Volume 12, Issue 46 - Wednesday, November 11, 2020
By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
It is next to impossible to find any governmental entity with technology systems that do not desperately need to either be replaced or modernized significantly. Although they are costly, technology upgrades are necessary, and, in spite of budget constraints, it appears that 2021 will be a year when governmental entities finally begin long-overdue modernization efforts.

Many reasons exist for moving forward on these projects – fear of cyberattacks, citizen demands for online services, COVID requirements such as tracking and massive data gathering, and the ongoing search for cost cutting initiatives. Technology not only protects, analyzes data, and serves large citizen constituencies with less cost, but it also is essential for basic mandates related to public safety, water, transportation, health care, and other areas of public responsibility.

The fear of a cyberattack is a continual concern for those responsible for network security. Network breaches are dangerous and costly, and they almost always result in a complete shut-down of operations. Only individuals who have lived through a cyberbreach can attest to the cost and toll it takes as a result of the disruption that occurs for everything related to government services.

Security officials spend inordinate amounts of time seeking ways to mitigate cyberattacks, monitor user activity, and meet regulatory compliance requirements. COVID-19 and the necessity of remote access and teleconferencing have increased vulnerabilities and created more concerns. Technology advancements and the benefits they offer totally justify the costs.

The federal government just recently released a warning stating that cyber threats are more prevalent than ever. IT directors and security officers were urged to be ever mindful of new cyber threats and the ongoing danger. Here are just a few examples of the focus on technology modernization and cyber protection that are evident throughout the country.

The city of Baltimore plans to initiate a complete overhaul of its IT security in 2021. Approximately $700,000 is allocated for a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system, and another $2 million is earmarked for replacement of support systems to mitigate operational, security, and cost risks. The city will spend $1 million to increase and enhance cybersecurity technologies on workstations, laptops, tables, and software. Another $350,000 will be used to replace security hardware and improve security to remote user access applications.

Draft environmental report outlines LAX Airfield, Terminal Project
California – Los Angeles World Airports released a draft environmental impact report for the Airfield and Terminal Modernization Project at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) that includes additional gates, a people mover, and roadway improvements.

The project will replace inefficient and outdated remote gates with new, state-of-the-art facilities, reduce congestion around LAX with new roadways, and enhance safety through new taxiway improvements without moving any runways.

Terminal improvements would include the development of 12 new gates at Terminal 9, addition of nine gates at a new Concourse 0, and replacement of west remote gates to offer full-service international capabilities.

To increase operational efficiency, reduce delays, and increase safety, LAX will improve runway exit configurations to enhance pilot visibility, extend Taxiway D to the west, and upgrade taxiways C and D to access the new concourse and terminal facilities.

Landside improvements would feature work on the Central Terminal Area to create direct access for Terminal 9, reduce congestion on public roads and neighborhood streets, add a new automated people mover at Terminal 9, and a pedestrian corridor over Sepulveda Boulevard between terminals 8 and 9.

Development of North Airfield improvements would begin in late 2021 with the start of enabling projects for the Taxiway D extension. That work would finish in mid-2026.

Concourse 0 development would commence in late 2022 and conclude in late 2026, and Terminal 9 work would begin in late 2023 and finish in late 2027. The airport’s goal is to complete construction by 2028 when Los Angeles is scheduled to host the Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
Rail authority solicits vendor input on financial systems software
Virginia – The Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) of Virginia is seeking information on financial systems software on behalf of the newly formed Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA).

In its pre-solicitation request for information (RFI), the rail authority is collecting input from vendors related to the purchase of a financial solution to support its operations.

VPRA desires a cloud-based solution with no or very limited customizations. The solution must have project and grants accounting functionality. Encumbrance accounting is desired but not necessary. The response must include the functionality of solution presented with focus on these modules:
  • General ledger. 
  • Accounts receivable. 
  • Accounts payable. 
  • Capital assets. 
  • Leases. 
  • Project accounting. 
  • Governmental accounting.
  • Grants management. 
  • Budgeting. 
  • Reporting. 
  • Human resources/payroll. 
  • Treasury management. 
  • Purchasing.
On July 1, Virginia’s General Assembly approved the creation of the VPRA as an independent entity from DRPT to oversee intercity passenger rail activities within the state through the purchase of right of way and management of largescale capital projects.

The VPRA will administer all capital expansion projects, infrastructure, and land acquisitions related to Gov. Ralph Northam’s $3.7 billion Transforming Rail in Virginia initiative, which will double Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express service in the state over the next decade.

RFI submissions are due by 3 p.m. December 4.
Chicago mayor unveils $3.7B plan to repair infrastructure
Illinois – Chicago's mayor and aides announced a five-year, $3.7 billion infrastructure plan to repair and preserve roads and bridges and further efforts for a safe and equitable city.

More than $759 million would go toward replacing and repairing bridges and $622.4 million would pay for resurfacing streets.

Another $414.2 million would fund safety and mobility projects that spur economic development. Of that, $37 million would be committed to bicycle infrastructure improvements and $25 million would be earmarked for critical bus routes and station enhancements.

The mayor’s office stated the city would seek federal funding, but financing at the local level would come from tax-increment financing, issuing a bond supported by either property or sales taxes or both, and interim financing and cash-flow management.
University of Georgia releases RFI for financial reporting solution
Georgia – The board of regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) is seeking information about a budget and financial reporting solution.

USG intends to replace two separate corporate-developed applications to manage financial data collected for internal and external reporting. These systems were developed internally by USG staff or consultants and have reached the end of their support life.

The solution for which its request for information (RFI) is being issued is not intended as a replacement of the financial enterprise resource planning (ERP) software currently in use by USG institutions. The RFI solicits information for a reporting solution to provide near-real time insights into a series of financial metrics, utilizing a defined set of data sourced from the financial ERPs.

Efficiencies are sought by linking the data between ERPs to avoid manual duplication, elimination of the need for a full-time on-premise programmer, reducing the time to create queries or reports from current ERPs, or other means.

The solution must allow for reporting adjustments with explanation, adding new reports or collections with ease, and proffering role-based access and workflow across 27 distinct units of a system, plus central user roles that can access data and reporting across all units.

RFI submissions are due by 5 p.m. ET on December 15.
Cincinnati viaduct set for $335M replacement
Ohio – The city of Cincinnati and Hamilton County have reached an agreement to split grant funding for a $335 million project to replace the Western Hills Viaduct, which is reaching the end of its design life. More than $125 million has been secured in state and federal grants for the project.

The viaduct, which was built in 1932, is a half-mile long and spans the Mill Creek Valley and the Queensgate Railyard. It connects Harrison and Westwood streets to Central Parkway and McMillan Street and carries more than 55,000 vehicles per day.

Engineering consultants recently completed their two-year study of six bridge types and recommended an extradosed bridge type to replace the existing viaduct.

Planning and design are estimated to be complete in 2023 with construction completion in 2028.

The city of Cincinnati’s Department of Transportation & Engineering and the Hamilton County Engineer’s Office will share and discuss details about the recommended design at a virtual public meeting at 6 p.m. on November 19.
New Mexico passes $156M GO Bond C for higher ed facilities
New Mexico – More than 60 higher education capital projects earned the support of New Mexico voters who approved the $156.36 million General Obligation (GO) Bond C proposition.

The University of New Mexico will receive $51.4 million in state funds for 13 projects, including $30 million for the construction of a health building to house nursing and population health programs at its Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque and $13.2 million to establish wireless internet and other infrastructure upgrades.

New Mexico State University will get $18 million to renovate and replace science and engineering facilities for agricultural research and $3 million for Milton Hall Data Center infrastructure upgrades at its Las Cruces campus.

Eastern New Mexico University will benefit from $7 million to plan, design, construct, renovate, and equip Roosevelt Science Hall at its Portales campus. The university also would get $1.8 million for video surveillance and lighting at its Roswell branch, $1.5 million for infrastructure improvements at its Ruidoso branch, and $1 million for safety upgrades in Portales.

Another $13 million is set to go to the state’s Higher Education Department for improvements at all central New Mexico community college campuses, including demolition and remediation of the student services facility at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque.

The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology will receive $10 million for the renovation of Kelly Hall in Socorro, and the state will allocate $7 million for New Mexico Highlands University to renovate Sininger Hall which houses the Department of Business Administration.

Among other higher education proposition items, the New Mexico School for the Deaf will receive $5.3 million to renovate its dining hall in Santa Fe, and San Juan College in Farmington will get $3.5 million for campuswide infrastructure improvements.
San Jose, Virginia Beach, Bellevue earn honors for digital efforts
California – Cities that led the way in using technology to improve services for their communities in 2020 were recognized at the recent National League of Cities conference.

 All U.S. cities, towns, villages, and consolidated city/county governments are invited to participate and winners evolve after examinations of their overall technology programs and plans.

The city of San Jose took first place in the 500,000 or more population category for its IT team that formed dozens of digital-inclusive partnerships; provided Smart City platforming; modernized planning, building code, and code enforcement digital services; and connected “Digital Desert” households.

Virginia Beach claimed first place in the 250,000-499,999 population category for its StormSense project, a regional collaboration project of 12 cities and educational institutions that provides modeling data for city public safety personnel and engineers to predict coastal flooding. The methodology uses analytics, cloud technologies, and open data registries to provide rapid visualizations for decision-making during adverse weather conditions.

Bellevue, Washington, was ranked as the top city in the 125,000-249,999 population category for establishing a Digital Government Team that partners with all 14 city departments to develop and support citizen-centric solutions. The team created a Universal Design Guide with branding guidelines for the city and used artificial intelligence to analyze social media platform trends. During the pandemic, the team launched a COVID-19 chatbot in six languages and created maps showing food distribution centers and a “What’s Open” map to support local businesses.

The city of Sugar Land, Texas, took first in the 75,000-124,999 population category for forming an Office of Performance and Accountability and a Data Committee to deal with data needs and policies. It produced a “Goal Measures” transparent dashboard for 30 key operations that assisted personnel in making data-driven decisions.

Danville, Virginia, came in first in the up to 75,000 population category for its comprehensive governance structure that includes policy, enterprise IT budgeting, and centralized oversight of IT costs, purchases, and service level agreements. The city’s resiliency planning includes quarterly testing and annual updates to its strategic plan, daily threat monitoring, collaboration with other departments, and taking actions based on ongoing testing and assessment.

In addition, information provided by the governments identified these top 10 technologies and initiatives that are most likely to have an increased emphasis in 2021:

  1. Cybersecurity (No. 1 for six years consecutively). 
  2. Budget & Cost Control (jumped back in the top 10). 
  3. Citizen Engagement/ Experience (was No. 2). 
  4. Disaster Recovery/ Continuity of Operations (was No. 3). 
  5. Business Process Automation (back in the top 10).  
  6. Infrastructure Modernization (up from No. 8). 
  7. Business Intelligence/Analytics. 
  8. Data Governance: Transparency, Open Data. 
  9. Networks: Broadband, Connectivity, Addressing Digital Divide (back in the top 10). 
  10. Hire/Nurture/Retain Competent IT Personnel. 
Miami Beach soliciting input for electronic bond delivery service
Florida – The city of Miami Beach issued a request for information (RFI) to gather input from vendors on the capabilities of electronic bond delivery services in the current market.

Through the RFI, the city will identify and gather information on vendors that provide electronic delivery of surety bonds for various city projects.

The bond system must allow contractors to secure bid, payment, and performance bonds.

Vendors are asked to summarize their products and services to include the system’s operations, ability to record bonds with Miami-Dade County, cost to the city or contractor, integration capabilities, and possible restrictions on contractors’ use of external forms. Information on contracts available for piggybacking may be provided.

RFI submissions are due by 3 p.m. November 18.
University of Minnesota-Rochester to explore P3 for campus dining
Minnesota – The chancellor of the University of Minnesota-Rochester (UMR) is advocating public-private partnerships (P3s) as tools for the growing university to expand its footprint without seeking state funding to maintain the new facilities.

On November 9, the Rochester City Council approved UMR’s request to draw $2.4 million from the sales tax held by the city for UMR facility development in order to occupy a former restaurant near the campus.

UMR plans to relocate a student lounge into the renovated restaurant space and procure campus dining services. As part of the expansion plan, the university is exploring options for renovating the existing student lounge into faculty offices and student study space.
City CISOs establish coalition to promote cyber resiliency
The Coalition of City Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) recently formed to foster more technologically resilient municipalities.

CISOs from 30 large U.S. cities, including Dallas, Los Angeles, and Seattle, founded the organization to unite municipal leaders, cybersecurity professionals, and other stakeholders to advance cybersecurity at the local level through connecting, educating, and collaborating.

Coalition objectives include promoting a cyber resilient government of cities and counties that can respond to cyber threats, maintain essential services, protect privacy, and create a secure foundation for future cities.

The organization also aims to protect the public by minimizing risk to residents and businesses, supporting equitable public services, and protecting private information.

As members of a nationwide collective defense, the network of allied cities, counties, states, federal government, and private sector can better defend against cyber threats.
P3 Government Conference spotlights procurement experts
Join the P3 Government Conference in a virtual forum from December 9-11 for three days of project delivery and market discussion at one of the largest gatherings of local, state and federal agency representatives, developers, and public-private partnership (P3) experts in the country.

Those planning their next procurements will want to attend to hear how other communities are moving projects forward during the pandemic, responding to current budget and planning challenges, and preparing for 2021.

Public agencies and industry practitioners will share their experiences, discuss project upgrades and new projects currently in development, and detail structures and best practices used in developing, building, and maintaining projects of all sizes.

Stay connected and informed. Discover new project and partners. Meet with policy and public leaders, and learn how owners are planning development in the post-COVID era.

Sign up by November 20 to secure the early registration price of $299.
Florida – The Hillsborough Area Rapid Transit Authority (HART) named Adelee Le Grand as its new chief executive officer, pending approval of a contract in December. Le Grand previously served as the chief mobility officer for Transit Link Authority in Atlanta and chief strategy officer for the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority.

West Virginia – The Morgantown City Council selected Kim Haws as its next city manager, effective on or about December 4. He will take over for Interim City Manager Emily Muzzarelli. Haws most recently served as city manager in Bridgeport, West Virginia. Before that, he was the city manager for East Palestine, Ohio, and St. Johns, Arizona.

Mississippi – The Mississippi Department of Information Techology Services (ITS) appointed David Johnson as executive director and chief information officer for the state. Johnson previously served as director of procurement services for ITS.

New York – The State University of New York (SUNY) board of trustees named Dr. Timothy Sams as SUNY Old Westbury president. Sams most recently served as the vice president for student affairs at Prairie View A&M University. Prior to that, he was senior vice president for student development at Morehouse College and vice president for student life at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Oklahoma – The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission appointed Grayson Ardies as its new state director of aeronautics. He succeeded Victor Bird who retired in October. Ardies most recently served as the deputy director of the commission.

North Carolina – The North Carolina State Ports Authority named Doug Vogt as its next chief operating officer, effective November 16. Vogt joins the authority after serving as the vice president of operations, equipment, and maintenance at a shipping company in Riviera Beach, Florida.
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About Government Contracting Pipeline
Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Mary Scott Nabers, Publisher
Devin Monk, Editor
Ph: 512-531-3900
Government Contracting Pipeline, a publication of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., is a free, weekly newsletter detailing important happenings nationwide and the premier source for federal, state, and local government news and contracting opportunities.
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