10 public sector projects take top honors in GCN Awards

10 public sector projects take top honors in GCN Awards

Ten public sector IT systems, including federal projects to expand digital services to users on global scale as well as local government apps designed to streamline citizens’ online experiences, were named winners of the 2015 GCN Awards for IT excellence.

The winning projects range from a cloud-based system that enables Utah state financial managers to turn around fiscal analytics at warp speed, to a Homeland Security Department program that taps the cloud to provide forensics data on the fly to investigators of child sexual abuse.

This year the GCN judges chose a record five projects from state and local agencies, reflecting a “rising level of innovation” in that sector, said Alan Shark, executive director of Public Technology Inc., one of eight judges of this year’s awards.

The judging panel also included Defense Department CIO Terry Halvorsen, NASA CIO Deborah Diaz, Army CIO G/6 Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, Federal Communications Commission CIO David Bray, NASA Deputy CIO Renee Wynn, Karen Evans, National Director of the U.S. Cyber Challenge and David Garcia, Secretary of Technology for the state of Maryland.

The winning projects and their teams will be featured in the October issue of GCN and honored at the GCN Awards Gala at the Ritz Carlton, Tyson’s Corner, Va., on Oct. 14.

Here are the 2015 GCN Award winners, followed by a list five honorable mentions also selected by the judges.

1. Biomedical Research Informatics Computing System
National Institutes of Health

The NIH’s Biomedical Research Information System (BRICS) program backed a set of basic principles – including a push for open source, data reusability and scalability – to create a system of global networks that is now helping biomedical researchers collect, categorize and securely transfer research datasets on a global basis. BRICS supports “a vast network of  disease knowledge,” say supporters of the program and, “made a difference in the acceleration of research.”

2. Child Care Fraud Detection Solution
Los Angeles County

When Los Angeles County faced increases of fraudulent claims in a state program providing assistance to families with minor children, it built a data mining system to track fraudsters.  The solution generates predictive models and social network analysis to detect those likely to commit fraud. Now when a fraud referral comes in, it takes seconds to confirm a suspect’s address, a routine that used to take up to 90 days.

3. eDIVO Mobile App
Department of the Navy 

Navy lieutenants Charlie Hymen and John Harry, junior officers facing their first sea tour, approached the Navy Sea Warrior Program for help developing a mobile app to help sailors get the information they need to do their jobs while on board ship. In seven months, the team developed eDIVO, an app that consolidates over 8,300 pages of information, saving junior officers significant time and reducing distractions, according to the Navy. In the first month after its release,  eDIVO was downloaded over 10,000 times.

4. FBI Next Generation Identification System
Department of Justice

Last September the FBI announced “full operational capability” of its Next Generation Identification System,  designed to sharpen the accuracy and speed of its fingerprint analysis systems. With NGI, the number of fingerprint transcactions has risen from 62,500 to 200,000 transactions a day, and print accuracy jumped from 92 percent to 99.6 percent.

5. Fiscal Note Agency Response System

State of Utah

During its six-week legislative sessions, Utah’s fiscal analysts are required to deliver a “fiscal note” analyzing the financial impact of the more than 1,100 newly proposed bills on the state’s 120 agencies. To manage the deadline flurry, the Office of Fiscal Legislative Analysts built an online tool that captures financial changes for each bill for analysts to review. The system is now "a cakewalk,” according to one Utah analyst.

6. Global Combat Support System
Department of the Army

The goal of the Army’s Global Combat Support System is to provide a single view of the entire logistics posture of Army units that is available anywhere, anytime. It’s a tall order: GCSS-Army represents the largest enterprise resource planning deployment in Army history, offering a go-to platform for all logistical supply, tactical and financial systems. The logistical colossus will absorb 40,000 systems for over 154,000 Army users inside and outside the United States.

7. National Child Victim Identification Program
Department of Homeland Security

The VIP program helps government investigators stay ahead of an epidemic of child sexual abuse and exploitation in the United States. Using new data filtering systems and a cloud-based archive holding petabytes of data, law enforcement agents can download the latest evidence on particular cases and abusers. So far, VIP has led to the rescue of over 350 child victims and increased criminal arrests by 67 percent and convictions by 55 percent.

8. Non-Emergency Contact Center
City of Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s 311 solution is not an everyday customer relationship management system. Philly311 expands citizen access to services via an “omni channel” of telephone, mobile and social media. In turn, the CRM platform generates data to give city agencies and service departments digital feedback, including data for budget allocations and requests for staff and equipment increases.

9. Pennsylvania Treasury Transformation Project
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Treasury Department took advantage of a 2008 mainframe failure to reassemble a portfolio of business systems and services, transforming the financial agency into a modern computing center serving all state agencies and departments. 

10. Swipe to Donate Life Program
Ohio Department of Public Safety

When Ohio’s Department of Public Safety wanted to identify the number of potential organ donors in its state, it faced a barrier to registering them: people didn’t want to take the time to complete a paper form listing their personal information. The state’s IT office built an interface for a card swipe reader that could be attached to a mobile device. When a driver’s license is swiped, the information auto-populates an online form. Now the only data potential donors need to enter is the last four digits of their Social Security numbers.

Honorable Mentions

Communications Facility for Southwest Asia Theater
Department of the Army

The Army built a state-of-the-art $50 million, 20,000 square foot communications hub in Kuwait, providing improved command, control, communications across 20 countries in Southwest Asia.

En Route Automation Modernization Platform
Federal Aviation Administration

The ERAM program replaces four legacy systems used in today's air traffic control centers, reducing hardware operating and support costs and streamlining aircraft traffic management and control.

Next Generation Network & Security Program
Fairfax County, Va.

An ambitious program modernizes the county’s enterprise network to handle the demands for high bandwidth, throughput and security for future technologies.  

Purchase Card Analytics Program
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS

A creative approach applies in-house statistical and analytical capabilities to purchase-card data in order to detect and deter potential fraud.

Web Modernization and Open Data Project
New Jersey Department of Health 

New Jersey moved more than 173 functions generating $12 million in online revenue to a new website designed to optimize customer experience.


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