California prequalifies vendor pool for Child Welfare System overhaul

California prequalifies vendor pool for Child Welfare System overhaul

The California Department of Technology released an update to its Child Welfare System overhaul project that uses agile procurement methods and breaks what would have been a massive request for proposal into much smaller modules.

A pool of prequalified agile development vendors has been established, from which the state will choose the rest of the companies to work on the project. This is a model pioneered by 18F, whose agile blanket purchase agreement set up a pool of vendors for rapid agile or DevOps work on projects with 18F and partner agencies. Would-be vendors had to offer a functional project using datasets from the Food and Drug Administration, not just a written proposal, to be considered for the pool.

To be considered for the California pool, vendors had to demonstrate their ability “to use a California Health and Human Services API to access data to meet a user need,” the blog post read. “This meant providing access to a working prototype, working source code on Github and a description of their approach.” Vendors were also screened for their ability to produce user-centered software.

The state said that using the pre-qualified vendor pool can speed the typical RFP process, which can take up to seven months.

Eleven vendors were initially selected for the pool. The state plans to update the pool every six months and make it available to all California Health and Human Services departments -- and eventually to all state agencies and departments.

Additionally, the state announced that Folsom, Calif.-based Taborda Solutions had been selected to deliver the application programming interface module that will communicate with the existing IBM mainframe running the CWS. Alpha testing is expected in the fall, with a beta version this winter.

The selection process is in progress for the second module, which will support intake and investigations business processes.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a former reporter for GCN.


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