) the process used by project designers to estimate the amount of time necessary for project completion to ensure such estimates are realistic; and 3) the advertising and contract bidding processes.

19. The department continue to fully focus on the link between project design and time extensions to project construction due to design errors or omissions, with the specific goal of increasing the department's performance for completing projects in accordance with their original schedules.

20. DOT set a yearly performance goal for delivering transportation projects within schedule for construction purposes, rather than continuing to use its recently-established standard of “maximizing percent of construction contracts completed on time.” The department's performance toward achieving the new goal should be part of its current initiative to measure project completion performance. The goal should be realistic and re-evaluated at least annually.

21. The department add the following components to its current measure for on-time project delivery performance: 1) the aggregate times projects are taking to complete beyond their original deadlines; and 2) the aggregate amount of time each reason for scheduling extensions (as identified in the department's current measure) adds to the overall time for completing projects.

22. DOT begin benchmarking its performance for delivering transportation projects on schedule with the performance of other states for comparative purposes. DOT should identify best practices used by states with better project completion performance, and determine whether to implement such practices within its project delivery process.

23. DOT include on its website a “watch list” of all projects approaching time overruns for the design and construction components of the project delivery process.

On-Budget Performance

24. The Department of Transportation begin analyzing its project delivery process with the goal of developing a system through which the department can fully determine the project costs associated with each major milestone of the project delivery process. The system should allow DOT to identify the level to which projects are completed within established budgets for each milestone. The results should be reported as part of the department's performance measure for delivering projects on-budget.

25. The department establish a goal of having the lowest responsible bid amount be no greater than the design engineer's estimate. Progress toward achieving such goal should be measured at least annually.

26. DOT set a yearly goal of delivering transportation projects within budget for construction purposes, rather than continue using its recently-established standard of “maximizing percent of construction contracts completed on-budget.” The department's performance toward achieving the goal should be part of its current initiative to measure on-budget performance. The goal should be realistic and re-evaluated at least yearly.

27. The department add the following components to its current measure for on-budget performance: 1) the total dollar amount of construction cost overruns; and 2) the amount each reason for cost overruns (as identified in the department's current measure) adds to overall project costs.

28. DOT sharpen its focus for analyzing project design cost estimates with bid amounts and final project costs to link the cost estimating process with overall project construction costs. The results should be included in the department's performance measures as an indicator of estimating accuracy for transportation projects, and for use to continually improve the project estimating function.

29. The department continue researching whether it should set different contingency standards for projects based on project cost and/or type of project. Any changes to the current contingency level should continue to move the project delivery process toward delivering projects within original budgets.

30. The department include on its website a “watch list” of all projects approaching cost overruns (including applicable contingencies).

31. The department begin analyzing its performance on delivering transportation projects within budget with the performance of other states for comparative purposes. The results also should be used in helping develop appropriate benchmarks and standards for delivering cost effective projects.

Is Anyone Better Off?

32. The DOT performance measures unit identify existing sources of customer feedback information throughout the agency and become a repository for all data related to customer satisfaction. Unit staff also should help managers in each bureau develop low-cost ways, such as focus groups and on-line surveys, to regularly obtain and use input from stakeholders to assess project delivery and other critical performance areas.

33. The department establish and report on measures of customer satisfaction as part of the ongoing development of its performance measurement system.

Assessment of Connecticut's Implementation of E-Government

Next, PRI staff Michelle Castillo, Maryellen Duffy, and Eric Gray presented the staff findings and recommendations report on the study assessing Connecticut's implementation of e-government.

The committee asked questions and generally discussed the report. Representative Mushinsky moved, seconded by Senator Frantz, to adopt the report on assessing Connecticut's implementation of e-government. The motion passed 9-0. Voting affirmatively were: Senators Kissel, DeFronzo, Fonfara, Frantz, Guglielmo, Maynard, and Representatives Mushinsky, Candelora, and Urban.

The approved recommendations from the study entitled Assessment of Connecticut's Implementation of E-Government are as follows:

1. DOIT should amend the state web template to include:

a site map;

translation services for foreign language accessibility;

general and program specific “frequently asked questions” pages; and

user help features.

2. The list of online services on CT.gov should be expanded through the inclusion of all agency transactions and selective inclusion of informational features, such as downloadable guides. In addition, the following features should be made available on the state's web portal, CT.gov:

downloadable databases; and

downloadable forms.

3. The services, databases, and forms features should be aggregated lists from agency online offerings and should be, at a minimum, searchable by keyword and indexed by customer, by function, by agency, and alphabetically. Where possible, presentation of new and existing features on the web portal should allow for user customization and/or personalization.

4. All executive branch state agencies, except those exempted by statute or the Department of Information Technology, shall use CT.gov for web hosting services and adopt the Department of Information Technology-created template for state websites.

5. The Department of Information Technology should establish a webpage of policies that includes the state's privacy, security, and accessibility policies as well as any other policies deemed necessary. A link to this policy page should be included as part of the website design template, in place of the separate links to the state privacy policy and website accessibility policy. All state agency websites should contain a link to the state policy page.

6. The Department of Information Technology, in collaboration with the E-Government Board, should review and revise the state's website policies not less than once a year. The review and adoption date of the latest version of the website policies should be clearly published with the policies along with a summary of any major changes.

7. The Department of Information Technology should review the social media policy annually and revise it if deemed necessary.

8. Connecticut must establish a governance structure to facilitate the development, implementation, and evolution of e-government.

9. An e-government board shall be established, with 19 members consisting of mandatory representatives from the executive branch and constitutional offices, and appointments made by the governor, legislature, and judicial department.

Specifically, the board membership shall consist of:

Four mandatory board members: the DOIT CIO; the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or designee; the Secretary of the State, or designee; and the State Librarian, or designee.

The governor shall appoint one executive state agency representative from each of the following eight state service areas:

Human Services;

Health;

Transportation;

Regulation and Protection;

General Government Administration;

Conservation and Development;

Education; and

Judicial.

The legislature shall have six appointments:

The Speaker of the House, the House majority leader, and the House minority leader shall appoint a municipal representative, one representative from the business sector who is not an information technology vendor for the state, and one member of the public, respectively.

The Senate Pro Tempore, the Senate majority leader, and the Senate minority leader shall appoint a municipal representative, one representative from the business sector who is not an information technology vendor for the state, and one member of the public, respectively.

The Chief Court Administrator shall appoint one representative from the judicial department.

The Governor shall appoint the chair of the board. The chair, in consultation with the members, shall establish the board's by-laws. The legislative and judicial appointments shall be non-voting board members. The term for appointed members is three years. The board shall meet no less than on a quarterly basis. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum.

The board may form subcommittees on specific topics as necessary for either ongoing, major activities (standing subcommittees) or short-term activities (ad hoc subcommittees) that cease when the activities are completed. The board chair shall task the specific mission, charge, or set of issues to be addressed by the subcommittee(s).

The board shall provide advice on the development of Connecticut's e-government visions and goals, and provide input for strategic direction and priorities. The board shall annually report its recommended strategic proposals and priorities for e-government to the CIO for inclusion in the strategic plan.

10. Among the board's responsibilities is to identify business and customer service needs and develop recommended strategies and actions to the CIO for guiding e-government initiatives. Specific board responsibilities shall include to:

develop and adopt an e-government definition;

provide input to DOIT on the use of CT.gov as the centralized source for state government information and services;

generate priorities for new online services;

recommend common functions among state agencies that could be shared;

consider whether to propose convenience fees for any online services;

assist in the selection and development of web traffic statistics to be compiled; and

develop and adopt an annual strategic plan for e-government.

DOIT shall provide staff resources for the board.

11. E-government should be a recognized, dedicated function within DOIT. At a minimum, the responsibilities of statewide e-government services and functions should be assigned to a director. The e-government director must:

support the expansion of the delivery of state online services through the state's main web portal;

advise the CIO on the resources required to develop and effectively administer electronic initiatives;

recommend necessary changes related to strategies and priorities for e-government;

promote innovative uses of information technology by agencies, particularly initiatives involving multiagency collaboration;

coordinate with local and federal government when appropriate for collaborative online efforts;

assist in establishment of policies and standards for e-government services;

examine common performance measures and web trends to determine effectiveness;

participate in DOIT's system development methodology process to become aware of ongoing and proposed e-government projects; and

periodically examine other states who are noted as leader states for e-government to determine if Connecticut needs to revise its strategies.

The director shall prepare an annual report of e-government projects and services, including a complete list of services offered through the state's main portal. The report should also include potential new online services and summarize results of performance measures and web statistics compiled for e-government. The results shall be provided to the e-government board.

12. There should be a strategic plan specific to e-government in addition to the statewide strategic plan for information technology. The CIO should prepare the e-government strategic plan in consultation with the new e-government director and board.

The state's overall e-government strategic plan should include a clear strategy for providing online services for different user groups according to their needs (citizens, business, visitor, government, etc).

Connecticut's strategic plan should be developed in partnership with state agencies and other relevant stakeholders through the newly formed web board. Activities to inform and guide the plan should include:

planning sessions and surveys with the web board and state agency officials;

in-depth participation in and review of leading e-government issues, trends, and web analyses;

strategic planning sessions, discussions, and surveys with Connecticut's IT staff and leadership;

engagement with Connecticut citizens and businesses on preference and needs; and

discussions and feedback from leading researchers.

Across the four-year planning cycle, annual updates and adjustments should be made, along with reports on progress to stakeholders.

13. C.G.S. 4d-7 (c) shall be amended to include a mandate for the annual submission of an agency IT plan by each executive branch agency. The agency IT plan must be prepared in compliance with the DOIT prescribed template unless the CIO has specifically authorized an exemption for the agency. At a minimum, the agency IT plan must include:

the information technology priority objectives of the agency;

major planned or ongoing initiatives related to information technology;

specific IT projects to assist or provide service to the public;

steps taken to conduct transactions electronically;

a summary of web statistics compiled and how they are used;

any IT initiatives to coordinate with other state and local governmental entities; and

efforts the agency has taken to develop public and private partnerships to accomplish the information technology objectives of the agency.

14. There should be a cross boundary advisory group led by the new director of e-government. The director of e-government should solicit participation in the advisory group to foster various IT partnerships including: intra-agency (state agency-to-state agency), intergovernmental (e.g., state agency to municipal), and public-private (e.g., state and CERC). The group tasks should include to:

facilitate collaborative agreements;

identify opportunities, incentives and barriers;

develop strategic risk management of cross collaboration initiatives; and communicate potential cross collaboration strategies with the web board.

15. DOIT should incorporate a staff resource impact analysis component into the SDM process. Similar to the guidance DOIT provides to agencies to develop cost-benefit analysis, DOIT should assist state agencies to develop criteria and common methodology to estimate resource impact for IT initiatives.

16. The newly established E-Government Board shall adopt performance measurement goals for the state's main portal. Such goals shall include targets for implementing new online services, and reaching specific web metric benchmarks, including but not limited to increasing the utilization of existing and new online services (i.e., adoption rates).

The Department of Information Technology, in consultation with the E-Government Board, should develop an online user survey that captures visitor experience and satisfaction with the state of Connecticut's online presence and offer the feature through the state's main portal and template.

The Department of Information Technology shall provide the E-Government Board with web analytics for the main portal, including those that measure progress toward achieving any identified benchmarks so the board may determine if goals set by the board for the main portal have been met. The Department of Information Technology shall also semi-annually provide the board with an aggregated report showing the results of the online survey.

Based on its evaluation of web statistics on the main portal and any feedback received through surveys or other methods, the E-Government Board shall recommend changes to the portal's design and/or content, establish new goals for the portal if previously established goals have been met, and use such information in assisting in prioritizing online service to be offered to the public. The Department of Information Technology shall consider the board's recommendations when making changes to the state portal, CT.gov.

The Department of Information Technology shall report web traffic statistics for all state agencies not less than annually and post them on its website.

17. The Department of Information Technology should identify strategies for state agencies to consider in improving location of website content, when appropriate. Each state agency should have a website workgroup that meets periodically to discuss agency website content and presentation and how best to improve it based on web analytics or other feedback provided.

18. The E-Government Board shall adopt a marketing strategy to brand “CT.gov” as the primary website to enter for information and services about state government. The Chief Information Office within the Department of Information Technology shall implement the strategy.

Update on Commission on Enhancing Agency Outcome

Staff Director Carrie Vibert reported to the committee that the Commission on Enhancing Agency Outcomes (CEAO) had its final meeting the day before on December 15, 2010. She acknowledged the work of PRI staff Cathy Conlin and Miriam Kluger, who have been on loan to CEAO as its staff since early 2010 per 2009 legislation that also added the PRI co-chairs to the commission.

Finally, in other business, Representative Mushinsky acknowledged PRI member Representative Mary Ann Carson, who was retiring from the legislature as announced during the 2010 session. Representative Carson has been one of the longest serving members of the PRI committee, completing her service as House ranking member.

The committee's business complete, the meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

   

Administrator

Committee Clerk