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Overview

Overview


During the 2021 Legislative Session, Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature directed, and provided funding for, the Florida Department of Commerce (COM) to undertake a sustainable, continuous modernization effort of the Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System to implement immediate system performance and functional improvement needs while positioning DEO with an integrated, modular, cloud-based system that is secure, scalable, and sustainable.

The Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program includes approximately 20 projects which are grouped into the following categories: infrastructure, software, data and analytics, and security. These initiatives address the immediate need to improve performance and usability of the Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System while also establishing the architectural framework and processes necessary to implement future business process and technology changes efficiently and effectively.

These initiatives take place over two years and set a solid foundation for ongoing modernization efforts to further improve the delivery of Reemployment Assistance services to Floridians and coordination with workforce partners to empower Floridians through career development activities.

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Roadmap

Roadmap


December 2023:

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Program_Roadmap

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December 2022:


DEO updated the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program Journey and Program Roadmap to reflect progress made in Fiscal Year 2021-2022, and to incorporate scope refinements made to several projects, including Identity and Access Management, Master Data Management and Interoperability, Archival and Purge, SDLC DevOps, Rules Engine, and SOA and API Layer. Additionally, one project, Security Architecture Audit, was deferred to continuous modernization as a post-roadmap project. These scope refinements will help provide focus for the Incremental Customer Experience/User Experience Mobile-Responsive Transformation project.

2023.01.03 Journey

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Roadmap

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July 2022:

DEO updated the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program Roadmap to reflect revised project schedules. Due to a national staffing challenge, Project Managers were not secured for several weeks after the initial forecasted start date for the Identity and Access Management (IAM), SOA and API Layer, and Master Data Management and Interoperability projects. Additionally, the IAM project scope was expanded to include tools and services to enhance System security and user oversight. The SOA and API Layer project scope was also expanded to include an additional interface to relieve stress on the System, enhancing System performance. The additional scope and extended timeline for these projects are not anticipated to impact the overall Program timeline.


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April 2022:

DEO updated the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program Roadmap to reflect revised start dates for three projects. The dependency of the Cloud Application Performance Management project on the Cloud Migration project has resulted in a revised start date to July 2022 from January 2022. This ensures all applications are migrated to the cloud before performance management activities commence. The .NET and ORM Upgrade project end date will be extended from May to October 2022 accommodate the volume of necessary code base changes that are required to complete the ORM portion of the project. A target schedule has been developed that allows the Department to balance both System and staffing capacity to execute the ORM upgrade. The .NET portion of the project is anticipated to be complete in May 2022, as scheduled. Lastly, the Archive and Purge project will be moved up in schedule, from July to April 2022. The initial ISF Roadmap did not contemplate the amount of time this project’s initiation and planning activities would require. To minimize Program impacts, the Department will leverage available staffing and begin project initiation, planning, and required research and analysis earlier than originally forecasted.

Program-Roadmap

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March 2022:

DEO updated the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program Roadmap to accurately demonstrate the scope of projects that were originally forecast to only include a procurement. Revisions include depicting start and end dates for the Strategic Planning Office, Independent Validation & Verification, and Systems and Software Integration projects to reflect that each of these projects also include activities that will take place for the duration of the Program, in addition to a procurement for services.

January 2022:

DEO updated the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program Roadmap to accurately demonstrate the Department’s progress. Revisions include depicting start and end dates that occurred before or after the originally forecasted start and end dates, either due to national staffing challenges or the intentional alignment of specific projects with strategic procurements.

Program-Roadmap

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November 2021:

DEO refreshed the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program Roadmap.

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February 2021:

The ISF Final Report for Improved Delivery of Reemployment Assistance Benefits provided DEO a suggested Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program Roadmap to further outline the process to modernize the state’s Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System.


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Updates

Updates

November 2023:

  • The System and Software Integration (SSI) project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.
    • Upon termination of the contract with the CX/UX Contractor, the Contractor responsible for performing system and software integration began working with the Department to identify deliverables that would need to be modified to align with the new CX/UX product, analyze its contract and prepare draft contract amendment language to support the implementation of the new CX/UX product, and ensure its team's experts were aligned with the new CX/UX product.
  • The Adjudication Workflow Management project will help automate the assignment of adjudication cases to adjudicators and eliminate a manual process. This project addresses one of the recommendations made during the Business Process Optimization project that was closed during the two-year Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program Roadmap.
    • This reporting period, business requirements were finalized and approved, and meetings were held to discuss the approach to implementing the project, such as developing the solution in-house or leveraging the services from a third-party vendor to augment an existing workflow management solution.
  • The ChatBot project includes providing Reemployment Assistance claimants an additional self-service option to gain answers to frequently asked questions and claim-specific information without requiring a call to the Reemployment Assistance Contact Center. This allows more time for Contact Center agents to assist individuals with more complex issues, including those with barriers such as access to a computer.
    • This reporting period, a contract was executed with the vendor and a kick-ff was held.
    • An initial draft of the Project Schedule was developed.
  • The Rules Catalog project is designed to further enhance the Department’s documentation for Reconnect by capturing all the rules that govern the administration of the Reemployment Assistance program. This project will add information about the complexity of each business rule, which will aid the Department in forecasting the need for implementing a Business Rules Engine as Reconnect is further modularized.
    • Out of the 12,591 business rules that govern the Reemployment Assistance program, the relative complexity for 2,267 rules was analyzed in October, bringing the total number of analyzed rules to 11,754.
  • The Appeals Workflow Management project is designed to implement new features and address functionality that is not currently working to streamline the Appeals workflow that is used by Department staff to conduct Appeals hearings and issue determinations. This will eliminate manual processes and expedite the Appeals process.
    • Following the identification of all Appeals-related tickets last month, this reporting period, project documents were drafted and circulated for approval, including the Project Schedule, Project Management Plan, and Business Case.
  • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.
    • On October 5, 2023, the Department terminated for convenience its contract with Strategic Cloud Communications, which was the vendor responsible for the CX/UX project. To uphold the Department's commitment to delivering a mobile-responsive user interface for Reemployment Assistance claimants, the Department swiftly initiated work with an existing vendor to design, develop, test, and implement a mobile-responsive user interface that is available 24/7, accessible on mobile devices as well as a computer, and offers plain language for an improved user experience.
    • As of the writing of this report, FloridaCommerce has already initiated work with the existing vendor to identify and prioritize enhancements to the existing mobile-responsive user interface that will reduce the time it takes to file a Reemployment Assistance claim by reducing the number of questions in the initial claims application, creating drop-down menus to standardize responses, applying plain language, and adding the ability to upload documents directly in the interface.
  • The Document Imaging System project is designed to remove the manual processes that are required for the Department to process physical mail and faxed documents claimants and employers submit for their Reemployment Assistance claim by automatically attaching these documents, once scanned, to the correct claim in Reconnect so that claims can be processed efficiently and accurately.
    • The Department met with other state agencies to understand which scanning and indexing technologies they used and researched their contracts to understand cost structure for this type of technology.
    • The Department conducted demonstrations with three vendors to gain a better understanding of what technology options are available in the marketplace that suit the Reemployment Assistance program's needs.
  • The Reporting project includes migrating all Reemployment Assistance reports from Reconnect to the Data Warehouse and developing and validating all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports. The data warehouse provides the Department with standardized data and reduces the need for staff intervention for future reporting activities.
    • For this reporting period, of the 379 reports in-scope for this project, 24 are complete, 52 are being developed and tested, 56 will be retired, and 247 have not yet been started.
  • The Product and Data Management project is designed to mature the Department’s data management, planning, and governance processes for Reemployment Assistance data to promote data sharing, interoperability, and reduce both the size of and costs affiliated with Reemployment Assistance’s data.
    • The Department's existing data catalog and date dictionary are being updated to include all databases and other data repositories that store Reemployment Assistance data and user it for data and analytics.

October 2023:

  • The System and Software Integration (SSI) project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.
    • The contractor continued preparing test cases to support integration testing; additional test cases are expected to be identified once the CX/UX contractor finalizes its development work. Integration testing of the mobile-responsive user interface is currently blocked and will commence once the CX/UX contractor completes their development and System testing activities.
    • The contractor has initiated daily testing progress reports to measure the CX/UX contractor’s progress and monitor their test results. As of the writing of this report, 93% of test cases have been executed with a 92% pass rate.
  • The Adjudication Workflow Management project will help automate the assignment of adjudication cases to adjudicators and eliminate a manual process. This project addresses one of the recommendations made during the Business Process Optimization project that was closed during the two-year Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program Roadmap.
    • This reporting period, business requirements were defined, the project charter was completed, and the Project Management Plan was drafted.
  • The ChatBot project includes providing Reemployment Assistance claimants an additional self-service option to gain answers to frequently asked questions and claim-specific information without requiring a call to the Reemployment Assistance Contact Center. This allows more time for Contact Center agents to assist individuals with more complex issues, including those with barriers such as access to a computer.
    • The Department finalized its decision about the technology that will be used to implement the ChatBot feature and is working with the Department of Management Services to execute a contract for this technology.
  • The Rules Catalog project is designed to further enhance the Department’s documentation for Reconnect by capturing all the rules that govern the administration of the Reemployment Assistance program. This project will add information about the complexity of each business rule, which will aid the Department in forecasting the need for implementing a Business Rules Engine as Reconnect is further modularized.
    • Out of the 12,591 business rules that govern the Reemployment Assistance program, the relative complexity for 2,794 rules was analyzed in September, bringing the total number of analyzed rules to 9,487.
  • The Appeals Workflow Management project is designed to implement new features and address functionality that is not currently working to streamline the Appeals workflow that is used by Department staff to conduct Appeals hearings and issue determinations. This will eliminate manual processes and expedite the Appeals process.
    • Approximately half of the Appeals-related tickets have been reviewed and flagged for prioritization.
  • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.
    • Timely deliverable submission and deliverable quality remain a concern with the mobile-responsive user interface contractor, and the interface did not go-live on July 1, 2023, as originally planned. The Department continues to meet daily with both the prime and subcontractor to increase accountability and provide specific feedback about aligning the deliverables with the contract. The Department has also required greater communication from the contractor about its progress on completing product development, and the progress they are making in both identifying and resolving defects. The prime and subcontractor are focusing their design and development on the initial Reemployment Assistance claims application only, as the application for Disaster Unemployment Assistance will require additional development that was not originally accounted for by the prime and subcontractor.
    • The mobile-responsive user interface contractor has provided an updated schedule, which forecasted approximately 18 additional months of work would be needed to launch the mobile-responsive user interface as originally planned. The contractor estimated the potential launch of the product would be delayed to February 2024 rather than September 2023, which would include approximately one-sixth of the functionality required in the contract.
  • The Document Imaging System project is designed to remove the manual processes that are required for the Department to process physical mail and faxed documents claimants and employers submit for their Reemployment Assistance claim by automatically attaching these documents, once scanned, to the correct claim in Reconnect so that claims can be processed efficiently and accurately.
    • The Department is evaluating technology options that best suit the project’s goals, including leveraging and building off of an existing technology that is used to scan and index documents received by the Department via mail or fax.
    • Two vendor demonstrations were provided this reporting period.
  • The Reporting project includes migrating all Reemployment Assistance reports from Reconnect to the Data Warehouse and developing and validating all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports. The data warehouse provides the Department with standardized data and reduces the need for staff intervention for future reporting activities.
    • For this reporting period, of the 379 reports in-scope for this project, 21 are complete, 46 are being developed and tested, 43 will be retired, and 289 have not yet been started.
  • The Product and Data Management project is designed to mature the Department’s data management, planning, and governance processes for Reemployment Assistance data to promote data sharing, interoperability, and reduce both the size of and costs affiliated with Reemployment Assistance’s data.
    • The project kick-off was held, and additional planning documents are on hold while the Department refines the project scope and incremental implementation of master data management for all Reemployment Assistance data elements, repositories, and use cases.

September 2023:

  • The System and Software Integration (SSI) project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.
    • The contractor continued preparing test cases to support integration testing; additional test cases are expected to be identified once the CX/UX contractor finalizes its development work.  Integration testing of the mobile-responsive user interface is currently blocked and will commence once the CX/UX contractor completes their development and System testing activities.
    • The contractor has initiated daily testing progress reports to measure the CX/UX contractor’s progress and monitor their test results. As of the writing of this report, 85 percent of test cases have been executed with a 73 percent pass rate.
  • The Adjudication Workflow Management project will help automate the assignment of adjudication cases to adjudicators and eliminate a manual process. This project addresses one of the recommendations made during the Business Process Optimization project that was closed during the two-year Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program Roadmap.
    • The project kick-off was held August 14, 2023.
    • Project initiation activities are underway, including finalizing a project charter and scope.
  • The ChatBot project includes providing Reemployment Assistance claimants an additional self-service option to gain answers to frequently asked questions and claim-specific information without requiring a call to the Reemployment Assistance Contact Center. This allows more time for Contact Center agents to assist individuals with more complex issues, including those with barriers such as access to a computer.
    • The Department finalized its decision about the technology that will be used to implement the ChatBot feature and is working with the Department of Management Services to execute a contract for this technology.
  • The Rules Catalog project is designed to further enhance the Department’s documentation for Reconnect by capturing all the rules that govern the administration of the Reemployment Assistance program. This project will add information about the complexity of each business rule, which will aid the Department in forecasting the need for implementing a Business Rules Engine as Reconnect is further modularized.
    • Out of the 12,591 business rules that govern the Reemployment Assistance program, the relative complexity for 1,158 rules was analyzed, bringing the total number of analyzed rules to 6,693.
  • The Appeals Workflow Management project is designed to implement new features and address functionality that is not currently working to streamline the Appeals workflow that is used by Department staff to conduct Appeals hearings and issue determinations. This will eliminate manual processes and expedite the Appeals process.
    • The project scope was established, the project charter was drafted, and the project team was assembled during this reporting period.
    • Appeals-related tickets are being reviewed and flagged for prioritization.
  • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.
    • Timely deliverable submission and deliverable quality remain a concern with the mobile-responsive user interface contractor, and the interface did not go-live on July 1, 2023, as originally planned. The Department continues to meet daily with both the prime and subcontractor to increase accountability and provide specific feedback about aligning the deliverables with the contract. The Department has also required greater communication from the contractor about its progress on completing product development, and the progress they are making in both identifying and resolving defects. The prime and subcontractor are focusing their design and development on the initial Reemployment Assistance claims application only, as the application for Disaster Unemployment Assistance will require additional development that was not originally accounted for by the prime and subcontractor.
  • The Document Imaging System project is designed to remove the manual processes that are required for the Department to process physical mail and faxed documents claimants and employers submit for their Reemployment Assistance claim by automatically attaching these documents, once scanned, to the correct claim in Reconnect so that claims can be processed efficiently and accurately.
    • The project kick-off was held, and the project charter was drafted.
    • The Department is evaluating technology options that best suit the project’s goals, including leveraging and building off of an existing technology that is used to scan and index documents received by the Department via mail or fax.
  • The Reporting project includes migrating all Reemployment Assistance reports from Reconnect to the Data Warehouse and developing and validating all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports. The data warehouse provides the Department with standardized data and reduces the need for staff intervention for future reporting activities.
    • The project kick-off was held, and a comprehensive list of the reports to be produced in the Data Warehouse were identified. The list of reports includes several reports that will be evaluated for retirement, which may alter the project scope.
    • Project initiation documents are behind schedule and will be finalized in the next few reporting periods, as the reports included in the documents may change as reports are identified for retirement.
  • The Product and Data Management project is designed to mature the Department’s data management, planning, and governance processes for Reemployment Assistance data to promote data sharing, interoperability, and reduce both the size of and costs affiliated with Reemployment Assistance’s data.
    • The project kick-off was held, and additional planning documents are on hold while the Department refines the project scope and incremental implementation of master data management for all Reemployment Assistance data elements, repositories, and use cases.

July 2023:

  • The Cloud Migration project includes transitioning the System from operating on hardware stored on-premise to a cloud-based environment to ensure all aspects of the System are available to users during periods of high demand for continuous claims processing, including both web-based and call center services.
    • The Department launched its Virtual Hold technology in the last reporting period and has already seen a noticeable drop in the average wait time in the Reemployment Assistance Contact Center. Virtual Hold technology allows claimants to “hold” their place in line if there is a wait to speak with a live agent in the Reemployment Assistance Contact Center and receive a call-back. This technology helps reduce the average amount of time a claimant would wait while “on hold” and will also reduce the Department’s Contact Center costs, which are tied to usage minutes.
    • The Visual Interactive Voice Response technology vendor continues to work with DEO and has completed testing functionality that will be used to enhance the Department’s existing Customer Call Center technology and provide additional self-service options for Reemployment Assistance claimants. The application of new branding and plain language is undergoing review and approval. An early August deployment is anticipated.
    • The Department continued development of ChatBot technology this reporting period, including the development of plain language for System users. ChatBot development work is complete; however, the Department was informed during testing that a software upgrade would be required before the end of the calendar year to continue utilizing this feature. The Department identified an option for this type of self-service and anticipates implementation will commence in the next reporting period.
  • The Rules Engine project includes utilizing a software tool that serves as a separate infrastructure environment for managing and executing business rules that govern how Reemployment Assistance claims are processed. Business rules that are currently operating within the System will be moved to the rules engine. By using a rules engine to manage and operate business rules, specifically those rules that are updated periodically to accommodate changes in state or federal law, the Department gains staff efficiency and helps support System performance. A rules engine is more user-friendly and does not require System code changes, which means information technology staff can be repurposed for larger, more complex System enhancements and business rule changes can be deployed faster. Additionally, because the rules engine operates in a separate infrastructure environment, it allows for increased System performance.
    • The Department successfully developed an initial catalog of business rules that will be used to develop a continuous modernization plan for the business rules engine. The catalog identifies all business rules that govern the administration of the Reemployment Assistance program, the number of times each rule has changed, and the date(s) each rule has changed.
    • In continuous modernization, the Department will further enhance the catalog so that it includes the relative complexity of each rule.
  • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO) project equips the Department with standards, governance, and project management services for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program, and oversees the Program’s scope, schedule, and budget to promote accountability and alignment with Department priorities.
    • This project was successfully closed out in June 2023; however, the Strategic Planning Office (SPO) will continue providing overall Program and project management support throughout continuous modernization.
  • The Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) project includes leveraging an independent third-party consultant to provide objective and proactive risk identification and assessment to the Department. Observations and risks identified by the consultant are used by the Department to implement the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and any necessary mitigating strategies.
    • This project was successfully closed out in June 2023; however, IV&V services will continue to be provided throughout continuous modernization.
    • In the previous reporting period, the Department advertised a Request for Quote for IV&V services for ongoing modernization. The Department selected and executed a contract with Gartner, Inc.
  • The System and Software Integration (SSI) project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.
    • The contractor completed testing the existing System’s initial claims functionality to validate the existing System did not have underlying functional issues that could interfere with the future deployment of the mobile-responsive user interface.
    • The contractor has initiated daily testing progress reports to measure the CX/UX contractor’s progress and monitor their test results.
    • The contractor is monitoring the CX/UX contractor’s progress with entering requirements identification numbers into the testing tool to monitor traceability between the requirements and the mobile-responsive user interface solution being developed.
    • The SSI identified test cases for integration testing; however, additional test cases are expected to be identified once the CX/UX contractor finalizes its development work. Integration testing of the mobile-responsive user interface is currently blocked, and will commence once the CX/UX contractor completes their development and System testing activities.
    • Two deliverables, 21 and 22, have been submitted for Department review.
  • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.
    • The Department successfully launched the new Reconnect brand and color scheme across the entire existing System and applied plain language to the existing System’s initial claims application last reporting period. This is a significant accomplishment; prior to the modernization effort, a lack of plain language was one of the primary concerns expressed by claimants. The Department continues to work with its communications contractor to develop additional plain language that will be applied incrementally to the System’s existing screens.
    • Timely deliverable submission and deliverable quality remain a concern with the mobile-responsive user interface contractor, and the interface did not go-live on July 1, 2023, as originally planned. The Department continues to meet daily with both the prime and subcontractor to increase accountability and provide specific feedback about aligning the deliverables with the contract. The Department has also required greater communication from the contractor about its progress on completing product development, and the progress they are making in both identifying and resolving defects. The prime and subcontractor are focusing their design and development on the initial Reemployment Assistance claims application only, as the application for Disaster Unemployment Assistance will require additional development that was not originally accounted for by the prime and subcontractor.
  • The Archival and Purge project establishes a process for archiving and purging appropriate Reemployment Assistance data. These activities will reduce the Department’s data storage costs and greatly impact the efficiency and stability of the System, because it will purge any data that is no longer required to be maintained by the Department and allow for the secure storage in a separate environment of any data that the Department must maintain according to the state’s records retention schedule.
    • A Request for Information was advertised to help inform the Department if a suitable technology tool for archiving and purging data exists in the marketplace.
    • This project was successfully closed out in June 2023; however, continuous modernization efforts will support the archival and purging of data from the existing System database.
  • The Identity and Access Management project includes updating all Departmental identity management and access control policies and implementing enhanced front-end security measures to authenticate System users. These efforts ensure the individuals who have access to the System are provided the appropriate amount of access for their need.
    • This project was successfully closed out in June 2023.
  • The Security Architecture Audit project includes a technical audit that will be provided by an independent third-party to review and test all technical aspects of the System for improved System security.
    • This project has been deferred to post-modernization.

June 2023:

  • The Cloud Migration project includes transitioning the System from operating on hardware stored on-premise to a cloud-based environment to ensure all aspects of the System are available to users during periods of high demand for continuous claims processing, including both web-based and call center services.
    • Following the migration of the System to the cloud, several issues were identified that impacted Department staff and claimants, such as the Appeals Unit’s ability to schedule Appeals hearings and properly access and redact appeals documentation, which resulted in 12 defect tickets being logged. The Department has resolved all defects this reporting period.
    • The Department will continue testing its Virtual Hold technology and anticipates a go-live in late June 2023. Virtual Hold technology allows claimants to “hold” their place in line if there is a wait to speak with a live agent in the Reemployment Assistance Contact Center and receive a call-back. This technology helps reduce the average amount of time a claimant would wait while “on hold” and will also reduce the Department’s Contact Center costs, which are tied to usage minutes.
    • The Visual Interactive Voice Response technology vendor continues to work with DEO and is currently testing functionality that will be used to enhance the Department’s existing Customer Call Center technology and provide additional self-service options for Reemployment Assistance claimants. The application of new branding and plain language is undergoing review and approval. A late June deployment is anticipated.
    • The Department continued development of ChatBot technology this reporting period, including the development of plain language for System users. ChatBot development work is complete; however, the Department was informed during testing that a software upgrade would be required before the end of the calendar year to continue utilizing this feature. The Department confirmed this will impact the forecasted May deployment date. The Department is researching all options for this type of self-service, including costs, and will select a new technology by the next reporting period.
  • The Rules Engine project includes utilizing a software tool that serves as a separate infrastructure environment for managing and executing business rules that govern how Reemployment Assistance claims are processed. Business rules that are currently operating within the System will be moved to the rules engine. By using a rules engine to manage and operate business rules, specifically those rules that are updated periodically to accommodate changes in state or federal law, the Department gains staff efficiency and helps support System performance. A rules engine is more user-friendly and does not require System code changes, which means information technology staff can be repurposed for larger, more complex System enhancements and business rule changes can be deployed faster. Additionally, because the rules engine operates in a separate infrastructure environment, it allows for increased System performance.
    • The Department continues working to develop an initial catalog of business rules that will be used to develop a continuous modernization plan for the business rules engine. The catalog will identify all business rules that govern the administration of the Reemployment Assistance program, the number of times each rule has changed, the date(s) each rule has changed, the relative complexity of each rule, and determine if there is need for a business rules engine. This is a labor-intensive process that is anticipated to be complete in June 2023.
  • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO) project equips the Department with standards, governance, and project management services for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program, and oversees the Program’s scope, schedule, and budget to promote accountability and alignment with Department priorities.
    • The SPO continues to provide overall Program and project management support.
  • The Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) project includes leveraging an independent third-party consultant to provide objective and proactive risk identification and assessment to the Department. Observations and risks identified by the consultant are used by the Department to implement the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and any necessary mitigating strategies.
    • IV&V continues to attend various Department meetings to support Program and project oversight.
    • The Department's current contract for IV&V services expires June 30, 2023, and the Department is preparing an advertisement to reprocure for these services effective July 1, 2023.
  • The System and Software Integration (SSI) project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.
    • The Department initiated executive-level planning for the business needs strategy to help prioritize continuous modernization activities.
    • The SSI finalized use test cases and requirements.
    • The contractor's Testing Manager has been onboarded and has initiated test planning activities.
    • The SSI and CX/UX vendors are working with the Department to develop performance requirements that document how the modernized System must behave.
  • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.
    • Timely deliverable submission and deliverable quality remain a concern. The Department meets daily with both the prime and subcontractor to increase accountability and provide specific feedback about aligning the deliverables with the contract. The Department continues to evaluate impacts to the overall Program timeline; however, without a detailed project schedule, it is difficult to forecast additional delays to the technology implementation timeline. If continued delays are realized, it would increase the likelihood of postponing a July 2023 launch of the new mobile-responsive user interface. The prime and subcontractor are focusing their design and development on the initial Reemployment Assistance claims application only.
    • The Communications contractors have complete developing plain language for in-scope claimant-facing screens and continues developing plain language for the next phase of the mobile-responsive user interface, which focuses on appeals. Additionally, steady progress is being made toward stakeholder outreach and engagement.
  • The Archival and Purge project establishes a process for archiving and purging appropriate Reemployment Assistance data. These activities will reduce the Department’s data storage costs and greatly impact the efficiency and stability of the System, because it will purge any data that is no longer required to be maintained by the Department and allow for the secure storage in a separate environment of any data that the Department must maintain according to the state’s records retention schedule.
    • A Request for Information has been developed to help inform the Department if a suitable technology tool for archiving and purging data exists in the marketplace and is anticipated to be posted in the next reporting period.
    • Detailed archive and purge data requirements are being developed to support the current project and continuous modernization efforts to support the archival and purging of data from the existing System database.
  • The Identity and Access Management project includes updating all Departmental identity management and access control policies and implementing enhanced front-end security measures to authenticate System users. These efforts ensure the individuals who have access to the System are provided the appropriate amount of access for their need.
    • Ernst & Young has completed seven deliverables.
  • The Security Architecture Audit project includes a technical audit that will be provided by an independent third-party to review and test all technical aspects of the System for improved System security.
    • This project has been deferred to post-modernization.

May 2023:

  • The Cloud Migration project includes transitioning the System from operating on hardware stored on-premise to a cloud-based environment to ensure all aspects of the System are available to users during periods of high demand for continuous claims processing, including both web-based and call center services.

    • Following the migration of the System to the cloud, several issues were identified that impacted Department staff and claimants, such as the Appeals Unit’s ability to schedule Appeals hearings and properly access and redact appeals documentation, which resulted in 12 defect tickets being logged. The Department has resolved 11 of these defects and continues to evaluate how to resolve the final defect. More information will be provided by the next reporting period.

    • The Visual Interactive Voice Response technology vendor continues to work with DEO, and is currently testing functionality that will be used to enhance the Department’s existing Customer Call Center technology and provide additional self-service options for Reemployment Assistance claimants.

    • The Department continued development of ChatBot technology this reporting period, including the development of plain language for System users. ChatBot development work is complete and is undergoing testing; however, the Department was informed that a software upgrade would be required before the end of the calendar year to continue utilizing this feature, which may impact the forecasted May deployment date. The Department is researching all options for this type of self-service, including costs, and will provide more information in the next reporting period.

  • The Rules Engine project includes utilizing a software tool that serves as a separate infrastructure environment for managing and executing business rules that govern how Reemployment Assistance claims are processed. Business rules that are currently operating within the System will be moved to the rules engine. By using a rules engine to manage and operate business rules, specifically those rules that are updated periodically to accommodate changes in state or federal law, the Department gains staff efficiency and helps support System performance. A rules engine is more user-friendly and does not require System code changes, which means information technology staff can be repurposed for larger, more complex System enhancements and business rule changes can be deployed faster. Additionally, because the rules engine operates in a separate infrastructure environment, it allows for increased System performance.

    • The Department continues working to develop an initial catalog of business rules that will be used to develop a continuous modernization plan for the business rules engine. The catalog will identify all business rules that govern the administration of the Reemployment Assistance program, the number of times each rule has changed, the date(s) each rule has changed, the relative complexity of each rule, and determine if there is need for a business rules engine.

  • SOA and API Layer project will help promote a more efficient System by creating a layer between various components of the System that serves as the messenger for all data exchanges. This layer helps prevent a downturn in System performance by offloading demand on the System.

    • The SOA and API Layer software project has been complete; however, all remaining activities that will connect the System with the new mobile-responsive user interface will be tracked as part of the Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project.

  • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO) project equips the Department with standards, governance, and project management services for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program, and oversees the Program’s scope, schedule, and budget to promote accountability and alignment with Department priorities.

    • The SPO continues to provide overall Program and project management support.

  • The Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) project includes leveraging an independent third-party consultant to provide objective and proactive risk identification and assessment to the Department. Observations and risks identified by the consultant are used by the Department to implement the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and any necessary mitigating strategies.

    • IV&V continues to attend various Department meetings to support the Program and project oversight.

  • The System and Software Integration (SSI) project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.

    • The Department executed a contract amendment to add a Test Manager and testing team to support developing test cases and provide a level of coordination across the various testing activities and team, a business needs strategy to help prioritize continuous modernization.

    • The SSI is actively working with Department Subject Matter Experts to finalize use test cases and requirements.

    • The SSI and CX/UX vendors are working with the Department to develop performance requirements that document how the modernized System must behave.

  • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.

    • Timely deliverable submission and deliverable quality remain a concern. The Department meets daily with both the prime and subcontractor to increase accountability and provide specific feedback about aligning the deliverables with the contract. The Department continues to evaluate impacts to the overall Program timeline; however, without a detailed project schedule, it is difficult to forecast additional delays to the technology implementation timeline. If delays are realized, it would increase the likelihood of postponing a July 2023 launch of the new mobile-responsive user interface. The prime and subcontractor are focusing their design and development on the initial Reemployment Assistance claims application and the application for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

  • The Archival and Purge project establishes a process for archiving and purging appropriate Reemployment Assistance data. These activities will reduce the Department’s data storage costs and greatly impact the efficiency and stability of the System, because it will purge any data that is no longer required to be maintained by the Department and allow for the secure storage in a separate environment of any data that the Department must maintain according to the state’s records retention schedule.

    • AA Request for Information has been developed to help inform the Department if a suitable technology tool for archiving and purging data exists in the marketplace and is currently being reviewed internally before advertisement.

    • Detailed archive and purge data requirements are being developed to support the current project and continuous modernization efforts to support the archival and purging of data from the existing System database.

  • The Identity and Access Management project includes updating all Departmental identity management and access control policies and implementing enhanced front-end security measures to authenticate System users. These efforts ensure the individuals who have access to the System are provided the appropriate amount of access for their need.

    • Ernst & Young has completed three deliverables and has submitted two more for the Department’s review.

  • The Security Architecture Audit project includes a technical audit that will be provided by an independent third-party to review and test all technical aspects of the System for improved System security.

    • This project has been deferred to post-modernization.

March 2023:

  • The Cloud Migration project includes transitioning the System from operating on hardware stored on-premise to a cloud-based environment to ensure all aspects of the System are available to users during periods of high demand for continuous claims processing, including both web-based and call center services.

    • The Digital Appeals Recording Solution (DARS) was also successfully deployed into a cloud-based environment in February 2023. DARS enables the Department to record appeals hearings, which provides due process to employers, third-party administrators, and claimants who have filed an appeal on a Reemployment Assistance claim.

    • The Visual Interactive Voice Response technology vendor continues to work with DEO to develop business and technology requirements that will be used to enhance the Department’s existing Customer Call Center technology and provide additional self-service options for Reemployment Assistance claimants. The Department is also working to develop plain language to support this functionality for System users.

    • The Department continued development of ChatBot technology this reporting period, including the development of plain language for System users. ChatBot development work is anticipated to commence following the implementation of DARS.

  • The Cloud Application Performance Management project includes utilizing a software tool that provides visibility into key System performance indicators, such as numbers of concurrent users, for System monitoring. The tool also allows the Department to set defined thresholds for performance and receive notification if remedial actions are needed to maintain System performance and prevent System downtime.

    • The Department successfully deployed the cloud version of the existing application performance management tool in February 2023.

  • The SDLC DevOps project includes improving documentation for the System, including application design documentation, artifacts, and dataflow diagrams. This helps establish a process that sets a standard for maintaining System documentation and planning the deployment of System enhancements that align and prioritize Reemployment Assistance program requirements with the System’s functionality.

    • The project was originally forecast to be complete in November 2022; however, the timeline was extended to February 2023 after the project closeout checklist identified System enhancement data in the current ticketing system was not completely migrated to the new ticketing system. This reporting period, the timeline was extended to March 2023 to support deficiencies identified during the migration process, including loss of all formatting across all data being migrated into the new ticketing system.

    • The Department also identified that an environment for User Acceptance Testing was not created during project execution. The Department corrected this deficiency, and the environment is being reviewed to ensure it acts as designed and once confirmed, training will be conducted so project managers can find data to confirm requirements have been met and are traceable.

  • The Rules Engine project includes utilizing a software tool that serves as a separate infrastructure environment for managing and executing business rules that govern how Reemployment Assistance claims are processed. Business rules that are currently operating within the System will be moved to the rules engine. By using a rules engine to manage and operate business rules, specifically those rules that are updated periodically to accommodate changes in state or federal law, the Department gains staff efficiency and helps support System performance. A rules engine is more user-friendly and does not require System code changes, which means information technology staff can be repurposed for larger, more complex System enhancements and business rule changes can be deployed faster. Additionally, because the rules engine operates in a separate infrastructure environment, it allows for increased System performance.

    • The Department executed a contract for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability.

    • The Department continues working to develop an initial catalog of business rules that will be used to develop a continuous modernization plan for the business rules engine. The catalog will identify all business rules that govern the administration of the Reemployment Assistance program, the number of times each rule has changed, the date(s) each rule has changed, the relative complexity of each rule, and determine if there is need for a business rules engine. This is a labor-intensive process that is anticipated to be complete in May 2023.

  • SOA and API Layer project will help promote a more efficient System by creating a layer between various components of the System that serves as the messenger for all data exchanges. This layer helps prevent a downturn in System performance by offloading demand on the System.

    • The Department executed a contract for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability.

    • This reporting period, the Department conducted sessions to discuss MuleSoft (the SOA and API Layer tool) best practices and architecture.

    • One deliverable, which provides interface design descriptions and integration specifications, was due February 18, 2023, but has not yet been provided to the Department. The Department is working closely with the prime and subcontractor to ensure work is being completed and deliverables will be submitted timely in the future.

  • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO) project equips the Department with standards, governance, and project management services for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program, and oversees the Program’s scope, schedule, and budget to promote accountability and alignment with Department priorities.

    • The SPO continues to provide overall Program and project management support.

  • The Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) project includes leveraging an independent third-party consultant to provide objective and proactive risk identification and assessment to the Department. Observations and risks identified by the consultant are used by the Department to implement the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and any necessary mitigating strategies.

    • IV&V continues to attend various Department meetings to support the Program and project oversight.

  • The System and Software Integration (SSI) project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.

    • The Department is working with the SSI contractor to execute a contract amendment to add a Test Manager to support developing test cases and provide a level of coordination across the various testing activities and team.

    • The SSI contractor drafted and submitted a Requirements Management Plan to the Department for review.

  • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.

    • The Department onboarded two senior project managers to replace the vacancies that were created earlier in the reporting period.

    • The Department executed a contract with Strategic Cloud Communications for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability.

    • Five deliverables, which include infrastructure, project management, and architectural information, are past due and have not yet been provided to the Department. The Department is working closely with the prime and subcontractor to ensure work is being completed and deliverables will be submitted timely in the future.

    • The Communications contractors continue to make steady progress toward developing plain language for in-scope claimant-facing screens; however, during a work session between the Department and the contractor, it was revealed that the existing System was underdeveloped more than what was previously realized. For example, several adjudication fact-finding efforts require manual processes because they are not developed to be conducted within the System.

    • The Communications contractors provided several options for updating the current System’s brand, including preliminary draft logos. These options will continue to be refined over the coming weeks to finalize the new brand.

  • The Reporting project includes migrating all System reports from the System to the Data Warehouse and developing and validating all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports. The data warehouse provides the Department with standardized data and reduces the need for staff intervention for future reporting activities.

    • Of the 39 reports in-scope for this project, 38 are complete. The final report is complete; however, the project is unable to be closed out until USDOL is able to accept the report from the Data Warehouse. DEO and USDOL are working together to submit the final report. DEO has extended the timeline for this project to March 2023; however, project closeout activities are underway.

  • The Archival and Purge project establishes a process for archiving and purging appropriate Reemployment Assistance data. These activities will reduce the Department’s data storage costs and greatly impact the efficiency and stability of the System, because it will purge any data that is no longer required to be maintained by the Department and allow for the secure storage in a separate environment of any data that the Department must maintain according to the state’s records retention schedule.

    • A Request for Information is being developed to help inform the Department if a suitable technology tool for archiving and purging data exists in the marketplace.

    • Detailed project requirements are being developed to support the current project and continuous modernization efforts to support the archival and purging of data from the existing System database.

  • The Master Data Management and Interoperability project focuses on creating a data catalog and data dictionary for the Department. These efforts promote data standardization and data sharing among information technology systems that exchange information with the Reemployment Assistance program.

    • A Business Glossary has been approved, and project closeout activities are underway. The project is anticipated to be closed out the first week of March 2023.

  • The Identity and Access Management project includes updating all Departmental identity management and access control policies and implementing enhanced front-end security measures to authenticate System users. These efforts ensure the individuals who have access to the System are provided the appropriate amount of access for their need.

    • The Department is nearing completion of contract negotiations for IAM services to achieve the goals and objectives identified in the iSF Report for the IAM project. It is anticipated a contract will be executed in March 2023.

  • The Security Architecture Audit project includes a technical audit that will be provided by an independent third-party to review and test all technical aspects of the System for improved System security.

    • This project has been deferred to post-modernization.

February 2023:

  • The Cloud Migration project includes transitioning the System from operating on hardware stored on-premise to a cloud-based environment to ensure all aspects of the System are available to users during periods of high demand for continuous claims processing, including both web-based and call center services.

    • The Department is migrating various components of the System into a cloud-hosted environment, including files, databases, applications, and environment infrastructure. In this reporting period, the Department remedied deficiencies identified during testing in December 2022, and successfully completed all items to begin performing final testing. The anticipated timeline to deploy the System was deferred to February 2023.
    • The Digital Appeals Recording Solution (DARS) vendor completed application development to deploy this technology in a cloud-hosted environment and is anticipated to be deployed in the cloud in February 2023. DARS enables the Department to record appeals hearings, which provides due process to employers, third-party administrators, and claimants who have filed an appeal on a Reemployment Assistance claim.
    • The Visual Interactive Voice Response technology vendor continues to develop business and technology requirements that will be used to enhance the Department’s existing Customer Call Center technology and provide additional self-service options for Reemployment Assistance claimants. The Department is also working to develop plain language to support this functionality for System users.
    • The Department continued development of ChatBot technology during this reporting period, including the development of plain language for System users. ChatBot development work is anticipated to commence following the implementation of DARS.
  • The Cloud Application Performance Management project includes utilizing a software tool that provides visibility into key System performance indicators, such as numbers of concurrent users, for System monitoring. The tool also allows the Department to set defined thresholds for performance and receive notification if remedial actions are needed to maintain System performance and prevent System downtime.

    • The Department installed the cloud version of the existing application performance management tool and testing has been initiated. Testing will be conducted for several months, and the tool is anticipated to be in production by February 2023.
  • The SDLC DevOps project includes improving documentation for the System, including application design documentation, artifacts, and dataflow diagrams. This helps establish a process that sets a standard for maintaining System documentation and planning the deployment of System enhancements that align and prioritize Reemployment Assistance program requirements with the System’s functionality.

    • The project was originally forecast to be complete in November 2022; however, the timeline was extended to February 2023 after the project closeout checklist identified System enhancement data in the current ticketing system was not completely migrated to the new ticketing system. Migration activities began in January 2023 and are anticipated to be complete in February 2023.
  • The Rules Engine project includes utilizing a software tool that serves as a separate infrastructure environment for managing and executing business rules that govern how Reemployment Assistance claims are processed. Business rules that are currently operating within the System will be moved to the rules engine. By using a rules engine to manage and operate business rules, specifically those rules that are updated periodically to accommodate changes in state or federal law, the Department gains staff efficiency and helps support System performance. A rules engine is more user-friendly and does not require System code changes, which means information technology staff can be repurposed for larger, more complex System enhancements and business rule changes can be deployed faster. Additionally, because the rules engine operates in a separate infrastructure environment, it allows for increased System performance. 

    • The Department is actively negotiating terms for a contract for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. Contract execution is anticipated in February 2023.
    • The Department continues working to develop an initial catalog of business rules that will be used to develop a continuous modernization plan for the business rules engine. The catalog will identity all business rules that govern the administration of the Reemployment Assistance program, the number of times each rule has changed, the date(s) each rule has changed, the relative complexity of each rule, and determine if there is a need for a business rules engine. This is a labor-intensive process that is anticipated to be complete in May 2023.
  • SOA and API Layer project will help promote a more efficient System by creating a layer between various components of the System that serves as the messenger for all data exchanges. This layer helps prevent a downturn in System performance by offloading demand on the System.

    • The Department is actively negotiating terms for a contract for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. Contract execution is anticipated in February 2023.
  • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO) project equips the Department with standards, governance, and project management services for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program, and oversees the Program’s scope, schedule, and budget to promote accountability and alignment with Department priorities.

    • The SPO continues to provide overall Program and project management support.
  • The Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) project includes leveraging an independent third-party consultant to provide objective and proactive risk identification and assessment to the Department. Observations and risks identified by the consultant are used by the Department to implement the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and any necessary mitigating strategies.

    • IV&V continues to attend various Department meetings to support Program and project oversight.
  • The System and Software Integration project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.

    • The Department is actively negotiating terms for a contract for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. Contract execution is anticipated in February 2023.
  • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.

    • The Department is actively negotiating terms for a contract for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. Contract execution is anticipated in February 2023.

  • The Reporting project includes migrating all System reports from the System to the Data Warehouse and developing and validating all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports. The data warehouse provides the Department with standardized data and reduces the need for staff intervention for future reporting activities.

    • Of the 39 reports in-scope for this project, 38 are complete. The final report is complete; however, the project is unable to be closed out until USDOL is able to accept the report from the Data Warehouse. DEO and USDOL are working together to submit the final report. In response to this delay, DEO is extending the timeline for this project to February 2023.

  • The Archival and Purge project establishes a process for archiving and purging appropriate Reemployment Assistance data. These activities will reduce the Department’s data storage costs and greatly impact the efficiency and stability of the System, because it will purge any data that is no longer required to be maintained by the Department and allow for the secure storage in a separate environment of any data that the Department must maintain for a period of time.

    • The Department's Records Management Policy was updated to ensure alignment with Florida's records retention schedule and state statutes. This policy will guide the project team to identify data to be archived or purged.

    • A Request for Information is being developed to help inform the Department if a suitable technology tool for archiving and purging data exists in the marketplace.

  • The Master Data Management and Interoperability project focuses on creating a data catalog and data dictionary for the Department. These efforts promote data standardization and data sharing among information technology systems that exchange information with the Reemployment Assistance program.

    • The Data Dictionary and Data Catalog have been approved by the Bureau of Workforce Statistics and Economic Research.

    • A Business Glossary, the final element of the project, is undergoing review. The Business Glossary will create a single source of truth for all business-related terms to help inform data-driven decisions.

  • The Identity and Access Management project includes updating all Departmental identity management and access control policies and implementing enhanced front-end security measures to authenticate System users. These efforts ensure the individuals who have access to the System are provided the appropriate amount of access for their need.

    • Responses to a Request for Quote were returned this reporting period for IAM services to achieve the goals and objectives identified in the iSF Report for the IAM project. Responses are undergoing review and a contract is expected to be executed in February 2023.

  • The Security Architecture Audit project includes a technical audit that will be provided by an independent third-party to review and test all technical aspects of the System for improved System security.

    • This project has been deferred to post-modernization.

December 2022:

  • The Cloud Migration project includes transitioning the System from operating on hardware stored on-premise to a cloud-based environment to ensure all aspects of the System are available to users during periods of high demand for continuous claims processing, including both web-based and call center services.

    • The Department is migrating various components of the System into a cloud-hosted environment, including files, databases, applications, and environment infrastructure. In this reporting period, testing revealed the reporting software that is used to provide business intelligence, such as workload across the Reemployment Assistance program, is not upgraded to a version that is compatible with the cloud. These reports meet a critical business need that, if not resolved, would impact business operations and timely processing of Reemployment Assistance claims and benefits. The anticipated timeline to deploy the System in the cloud is still January 2023.

    • The Digital Appeals Recording Solution (DARS) vendor has begun application development to deploy this technology in a cloud-hosted environment. Development work is anticipated to complete in the next reporting period. DARS enables the Department to record appeals hearings, which provides due process to employers, third-party administrators, and claimants who have filed an appeal on a Reemployment Assistance claim.

    • The Visual Interactive Voice Response technology vendor continues to develop business and technology requirements that will be used to enhance the Department’s existing Customer Call Center technology and provide additional self-service options for Reemployment Assistance claimants.

    • The Department confirmed it will utilize both ChatBot and WebChat technologies this reporting period. ChatBot development work is anticipated to commence following the implementation of DARS.

  • The Cloud Application Performance Management project includes utilizing a software tool that provides visibility into key System performance indicators, such as numbers of concurrent users, for System monitoring. The tool also allows the Department to set defined thresholds for performance and receive notification if remedial actions are needed to maintain System performance and prevent System downtime.

    • The Department installed the cloud version of the existing application performance management tool and testing has been initiated. Testing will be conducted for several months, and the tool is anticipated to be in production by February 2023.

  • The SDLC DevOps project includes improving documentation for the System, including application design documentation, artifacts, and dataflow diagrams. This helps establish a process that sets a standard for maintaining System documentation and planning the deployment of System enhancements that align and prioritize Reemployment Assistance program requirements with the System’s functionality.

    • The project was originally forecast to be complete in November 2022; however, the timeline is anticipated to be extended to January 2023 after the project closeout checklist identified System enhancement data in the current ticketing system was not completely migrated to the new ticketing system.

  • The Rules Engine project includes utilizing a software tool that serves as a separate infrastructure environment for managing and executing business rules that govern how Reemployment Assistance claims are processed. Business rules that are currently operating within the System will be moved to the rules engine. By using a rules engine to manage and operate business rules, specifically those rules that are updated periodically to accommodate changes in state or federal law, the Department gains staff efficiency and helps support System performance. A rules engine is more user-friendly and does not require System code changes, which means information technology staff can be repurposed for larger, more complex System enhancements and business rule changes can be deployed faster. Additionally, because the rules engine operates in a separate infrastructure environment, it allows for increased System performance. 

    • The Department is evaluating responses to a Request for Quote for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. Contract execution is anticipated in January 2023.

    • The Department continues working to develop an initial catalog of business rules that will be used to develop a continuous modernization plan for the business rules engine. The catalog will identify all business rules that govern the administration of the Reemployment Assistance program, the number of times each rule has changed, the date(s) each rule has changed, the relative complexity of each rule, and determine if there is need for a business rules engine. This is a labor-intensive process that is anticipated to be complete in May 2023.

  • SOA and API Layer project will help promote a more efficient System by creating a layer between various components of the System that serves as the messenger for all data exchanges. This layer helps prevent a downturn in System performance by offloading demand on the System.

    • The Department is evaluating responses to a Request for Quote for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. Contract execution is anticipated in January 2023.

  • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO) project equips the Department with standards, governance, and project management services for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program, and oversees the Program’s scope, schedule, and budget to promote accountability and alignment with Department priorities.

    • The SPO continues to provide overall Program and project management support.

  • The Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) project includes leveraging an independent third-party consultant to provide objective and proactive risk identification and assessment to the Department. Observations and risks identified by the consultant are used by the Department to implement the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and any necessary mitigating strategies.

    • IV&V continues to attend various Department meetings to support Program and project oversight.

  • The System and Software Integration project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.

    • The Department is evaluating responses to a Request for Quote for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. Contract execution is anticipated in January 2023.

  • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.

    • The Department is evaluating responses to a Request for Quote for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. Contract execution is anticipated in January 2023.

  • The Reporting project includes migrating all System reports from the System to the Data Warehouse and developing and validating all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports. The data warehouse provides the Department with standardized data and reduces the need for staff intervention for future reporting activities.

    • Of the 39 reports in-scope for this project, 38 are complete and one is being corrected after testing revealed errors. To correct these errors, the Department is extending the project timeline to be complete in January 2023.

  • The Archival and Purge project establishes a process for archiving and purging appropriate Reemployment Assistance data. These activities will reduce the Department’s data storage costs and greatly impact the efficiency and stability of the System, because it will purge any data that is no longer required to be maintained by the Department and allow for the secure storage in a separate environment of any data that the Department must maintain for a period of time.

    • Work sessions with various Reemployment Assistance business units were completed this reporting period to develop project requirements and nearing completion.

    • The Department's Records Management Policy is undergoing final review and is anticipated to be finalized by the next reporting period. This policy will provide the latest guidance to the project team about data to be archived or purged.

    • A Request for Information is being developed to help inform the Department if a suitable technology tool for archiving and purging data exists in the marketplace.

  • The Master Data Management and Interoperability project focuses on creating a data catalog and data dictionary for the Department. These efforts promote data standardization and data sharing among information technology systems that exchange information with the Reemployment Assistance program.

    • A draft Data Dictionary and Data Catalog have been prepared and is undergoing analysis and review with the Bureau of Workforce Statistics and Economic Research.

  • The Identity and Access Management project includes updating all Departmental identity management and access control policies and implementing enhanced front-end security measures to authenticate System users. These efforts ensure the individuals who have access to the System are provided the appropriate amount of access for their need.

    • A request for Quote was issued this reporting period for IAM services to achieve the goals and objectives identified in the iSF Report for the IAM project.

  • The Security Architecture Audit project includes a technical audit that will be provided by an independent third-party to review and test all technical aspects of the System for improved System security.

    • This project has been deferred to post-modernization.

November 2022:

  • The Cloud Migration project includes transitioning the System from operating on hardware stored on-premise to a cloud-based environment to ensure all aspects of the System are available to users during periods of high demand for continuous claims processing, including both web-based and call center services.
    • The Department is migrating various components of the System into a cloud-hosted environment, including files, databases, applications, and environment infrastructure. In this reporting period, testing revealed deficiencies that required additional work. As a result, the timeline to deploy the System in the cloud has been extended from December 2022 to January 2023.
    • The Digital Appeals Recording Solution (DARS) vendor has begun application development to deploy this technology in a cloud-hosted environment. Development work is anticipated to continue through December 2022. DARS enables the Department to record appeals hearings, which provides due process to employers, third-party administrators, and claimants who have filed an appeal on a Reemployment Assistance claim.
    • The Visual Interactive Voice Response technology vendor continues to develop business and technology requirements that will be used to enhance the Department’s existing Customer Call Center technology and provide additional self-service options for Reemployment Assistance claimants.
    • The Department is reevaluating utilizing ChatBot technology, including security requirements. Additional information is being gathered and a risk analysis is being performed to drive informed decision-making.
  • The Cloud Application Performance Management project includes utilizing a software tool that provides visibility into key System performance indicators, such as numbers of concurrent users, for System monitoring. The tool also allows the Department to set defined thresholds for performance and receive notification if remedial actions are needed to maintain System performance and prevent System downtime.
    • The Department installed the cloud version of the existing application performance management tool and testing has been initiated. Testing will be conducted for several months, and the tool is anticipated to be in production by February 2023.
  • The SDLC DevOps project includes improving documentation for the System, including application design documentation, artifacts, and dataflow diagrams. This helps establish a process that sets a standard for maintaining System documentation and planning the deployment of System enhancements that align and prioritize Reemployment Assistance program requirements with the System’s functionality.
    • The Department completed software integration of the ServiceNow software with the new DevOps environment this reporting period. ServiceNow now serves as a repository for System requirements and syncs and cross-references the System’s testing environment with test results.
    • The project was originally forecast to be complete in November 2022; however, the timeline will be extended to at least January 2023 after testing revealed deficiencies that required additional work.
  • The Rules Engine project includes utilizing a software tool that serves as a separate infrastructure environment for managing and executing business rules that govern how Reemployment Assistance claims are processed. Business rules that are currently operating within the System will be moved to the rules engine. By using a rules engine to manage and operate business rules, specifically those rules that are updated periodically to accommodate changes in state or federal law, the Department gains staff efficiency and helps support System performance. A rules engine is more user-friendly and does not require System code changes, which means information technology staff can be repurposed for larger, more complex System enhancements and business rule changes can be deployed faster. Additionally, because the rules engine operates in a separate infrastructure environment, it allows for increased System performance. 
    • The Department advertised a Request for Quote this reporting period for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. Vendor responses are due December 2022.
    • The Department continues working to develop an initial catalog of business rules that will be used to develop a continuous modernization plan for the business rules engine. The catalog will identify all business rules that govern the administration of the Reemployment Assistance program, the number of times each rule has changed, the date(s) each rule has changed, and the relative complexity of each rule. This is a labor-intensive process that is anticipated to be complete in May 2023.
  • SOA and API Layer project will help promote a more efficient System by creating a layer between various components of the System that serves as the messenger for all data exchanges. This layer helps prevent a downturn in System performance by offloading demand on the System.
    • The Department advertised a Request for Quote this reporting period for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. Vendor responses are due December 2022.
  • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO) project equips the Department with standards, governance, and project management services for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program, and oversees the Program’s scope, schedule, and budget to promote accountability and alignment with Department priorities.
    • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO) continues to provide overall Program and project management support.
  • The Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) project includes leveraging an independent third-party consultant to provide objective and proactive risk identification and assessment to the Department. Observations and risks identified by the consultant are used by the Department to implement the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and any necessary mitigating strategies.
    • IV&V continues to attend various Department meetings to support Program and project oversight.
  • The System and Software Integration project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.
    • The Department executed a contract amendment with the vendor this reporting period that will allow the vendor to address immediate System architecture documentation needs and equip the Department with information to maintain updated architecture documentation as the System is modernized in the future. The first architecture-related deliverable, focused on architectural standards, was accepted this reporting period.
    • The Department and the vendor completed and advertised a Request for Quote this reporting period for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. Vendor responses are due December 2022.
  • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.
    • The Department advertised a Request for Quote this reporting period for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. Vendor responses are due December 2022.
  • The Reporting project includes migrating all System reports from the System to the Data Warehouse and developing and validating all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports. The data warehouse provides the Department with standardized data and reduces the need for staff intervention for future reporting activities.
    • Of the 39 reports in-scope for this project, 38 are complete and one is currently being tested and validated.
  • The Archival and Purge project establishes a process for archiving and purging appropriate Reemployment Assistance data. These activities will reduce the Department’s data storage costs and greatly impact the efficiency and stability of the System, because it will purge any data that is no longer required to be maintained by the Department and allow for the secure storage in a separate environment of any data that the Department must maintain for a period of time.
    • Work sessions with various Reemployment Assistance business units are being held to develop project requirements and nearing completion. Work sessions are targeted to be complete in the next reporting period.
    • The Department’s Records Management Policy is undergoing final review and is anticipated to be finalized by the next reporting period. This policy will provide the latest guidance to the project team about data to be archived or purged.
    • The project’s scope of work was complete this reporting period.
    • A Request for Information is being developed to help guide the development of a procurement for a technology tool for archiving and purging data.
  • The Master Data Management and Interoperability project focuses on creating a data catalog and data dictionary for the Department. These efforts promote data standardization and data sharing among information technology systems that exchange information with the Reemployment Assistance program.
    • A draft Data Dictionary and Data Catalog have been prepared and is undergoing analysis and review with the Bureau of Workforce Statistics and Economic Research.
  • The Identity and Access Management project includes updating all Departmental identity management and access control policies and implementing enhanced front-end security measures to authenticate System users. These efforts ensure the individuals who have access to the System are provided the appropriate amount of access for their need.
    • The Department did not award a contract for the IAM procurement for an IAM tool and services to support the alignment with the sharpened scope discussed on page 2. A revised draft IAM procurement is nearing completion that will include IAM services to achieve the goals and objectives identified in the iSF Report for the IAM project.
  • The Security Architecture Audit project includes a technical audit that will be provided by an independent third-party to review and test all technical aspects of the System for improved System security.
    • This project has been deferred to post-modernization.

October 2022:

  • The Cloud Migration project includes transitioning the System from operating on hardware stored on-premise to a cloud-based environment to ensure all aspects of the System are available to users during periods of high demand for continuous claims processing, including both web-based and call center services.
    • The Department is migrating various components of the System into a cloud-hosted environment, including files, databases, applications, and environment infrastructure. The updates shown below are as of this reporting period:
      • File migration: Completed in May 2022
      • Database migration: Completed in May 2022
      • Application migration: Migration activities are ongoing. The Department has established an isolated environment in the cloud to host data governed by IRS Publication 1075. The Department is applying the necessary security access controls and populating the environment with real data to complete testing in accordance with IRS Publication 1075.
      • Environment Infrastructure migration:
        • Test environments: The Department has established an isolated environment in the cloud to host data governed by IRS Publication 1075. The Department is applying the necessary security access controls and populating the environment with real data to complete testing in accordance with IRS Publication 1075.
        • Pre-production environment: The Department has established an isolated environment in the cloud to host data governed by IRS Publication 1075. The Department is applying the necessary security access controls and populating the environment with real data to complete testing in accordance with IRS Publication 1075.
        • Production environment: Anticipated to be completed in December 2022. Testing is ongoing to ensure successful migration of the System.
    • The Department completed User Acceptance Testing for its cloud-hosted FileNet application upgrade from version 5.2 to version 5.5.7. The FileNet application is used by the Department to manage workflows in the System that ensure files that are provided by claimants, employers, and Third-Party Administrators are merged with the correct claim. The upgrade will be deployed when the System is migrated to the cloud in December 2022.
    • The Digital Appeals Recording Solution (DARS) vendor has begun application development to deploy this technology in a cloud-hosted environment. Development work is anticipated to continue through December 2022. DARS enables the Department to record appeals hearings, which provides due process to employers, third-party administrators, and claimants who have filed an appeal on a Reemployment Assistance claim.
    • The Visual Interactive Voice Response, ChatBot, and WebChat technology vendor continues to develop business and technology requirements, and evaluate security requirements, that will be used to enhance the Department’s existing Customer Call Center technology and provide additional self-service options for Reemployment Assistance claimants.
  • The Cloud Application Performance Management project includes utilizing a software tool that provides visibility into key System performance indicators, such as numbers of concurrent users, for System monitoring. The tool also allows the Department to set defined thresholds for performance and receive notification if remedial actions are needed to maintain System performance and prevent System downtime.
    • The Department installed the cloud version of the existing application performance management tool and testing has been initiated. Testing will be conducted for several months, and the tool is anticipated to be pushed into production in early June 2023.
  • The SDLC DevOps project includes improving documentation for the System, including application design documentation, artifacts, and dataflow diagrams. This helps establish a process that sets a standard for maintaining System documentation and planning the deployment of System enhancements that align and prioritize Reemployment Assistance program requirements with the System’s functionality.
    • The Department continues to work with the ServiceNow vendor to integrate this software with the new DevOps environment. ServiceNow will serve as a repository for System requirements. Integration of these software tools will sync the System’s testing environment and cross-reference requirements with test results. It will also develop an audit trail that can be used to reference changes made to the System over time. The Department anticipates the development work to support this integration will be complete in November 2022.
      • The automated test reports that verify business requirements are met following each System enhancement are finalized and approved. Development and subsequent testing will be initiated in November 2022. These changes will eliminate a currently manual process and increase subject matter experts’ efficiency with testing System enhancements.
  • The .NET and ORM Upgrade project is designed to ensure the Department’s .NET framework and Object Relational Mapping (ORM) software receive security fixes, updates, and technical support that align with industry standards. The .NET framework is a platform that is used to create and run software applications. ORM software promotes more efficient System development by translating low-level coding across tables that store data.
    • The Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s ORM software was upgraded from version 3.5 to version 5.8 and successfully deployed into production in November 2022.
  • The Rules Engine project includes utilizing a software tool that serves as a separate infrastructure environment for managing and executing business rules that govern how Reemployment Assistance claims are processed. Business rules that are currently operating within the System will be moved to the rules engine. By using a rules engine to manage and operate business rules, specifically those rules that are updated periodically to accommodate changes in state or federal law, the Department gains staff efficiency and helps support System performance. A rules engine is more user-friendly and does not require System code changes, which means information technology staff can be repurposed for larger, more complex System enhancements and business rule changes can be deployed faster. Additionally, because the rules engine operates in a separate infrastructure environment, it allows for increased System performance.  
    • The Department is conducting final edits to a scope of work for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. The procurement is scheduled to be advertised in the next reporting period.
    • The Department is developing a catalog of business rules that will be used to develop a continuous modernization plan for the business rules engine. The catalog will identify all business rules that govern the administration of the Reemployment Assistance program, the number of times each rule has changed, the date(s) each rule has changed, and the relative complexity of each rule. This is a labor-intensive process that is anticipated to be complete in May 2023.
  • SOA and API Layer project will help promote a more efficient System by creating a layer between various components of the System that serves as the messenger for all data exchanges. This layer helps prevent a downturn in System performance by offloading demand on the System.
    • The Department is conducting final edits to a scope of work for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. The procurement is scheduled to be advertised in the next reporting period.
  • The Reemployment Assistance Help Center project created a front-end website that serves as a one-stop shop for System users to get answers to frequently asked questions, view information about their claim, submit inquiries to the Department for assistance, and submit information to the Department that facilitate claims processing.
    • This project was completed in December 2021. The Reemployment Assistance Help Center will undergo additional enhancements through continuous modernization efforts to improve internal workflows that ensure users’ claims are processed timely.
  • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO) project equips the Department with standards, governance, and project management services for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program, and oversees the Program’s scope, schedule, and budget to promote accountability and alignment with Department priorities.
    • The SPO continues to provide overall Program and project management support.
  • The Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) project includes leveraging an independent third-party consultant to provide objective and proactive risk identification and assessment to the Department. Observations and risks identified by the consultant are used by the Department to implement the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and any necessary mitigating strategies.
    • IV&V continues to attend various Department meetings to support Program and project oversight.
    • IV&V submitted their third Quarterly Assessment Report, which outlines the overall Modernization Program’s risks and issues across a set of risk dimensions and categories. All dimensions have the same risk rating as the previous Quarterly Assessment Report.
  • The System and Software Integration project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.
    • The Department is conducting final edits to a scope of work for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. The procurement is scheduled to be advertised in the next reporting period.
    • The Department anticipates executing a contract amendment in the next reporting period that will allow the Department to maintain an agile approach to maintaining the overall System’s architectural standards. As the System’s architecture will change with each new technology product installation, this contract amendment will allow the Department’s System documentation to evolve with each change and ensure the documentation is current.
  • The Business Process Optimization project focuses on identifying, cataloging, and reengineering business processes and requirements that are necessary to improve the user experience. These reengineered processes and requirements will support a more efficient claims process for both internal and external System users.
    • This project was successfully closed out during this reporting period.
  • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.
    • The Department is conducting final edits to a scope of work for a business rules engine (Rules Engine project), integration platform (SOA and API Layer project), and mobile-responsive user interface (CX/UX project), including services to ensure interoperability. The procurement is scheduled to be advertised in the next reporting period.
  • The Data Warehouse project established a separate infrastructure environment for storing and reporting Reemployment Assistance data. The data warehouse enhances System performance by conducting reporting activities in a separate infrastructure environment.
    • This project was completed in January 2022.
  • The Reporting project includes migrating all System reports from the System to the Data Warehouse and developing and validating all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports. The data warehouse provides the Department with standardized data and reduces the need for staff intervention for future reporting activities.
    • Of the 39 reports in-scope for this project, 36 are complete and three are currently being validated.
  • The Archival and Purge project establishes a process for archiving and purging appropriate Reemployment Assistance data. These activities will reduce the Department’s data storage costs and greatly impact the efficiency and stability of the System, because it will purge any data that is no longer required to be maintained by the Department and allow for the secure storage in a separate environment of any data that the Department must maintain for a period of time.
    • Work sessions with various Reemployment Assistance business units are being held to develop project requirements.
    • The Department’s Records Management Policy is undergoing routine review and is anticipated to be finalized by the next reporting period. This policy will provide the latest guidance to the project team about data to be archived or purged.
    • The project’s scope of work is anticipated to be finalized by the next reporting period.
  • The Master Data Management and Interoperability project focuses on creating a data catalog and data dictionary for the Department. These efforts promote data standardization and data sharing among information technology systems that exchange information with the Reemployment Assistance program.
    • A draft Data Dictionary has been prepared and is undergoing review with the Bureau of Workforce Statistics and Economic Research.
    • A draft Data Catalog has been developed and is undergoing internal review.
  • The Security Architecture Review project includes assessing the proposed modernized System to strengthen System security, reduce risk for all System users, and to define and implement enhanced security practices that meet or exceed modern security standards.
    • This project was successfully closed out this reporting period.
  • The Identity and Access Management project includes updating all Departmental identity management and access control policies and implementing enhanced front-end security measures to authenticate System users. These efforts ensure the individuals who have access to the System are provided the appropriate amount of access for their need.
    • The Department advertised a Request for Quote for an IAM tool and services for System user role-based access and customized reports and dashboards to enhance System security and user oversight. See Procurement Status below for the anticipated procurement schedule.
  • The Security Architecture Audit project includes a technical audit that will be provided by an independent third-party to review and test all technical aspects of the System for improved System security.
    • This project is forecast to start in January 2023.

September 2022:

  • The Cloud Migration project includes transitioning the System from operating on hardware stored on-premise to a cloud-based environment to ensure all aspects of the System are available to users during periods of high demand for continuous claims processing, including both web-based and call center services.
    • The Department is migrating various components of the System into a cloud-hosted environment, including files, databases, applications, and environment infrastructure. The updates shown below are as of this reporting period:
      • File migration: Completed in May 2022
      • Database migration: Completed in May 2022
      • Application migration: Migration activities are ongoing. The Department performed final review of a purchase requisition for a vendor to establish an isolated environment in the cloud to host data governed by IRS Publication 1075.
      • Environment Infrastructure migration:
        • Test environment: The Department previously reported that test environment migration activities were completed in May 2022. Following feedback and guidance from the IRS, the Department is working to develop an isolated environment in a cloud-hosted environment that complies with IRS Publication 1075.
        • Pre-production environment: Following feedback and guidance from the IRS, the Department is working to develop an isolated environment in a cloud-hosted environment that complies with IRS Publication 1075. These efforts will close-out the migration of the last component.
        • Production environment: Anticipated to be completed in December 2022.
      • The Department is conducting User Acceptance Testing for its FileNet application upgrade from version 5.2 to version 5.5.7, which is anticipated to be complete in October 2022. This is the final step before implementing the upgrade. The FileNet application is used by the Department to manage workflows in the System that ensure files that are provided by claimants, employers, and Third-Party Administrators are merged with the correct claim.
      • The Digital Appeals Recording Solution (DARS) vendor has begun application development to deploy this technology in a cloud-hosted environment. Development work is anticipated to continue through December 2022. DARS enables the Department to record appeals hearings, which provides due process to employers, third-party administrators, and claimants who have filed an appeal on a Reemployment Assistance claim.
      • The Department upgraded its FileNet application from version 5.2 to version 5.5.7. The FileNet application is used by the Department to manage workflows in the System that ensure files that are provided by claimants, employers, and Third-Party Administrators are merged with the correct claim. Testing of this application is ongoing.
      • The Visual Interactive Voice Response, ChatBot, and WebChat technology vendor has begun developing business and technology requirements that will be used to enhance the Department’s existing Customer Call Center technology and provide additional self-service options for Reemployment Assistance claimants.
    • The Cloud Application Performance Management project includes utilizing a software tool that provides visibility into key System performance indicators, such as numbers of concurrent users, for System monitoring. The tool also allows the Department to set defined thresholds for performance and receive notification if remedial actions are needed to maintain System performance and prevent System downtime.
      • Application migration: Migration activities are ongoing. The Department performed final review of a purchase requisition for a vendor to establish an isolated environment in the cloud to host data governed by IRS Publication 1075.
    • The SDLC DevOps project includes improving documentation for the System, including application design documentation, artifacts, and dataflow diagrams. This helps establish a process that sets a standard for maintaining System documentation and planning the deployment of System enhancements that align and prioritize Reemployment Assistance program requirements with the System’s functionality.
      • The Department continues to work with the ServiceNow vendor to integrate this software with the new DevOps environment. ServiceNow will serve as a repository for System requirements. Integration of these software tools will sync the System’s testing environment and cross-reference requirements with test results. It will also develop an audit trail that can be used to reference changes made to the System over time. The Department anticipates the development work to support this integration will be complete in October 2022.
        • The Department anticipates executing a contract extension for two project changes that include the automation of test reports that verify business requirements are met following each System enhancement, as well as additional contracted resources to implement these automated reports. These enhancements are included in the scope change that extends the project timeline to allow for the expanded project scope. These changes will eliminate a currently manual process and increase subject matter experts’ efficiency with testing System enhancements.
    • The .NET and ORM Upgrade project is designed to ensure the Department’s .NET framework and Object Relational Mapping (ORM) software receive security fixes, updates, and technical support that align with industry standards. The .NET framework is a platform that is used to create and run software applications. ORM software promotes more efficient System development by translating low-level coding across tables that store data.
      • The Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s ORM software is being updated from version 3.5 to version 5.8. The Department continues to test the updated LLBLGEN layer, which connects the database and the System, which includes testing 66 applications that support data transactions. Full deployment of all applications is forecasted to be complete in October 2022.
      • In a previous reporting period, the Department prematurely reported that the System’s .NET framework upgrade was complete. The upgrade was complete in September 2022.
    • The Rules Engine project includes utilizing a software tool that serves as a separate infrastructure environment for managing and executing business rules that govern how Reemployment Assistance claims are processed. Business rules that are currently operating within the System will be moved to the rules engine. By using a rules engine to manage and operate business rules, specifically those rules that are updated periodically to accommodate changes in state or federal law, the Department gains staff efficiency and helps support System performance. A rules engine is more user-friendly and does not require System code changes, which means information technology staff can be repurposed for larger, more complex System enhancements and business rule changes can be deployed faster. Additionally, because the rules engine operates in a separate infrastructure environment, it allows for increased System performance.  
      • The Department and its System and Software Integration vendor are collaborating to develop a scope of work for a business rules engine, including services required by a prospective vendor to ensure interoperability.
      • The Department is evaluating the list of previously identified business rules that were originally identified to be migrated to and deployed in the business rules engine during the Modernization Program timeline to ensure the identified rules are suitable for a rules engine and to ensure adequate resources are available to support the implementation of the CX/UX project.
    • The SOA and API Layer project will help promote a more efficient System by creating a layer between various components of the System that serves as the messenger for all data exchanges. This layer helps prevent a downturn in System performance by offloading demand on the System.
      • The Department is working with its System and Software Integration vendor to review and refine a draft scope of work for an integration platform that will support the implementation of this project.
      • The Department is analyzing the project schedule and scope to ensure the front-end CX/UX solution is supported by and integrated with the integration platform. A scope change is anticipated in the next reporting period to align the project with the iSF Report and ensure adequate support is available to integrate the integration platform with the System.
    • The Reemployment Assistance Help Center project created a front-end website that serves as a one-stop shop for System users to get answers to frequently asked questions, view information about their claim, submit inquiries to the Department for assistance, and submit information to the Department that facilitate claims processing.
      • This project was completed in December 2021 and will undergo additional enhancements through continuous modernization efforts to improve internal workflows that ensure users’ claims are processed timely.
    • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO) project equips the Department with standards, governance, and project management services for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program, and oversees the Program’s scope, schedule, and budget to promote accountability and alignment with Department priorities.
      • The SPO continues to provide overall Program and project management support. 
      • The SPO added a second Project Manager to support the Cloud Migration project, who will focus on migrating the DARS application to the cloud and enhancing the Visual Interactive Voice Response, ChatBot, and WebChat technologies utilized by the Reemployment Assistance Customer Call Center.
    • The Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) project includes leveraging an independent third-party consultant to provide objective and proactive risk identification and assessment to the Department. Observations and risks identified by the consultant are used by the Department to implement the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and any necessary mitigating strategies.
      • IV&V continues to attend various Department meetings to support Program and project oversight. 
    • The System and Software Integration project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.
      • The System and Software Integration vendor continues to work with Department staff to develop and refine draft scopes of work for various projects. In this reporting period, the vendor is drafting draft scopes of work for the Master Data Management and Interoperability project and the CX/UX project. 
      • The System and Software Integration vendor developed software recommendation options this reporting period for the fourth and final project specified in their contract this reporting period. The Department is reviewing these recommendations and is awaiting receipt of architectural standards before accepting the technology recommendations deliverables.
    • The Business Process Optimization project focuses on identifying, cataloging, and reengineering business processes and requirements that are necessary to improve the user experience. These reengineered processes and requirements will support a more efficient claims process for both internal and external System users.
      • The Department has received all deliverables and is reviewing the final deliverable. This project is anticipated to be closed-out in the next reporting period.
    • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.
      • Upon the Department’s review and acceptance of both the BPO and SSI vendor’s final report for the modernized System in the next reporting period, the SSI vendor will continue developing a draft scope of work for the CX/UX project.
    • The Data Warehouse project established a separate infrastructure environment for storing and reporting Reemployment Assistance data. The data warehouse enhances System performance by conducting reporting activities in a separate infrastructure environment.
      • This project was completed in January 2022.
    • The Reporting project includes migrating all System reports from the System to the Data Warehouse and developing and validating all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports. The data warehouse provides the Department with standardized data and reduces the need for staff intervention for future reporting activities.
      • Of the 39 reports in-scope for this project, 35 are complete and four are currently being validated.
      • Of the 13 data populations that have been added to the scope for this project, eight have been developed and validated in the Data Warehouse, three are currently being developed, and two are remaining for development. 
    • The Archival and Purge project establishes a process for archiving and purging appropriate Reemployment Assistance data. These activities will reduce the Department’s data storage costs and greatly impact the efficiency and stability of the System, because it will purge any data that is no longer required to be maintained by the Department and allow for the secure storage in a separate environment of any data that the Department must maintain for a period of time.
      • Work sessions with various Reemployment Assistance business units are being held to develop project requirements.
      • Draft data governance documents are being developed for Department leadership review, which will also support activities included in the Master Data Management and Interoperability project.
    • The Master Data Management and Interoperability project focuses on creating a data catalog and data dictionary for the Department. These efforts promote data standardization and data sharing among information technology systems that exchange information with the Reemployment Assistance program.
      • A draft Data Dictionary has been prepared and is undergoing review with Data Architects before being presented to Department leadership for review.
      • The System and Software Integration vendor is developing a draft scope of work for this project.
      • A scope change request is being prepared for Department leadership review to consider realigning the project’s scope with the required activities outlined in the iSF Report. Additional information will be available in the next reporting period.
    • The Security Architecture Review project includes assessing the proposed modernized System to strengthen System security, reduce risk for all System users, and to define and implement enhanced security practices that meet or exceed modern security standards.
      • The Security Architecture Review vendor has submitted all deliverables to the Department, and the final deliverable is undergoing Departmental review. The Security Controls Implementation Roadmap is anticipated to be submitted in the next reporting period, following formal project closeout activities.
    • The Identity and Access Management project includes updating all Departmental identity management and access control policies and implementing enhanced front-end security measures to authenticate System users. These efforts ensure the individuals who have access to the System are provided the appropriate amount of access for their need.
      • The Department advertised a Request for Quote for an IAM tool and services for System user role-based access and customized reports and dashboards to enhance System security and user oversight. See Procurement Status below for the anticipated procurement schedule.
    • The Security Architecture Audit project includes a technical audit that will be provided by an independent third-party to review and test all technical aspects of the System for improved System security.
      • This project is forecast to start in January 2023.

August 2022:

  • The Cloud Migration project includes transitioning the System from operating on hardware stored on-premise to a cloud-based environment to ensure all aspects of the System are available to users during periods of high demand for continuous claims processing, including both web-based and call center services.
    • The Department is migrating various components of the System into a cloud-hosted environment, including files, databases, applications, and environment infrastructure. The updates shown below are as of this reporting period:
      • File migration: Completed in May 2022
      • Database migration: Completed in May 2022
      • Application migration: Migration activities are ongoing. The Department received feedback and guidance from the Internal Revenue Service for the final application during the last reporting period, and the Department is working to migrate that application to an isolated environment in a cloud-hosted environment. 
      • Environment Infrastructure migration:
        • Test environment: The Department previously reported that test environment migration activities were completed in May 2022. Following feedback and guidance from the IRS, the Department is working to develop an isolated environment in a cloud-hosted environment that complies with IRS Publication 1075.
        • Pre-production environment: Following feedback and guidance from the IRS, the Department is working to develop an isolated environment in a cloud-hosted environment that complies with IRS Publication 1075. These efforts will close-out the migration of the last component.
        • Production environment: Anticipated to be completed in December 2022.
      • The Department is conducting User Acceptance Testing for its FileNet application upgrade from version 5.2 to version 5.5.7, which is anticipated to be complete in October 2022. This is the final step before implementing the upgrade. The FileNet application is used by the Department to manage workflows in the System that ensure files that are provided by claimants, employers, and Third-Party Administrators are merged with the correct claim.
      • The Digital Appeals Recording Solution (DARS) vendor has begun application development to deploy this technology in a cloud-hosted environment. Development work is anticipated to continue through December 2022. DARS enables the Department to record appeals hearings, which provides due process to employers, third-party administrators, and claimants who have filed an appeal on a Reemployment Assistance claim.
      • The Department upgraded its FileNet application from version 5.2 to version 5.5.7. The FileNet application is used by the Department to manage workflows in the System that ensure files that are provided by claimants, employers, and Third-Party Administrators are merged with the correct claim. Testing of this application is ongoing.
      • The Visual Interactive Voice Response, ChatBot, and WebChat technology vendor has begun developing business and technology requirements that will be used to enhance the Department’s existing Customer Call Center technology and provide additional self-service options for Reemployment Assistance claimants.
    • The Cloud Application Performance Management project includes utilizing a software tool that provides visibility into key System performance indicators, such as numbers of concurrent users, for System monitoring. The tool also allows the Department to set defined thresholds for performance and receive notification if remedial actions are needed to maintain System performance and prevent System downtime.
      • The project schedule is being developed and will continue to be refined until the next reporting period.
      • The project management plan and project requirements were completed this reporting period.
      • The Department is using its project requirements to evaluate application performance management products. The evaluation will be used to determine if an additional technology product is needed to support the Department’s cloud application performance management.  
    • The SDLC DevOps project includes improving documentation for the System, including application design documentation, artifacts, and dataflow diagrams. This helps establish a process that sets a standard for maintaining System documentation and planning the deployment of System enhancements that align and prioritize Reemployment Assistance program requirements with the System’s functionality.
      • The Department continues to work with the ServiceNow vendor to integrate this software with the new DevOps environment. ServiceNow will serve as a repository for System requirements. Integration of these software tools will sync the System’s testing environment and cross-reference requirements with test results. It will also develop an audit trail that can be used to reference changes made to the System over time. The Department anticipates the development work to support this integration will be complete in October 2022.
      • The Department anticipates a contract extension will be required for two anticipated project changes. The first anticipated change is a scope change that would include the automation of test reports that verify business requirements are met following each System enhancement, as well as additional contracted resources to implement these automated reports. A second anticipated change includes a project timeline extension that would allow for the project scope. If accepted, these changes would eliminate a currently manual process and increase staff efficiency. 
      • The project integration schedule is anticipated to be complete in the next reporting period.
    • The .NET and ORM Upgrade project is designed to ensure the Department’s .NET framework and Object Relational Mapping (ORM) software receive security fixes, updates, and technical support that align with industry standards. The .NET framework is a platform that is used to create and run software applications. ORM software promotes more efficient System development by translating low-level coding across tables that store data.
      • The Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s ORM software is being updated from version 3.5 to version 5.8. The Department continues to test the updated LLBLGEN layer, which connects the database and the System, which includes testing 66 applications that support data transactions. Full deployment of all applications is forecasted to be complete in October 2022.
      • In a previous reporting period, the Department prematurely reported that the System’s .NET framework upgrade was complete. One database was intentionally not included in the upgrade, pending federal guidance. Development for this database’s upgrade is in progress and is estimated to be complete in the next reporting period.
    • The Rules Engine project includes utilizing a software tool that serves as a separate infrastructure environment for managing and executing business rules that govern how Reemployment Assistance claims are processed. Business rules that are currently operating within the System will be moved to the rules engine. By using a rules engine to manage and operate business rules, specifically those rules that are updated periodically to accommodate changes in state or federal law, the Department gains staff efficiency and helps support System performance. A rules engine is more user-friendly and does not require System code changes, which means information technology staff can be repurposed for larger, more complex System enhancements and business rule changes can be deployed faster. Additionally, because the rules engine operates in a separate infrastructure environment, it allows for increased System performance.  
      • The Department and its System and Software Integration vendor are collaborating to develop a scope of work for a business rules engine, including services required by a prospective vendor to ensure interoperability.
      • Department staff continues to assess the level of effort that is required to enhance the System to deploy the new rules engine and ensure any in-scope rules perform as intended and in partnership with the overall modernized System. This assessment will be used for the duration of this project and will also drive development of a transition plan for continuous modernization, including identifying potential phases for migrating additional business rules in the future. 
      • The Department is evaluating the list of previously identified business rules that were originally identified to be migrated to and deployed in the business rules engine during the Modernization Program timeline to ensure the identified rules are suitable for a rules engine and to ensure adequate resources are available to support the implementation of the CX/UX project.
    • The SOA and API Layer project will help promote a more efficient System by creating a layer between various components of the System that serves as the messenger for all data exchanges. This layer helps prevent a downturn in System performance by offloading demand on the System.
      • The Department is working with its System and Software Integration vendor to review and refine a draft scope of work for an integration platform that will support the implementation of this project.
      • The Department is analyzing the project schedule and scope to ensure the front-end CX/UX solution is supported by and integrated with the integration platform.
    • The Reemployment Assistance Help Center project created a front-end website that serves as a one-stop shop for System users to get answers to frequently asked questions, view information about their claim, submit inquiries to the Department for assistance, and submit information to the Department that facilitate claims processing.
      • This project was completed in December 2021 and will undergo additional enhancements through continuous modernization efforts to improve internal workflows that ensure users’ claims are processed timely.
    • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO) project equips the Department with standards, governance, and project management services for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program, and oversees the Program’s scope, schedule, and budget to promote accountability and alignment with Department priorities.
      • The SPO continues to provide overall Program and project management support. 
      • The SPO continues to work with project managers to adopt ServiceNow to manage project budgets and monthly spending. Project managers are now utilizing ServiceNow to enter actual and anticipated project expenditures.
    • The Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) project includes leveraging an independent third-party consultant to provide objective and proactive risk identification and assessment to the Department. Observations and risks identified by the consultant are used by the Department to implement the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and any necessary mitigating strategies.
      • IV&V continues to attend various Department meetings to support Program and project oversight. 
    • The System and Software Integration project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.
      • The System and Software Integration vendor completed workshops with Department staff to develop future state technical requirements and has submitted the deliverable resulting from these workshops to the Department for review.
      • The System and Software Integration vendor continues to work with Department staff to develop and refine draft scopes of work for various projects. In this reporting period, the vendor is drafting draft scopes of work for the Master Data Management and Interoperability project and the CX/UX project. 
      • The System and Software Integration vendor developed software recommendation options this reporting period for the fourth and final project specified in their contract this reporting period. The Department is reviewing these recommendations and is awaiting receipt of architectural standards before accepting the technology recommendations deliverables.
    • The Business Process Optimization project focuses on identifying, cataloging, and reengineering business processes and requirements that are necessary to improve the user experience. These reengineered processes and requirements will support a more efficient claims process for both internal and external System users.
      • The Department has received all deliverables and is reviewing the final deliverable. This project is anticipated to be closed-out in the next reporting period.
    • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.
      • Upon the Department’s review and acceptance of both the BPO and SSI vendor’s final report for the modernized System in the next reporting period, the SSI vendor will continue developing a draft scope of work for the CX/UX project. Additional information will be provided in the next reporting period. 
    • The Data Warehouse project established a separate infrastructure environment for storing and reporting Reemployment Assistance data. The data warehouse enhances System performance by conducting reporting activities in a separate infrastructure environment.
      • This project was completed in January 2022.
    • The Reporting project includes migrating all System reports from the System to the Data Warehouse and developing and validating all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports. The data warehouse provides the Department with standardized data and reduces the need for staff intervention for future reporting activities.
      • Of the 39 reports in-scope for this project, 35 are complete and four are currently being validated.
      • Of the 13 data populations that have been added to the scope for this project, eight have been developed and validated in the Data Warehouse, three are currently being developed, and two are remaining for development. 
    • The Archival and Purge project establishes a process for archiving and purging appropriate Reemployment Assistance data. These activities will reduce the Department’s data storage costs and greatly impact the efficiency and stability of the System, because it will purge any data that is no longer required to be maintained by the Department and allow for the secure storage in a separate environment of any data that the Department must maintain for a period of time.
      • In this reporting period, the project schedule is being continuously developed as the Department defines the project scope. The project scope and schedule are anticipated to be complete by the next reporting period.
      • The Department is refining this project’s preliminary project requirements as the project scope is being defined to ensure both business and technical needs are met during project execution.
    • The Master Data Management and Interoperability project focuses on creating a data catalog and data dictionary for the Department. These efforts promote data standardization and data sharing among information technology systems that exchange information with the Reemployment Assistance program.
      • The Department assigned a Data Steward for this project, who is a member of the leadership team within the Division of Workforce Services’ Bureau of Workforce Statistics and Economic Research. 
      • The Department is working with its System and Software Integration vendor to develop a draft scope of work for a master data management solution that will support the implementation of this project.
      • The System and Software Integration vendor conducted market research and provided options to the Department for consideration. The Department is reviewing this deliverable.
    • The Security Architecture Review project includes assessing the proposed modernized System to strengthen System security, reduce risk for all System users, and to define and implement enhanced security practices that meet or exceed modern security standards.
      • The Security Architecture Review vendor submitted two deliverables to the Department, including the Assessment of Security Controls Report, which was accepted by the Department, and the Skills and Capabilities Assessment and Gap Analysis Report, which is undergoing Departmental review. The Security Controls Implementation Roadmap is anticipated to be submitted in the next reporting period.
    • The Identity and Access Management project includes updating all Departmental identity management and access control policies and implementing enhanced front-end security measures to authenticate System users. These efforts ensure the individuals who have access to the System are provided the appropriate amount of access for their need.
      • The Department is conducting final review of a draft procurement for this project that will provide an IAM tool and services for System user role-based access and customized reports and dashboards to enhance System security and user oversight and anticipates issuing a solicitation in the next reporting period.
    • The Security Architecture Audit project includes a technical audit that will be provided by an independent third-party to review and test all technical aspects of the System for improved System security.
      • This project is forecast to start in January 2023.

July 2022:

  • The Cloud Migration project includes transitioning the System from operating on hardware stored on-premise to a cloud-based environment to ensure all aspects of the System are available to users during periods of high demand for continuous claims processing, including both web-based and call center services.
    • The Department is migrating various components of the System into a cloud-hosted environment, including files, databases, applications, and environment infrastructure. The updates shown below are as of this reporting period:
      • File migration: Completed in May 2022
      • Database migration: Completed in May 2022
      • Application migration: Migration activities are ongoing. The Department received feedback and guidance from the Internal Revenue Service for the final application this reporting period, and the Department is working to migrate that application to an isolated environment in a cloud-hosted environment. 
      • Environment Infrastructure migration:
        • Test environment: Complete in May 2022
        • Pre-production environment: The Department received feedback and guidance from the Internal Revenue Service for the final component this reporting period, and the Department is working to migrate that application to an isolated environment in a cloud-hosted environment. These efforts will close-out the migration of the last component.
        • Production environment: Anticipated to be completed in December 2022. 
      • A contract amendment for enhancing the Contact Center’s Interactive Voice Response technology, including migrating it to a cloud-hosted environment, was executed June 15, 2022, to ensure claimants can access important information about their claim status at all times.
      • The Department completed its FileNet application testing for the upgrade from version 5.2 to version 5.5.7. The FileNet application is used by the Department to manage workflows in the System that ensure files that are provided by claimants, employers, and third-party administrators are merged with the correct claim.
      • The Department executed a contract amendment for the Digital Appeals Recording Solution (DARS), which includes the requirement to migrate the technology from an on-premise hosted environment to a cloud-hosted environment, in July 2022. DARS enables the Department to record appeals hearings, which provides due process to employers, third-party administrators, and claimants who have filed an appeal on a Reemployment Assistance claim.
    • The Cloud Application Performance Management project includes utilizing a software tool that provides visibility into key System performance indicators, such as numbers of concurrent users, for System monitoring. The tool also allows the Department to set defined thresholds for performance and receive notification if remedial actions are needed to maintain System performance and prevent System downtime.
      • This project’s initiation phase was completed this reporting period, which included developing the project’s risk and complexity assessment and project charter and identifying stakeholders.
      • A project kick-off was conducted in July 2022, with all project stakeholders.
      • This project’s planning phase commenced, including developing a project schedule and drafting preliminary project requirements.
    • The SDLC DevOps project includes improving documentation for the System, including application design documentation, artifacts, and dataflow diagrams. This helps establish a process that sets a standard for maintaining System documentation and planning the deployment of System enhancements that align and prioritize Reemployment Assistance program requirements with the System’s functionality.
      • The Department continues to work with the ServiceNow vendor to identify requirements and integrate this software with the new DevOps environment. ServiceNow will serve as a repository for System requirements. Integration of these software tools will sync the System’s testing environment and cross-reference requirements with test results. It will also develop an audit trail that can be used to reference changes made to the System over time. The Department anticipates the development work to support this integration will be complete in August 2022.
    • In the next reporting period, the Department anticipates two changes.
      • A scope change that would include the automation of test reports that verify business requirements are met following each System enhancement, as well as additional contracted resources to implement these automated reports.
      • A project timeline extension that would allow for the expanded scope. If accepted, these changes would eliminate a currently manual process and increase staff efficiency. 
    • The .NET and ORM Upgrade project is designed to ensure the Department’s .NET framework and Object Relational Mapping (ORM) software receive security fixes, updates, and technical support that align with industry standards. The .NET framework is a platform that is used to create and run software applications. ORM software promotes more efficient System development by translating low-level coding across tables that store data.
      • The Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s ORM software is being updated from version 3.5 to version 5.8. The Department continues to test the updated LLBLGEN layer, which connects the database and the System, which includes testing 66 applications that support data transactions. Full deployment of all applications is forecasted to be complete in October 2022.
      • In a previous reporting period, the Department erroneously reported that the System’s .NET framework upgrade was complete. One database was intentionally not included in the upgrade, pending federal guidance. Development for this database’s upgrade is in progress and an estimated completion date will be provided in the next reporting period.
    • The Rules Engine project includes utilizing a software tool that serves as a separate infrastructure environment for managing and executing business rules that govern how Reemployment Assistance claims are processed. Business rules that are currently operating within the System will be moved to the rules engine. By using a rules engine to manage and operate business rules, specifically those rules that are updated periodically to accommodate changes in state or federal law, the Department gains staff efficiency and helps support System performance. A rules engine is more user-friendly and does not require System code changes, which means information technology staff can be repurposed for larger, more complex System enhancements and business rule changes can be deployed faster. Additionally, because the rules engine operates in a separate infrastructure environment, it allows for increased System performance. 
      • The Department and its System and Software Integration vendor are collaborating to develop a scope of work for a business rules engine, including services required by a prospective vendor to ensure interoperability.
      • Department staff began assessing the level of effort that is required to enhance the System to deploy the new rules engine and ensure the in-scope rules perform as intended and in partnership with the overall modernized System. This assessment will be used for the duration of this project and will also drive development of a transition plan for continuous modernization, including identifying potential phases for migrating additional business rules in the future.
      • The Department has refined its specific list of business rules to include approximately 1,500 rules that will be migrated to and deployed in the business rules engine during the Modernization Program timeline. Additional rules will be migrated and deployed in the business rules engine through continuous modernization efforts.
    • The SOA and API Layer project will help promote a more efficient System by creating a layer between various components of the System that serves as the messenger for all data exchanges. This layer helps prevent a downturn in System performance by offloading demand on the System. 
      • In this reporting period, the Department finalized a selected subset of APIs and the project scope to include three APIs which validate claimants and the information they provide.
      • A revised project scope and schedule was approved, as described on page 2 of this Program Status Overview.
      • The Department is working with its System and Software Integration vendor to develop a scope of work for an integration platform that will support the implementation of this project.
    • The Reemployment Assistance Help Center project created a front-end website that serves as a one-stop shop for System users to get answers to frequently asked questions, view information about their claim, submit inquiries to the Department for assistance, and submit information to the Department that facilitate claims processing.
      • This project was completed in December 2021 and will undergo additional enhancements through continuous modernization efforts to improve internal workflows that ensure users’ claims are processed timely.
    • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO) project equips the Department with standards, governance, and project management services for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program, and oversees the Program’s scope, schedule, and budget to promote accountability and alignment with Department priorities. 
      • The Department amended the SPO contract to add a second Senior Project Manager in preparation for the increased Program activities that will take place in the second year of the Program’s implementation. This additional resource will ensure adequate coverage for all active projects’ project management needs.
      • The SPO continues to provide overall Program and project management support. 
      • The SPO continues to work with project managers to adopt ServiceNow to manage project budgets and monthly spending. Project managers are now utilizing ServiceNow to enter actual and anticipated project expenditures. 
    • The Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) project includes leveraging an independent third-party consultant to provide objective and proactive risk identification and assessment to the Department. Observations and risks identified by the consultant are used by the Department to implement the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and any necessary mitigating strategies.
      • IV&V continues to attend various Department meetings to support Program and project oversight. 
    • The System and Software Integration project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.
      • The System and Software Integration vendor continues to work with Department staff and the Business Process Optimization vendor to develop technical requirements that support the Reemployment Assistance program’s needs and that will be used to finalize procurements for future software procurements.
      • The System and Software Integration vendor developed software recommendation options for a third project this reporting period that will be considered by the Department as procurement documents are drafted.
    • The Business Process Optimization project focuses on identifying, cataloging, and reengineering business processes and requirements that are necessary to improve the user experience. These reengineered processes and requirements will support a more efficient claims process for both internal and external System users.
      • The Department finalized working sessions for both how the System currently operates for the “All Other” and Initial Claims modules, and for how the modernized System will operate for the Initial Claims module. 
      • The Department received and is reviewing the processes and requirements for how the System currently operates for the Initial Claims module. 
      • The Department received and is reviewing the processes and requirements for how the modernized System will operate for the Employers and Third-Party Administrators module. 
      • The Department received and is reviewing the report containing requirements for how the modernized System will operate for the Employers and Third-Party Administrators module.
    • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.
      • Core Claims and Claim Status
        • This module is forecast to start in August 2022; however, the Department continues working with its SSI and BPO vendors to finalize the modernized System’s technical requirements and future state business requirements, respectively, to support future procurement activities.
      • Continued Claims 
        • This module is forecast to start in September 2022; however, the Department continues working with its SSI and BPO vendors to finalize the modernized System’s technical requirements and future state business requirements, respectively, to support future procurement activities.
      • Employers and Third-Party Administrators 
        • This module is forecast to start in October 2022; however, the Department continues working with its SSI and BPO vendors to finalize the modernized System’s technical requirements and future state business requirements, respectively, to support future procurement activities.
      • Initial Claims 
        • This module is forecast to start in October 2022; however, the Department continues working with its SSI and BPO vendors to finalize the modernized System’s technical requirements and future state business requirements, respectively, to support future procurement activities.
    • The Data Warehouse project established a separate infrastructure environment for storing and reporting Reemployment Assistance data. The data warehouse enhances System performance by conducting reporting activities in a separate infrastructure environment.
      • This project was completed in January 2022. 
    • The Reporting project includes migrating all System reports from the System to the Data Warehouse and developing and validating all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports. The data warehouse provides the Department with standardized data and reduces the need for staff intervention for future reporting activities.
      • Of the 39 reports in-scope for this project, 35 are complete and four are currently being validated.
      • 3 new reports have been developed and validated and are being submitted directly to the U.S. Department of Labor from the Data Warehouse, including the ETA 227 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, ETA 227 Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation, and ETA 9129 Reemployment and Eligibility Assessments Outcomes reports. 
      • Of the 15 data populations that have been added to the scope for this project, five have been developed and validated in the Data Warehouse, three are currently being developed, and five are remaining for development. Three were removed from the scope once it was verified that the data for those populations is not generated from the Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System.
    • The Archival and Purge project establishes a process for archiving and purging appropriate Reemployment Assistance data. These activities will reduce the Department’s data storage costs and greatly impact the efficiency and stability of the System, because it will purge any data that is no longer required to be maintained by the Department and allow for the secure storage in a separate environment of any data that the Department must maintain for a period of time.
      • The project’s initiation phase was completed this reporting period, which included developing the project’s risk and complexity assessment and project charter and identifying stakeholders.
      • A project kick-off was conducted July 7, 2022, with all project stakeholders.
      • The project’s planning phase commenced, including developing a project schedule and drafting preliminary project requirements.
    • The Master Data Management and Interoperability project focuses on creating a data catalog and data dictionary for the Department. These efforts promote data standardization and data sharing among information technology systems that exchange information with the Reemployment Assistance program.
      • A revised project schedule was approved, as described on page 2 of this Program Status Overview.
      • The System and Software Integration vendor was provided the project’s requirements and is utilizing them to conduct market research that will support the development of technology recommendations, which are due in the next reporting period.
    • The Security Architecture Review project includes assessing the proposed modernized System to strengthen System security, reduce risk for all System users, and to define and implement enhanced security practices that meet or exceed modern security standards.
      • The Department amended the contract in July 2022 to adjust the deliverable due dates impacted by the volume of security controls and the number of internal System users required to meet the objectives of a security controls and skills assessment deliverable. Though the project timeline was extended to accommodate this change, the overall project schedule will not be impacted.
    • The Identity and Access Management project includes updating all Departmental identity management and access control policies and implementing enhanced front-end security measures to authenticate System users. These efforts ensure the individuals who have access to the System are provided the appropriate amount of access for their need.
      • A revised project schedule and scope was approved, as described on page 2 of this Program Status Overview.
      • The Department is developing a draft procurement for this project that will provide an IAM tool and services for System user role-based access and customized reports and dashboards to enhance System security and user oversight and anticipates issuing a solicitation in the next reporting period.
    • The Security Architecture Audit project includes a technical audit that will be provided by an independent third-party to review and test all technical aspects of the System for improved System security.
      • This project is forecast to start in January 2023.

June 2022:

  • The Cloud Migration project includes transitioning the System from operating on hardware stored on-premise to a cloud-based environment to ensure all aspects of the System are available to users during periods of high demand for continuous claims processing, including both web-based and call center services.
    • The Department is migrating various components of the System into a cloud-hosted environment, including files, databases, applications, and environment infrastructure. The updates shown below are as of this reporting period:
      • File migration: Completed in May 2022
      • Database migration: Completed in May 2022
      • Application migration: Migration activities are ongoing. All but one applications have been migrated; the final application will be addressed upon receiving feedback and guidance from the Internal Revenue Service, which is anticipated to be provided in July 2022.
      • Environment Infrastructure migration:
        • Test environment: Complete in May 2022
        • Pre-production environment: In progress and anticipated to be complete in July 2022.
        • Production environment: Not started
      • The Reemployment Assistance Contact Center solution was successfully deployed into a cloud-hosted environment this reporting period, which ensures callers can access the Contact Center at all times.
      • A contract amendment for enhancing the Contact Center’s Interactive Voice Response technology, including migrating it to a cloud-hosted environment, is in progress and is anticipated to be executed in the next reporting period to ensure claimants can access important information about their claim status at all times.
      • The Department upgraded its FileNet application from version 5.2 to version 5.5.7. The FileNet application is used by the Department to manage workflows in the System that ensure files that are provided by claimants, employers, and Third-Party Administrators are merged with the correct claim. Testing of this application is ongoing.
      • The Department is continuing its compliance review of a draft proposed contract amendment for the Digital Appeals Recording Solution (DARS), which includes the requirement to migrate the technology from an on-premise hosted environment to a cloud-hosted environment. DARS enables the Department to record appeals hearings, which provides due process to employers, third-party administrators, and claimants who have filed an appeal on a Reemployment Assistance claim.
    • The Cloud Application Performance Management project includes utilizing a software tool that provides visibility into key System performance indicators, such as numbers of concurrent users, for System monitoring. The tool also allows the Department to set defined thresholds for performance and receive notification if remedial actions are needed to maintain System performance and prevent System downtime.
      • This project is currently forecast to start in July 2022. In preparation, a project kick-off meeting was scheduled for early July 2022.
    • The SDLC DevOps project includes improving documentation for the System, including application design documentation, artifacts, and dataflow diagrams. This helps establish a process that sets a standard for maintaining System documentation and planning the deployment of System enhancements that align and prioritize Reemployment Assistance program requirements with the System’s functionality.
      • The Department secured a DevOps Engineer position, which will be onboarded in July 2022. This resource will ensure the DevOps environment is configured correctly to support future System enhancement activities and to make any necessary adjustments, if needed.
      • The Department continues to work with the ServiceNow vendor to identify requirements and integrate this software with the new DevOps environment. ServiceNow will serve as a repository for System requirements. Integration of these software tools will sync the System’s testing environment and cross-reference requirements with test results. It will also develop an audit trail that can be used to reference changes made to the System over time. The Department anticipates the development work to support this integration will be complete in August 2022.
    • The .NET and ORM Upgrade project is designed to ensure the Department’s .NET framework and Object Relational Mapping (ORM) software receive security fixes, updates, and technical support that align with industry standards. The .NET framework is a platform that is used to create and run software applications. ORM software promotes more efficient System development by translating low-level coding across tables that store data.
      • The Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s .NET framework was upgraded and fully deployed in this reporting period.
      • The Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s ORM software is being updated from version 3.5 to version 5.8. In this reporting period, the execution testing plan for upgrading the LLBLGEN layer, which connects the database and the System, was revised to ensure continuity of System operations, given the magnitude of the upgrade. The upgrade includes 66 applications, and development and testing is ongoing. The Department is evaluating its testing and deployment approach to ensure the System’s framework will support data transactions. Full deployment of all applications is forecasted to be complete in October 2022.
    • The Rules Engine project includes utilizing a software tool that serves as a separate infrastructure environment for managing and executing business rules that govern how Reemployment Assistance claims are processed. Business rules that are currently operating within the System will be moved to the rules engine. By using a rules engine to manage and operate business rules, specifically those rules that are updated periodically to accommodate changes in state or federal law, the Department gains staff efficiency and helps support System performance. A rules engine is more user-friendly and doesn’t require System code changes, which means information technology staff can be repurposed for larger, more complex System enhancements and business rule changes can be deployed faster. Additionally, because the rules engine operates in a separate infrastructure environment, it allows for increased System performance.
      • This reporting period, the Department completed its effort to develop requirements for this project. In the next reporting period, the Department and its System and Software Integration vendor will begin developing a scope of work for a business rules engine, including services required by a prospective vendor to ensure interoperability.
      • The Department has determined a specific list of approximately 2, 500 rules that will be migrated to and deployed in the business rules engine during the Modernization Program timeline. Additional rules will be migrated and deployed in the business rules engine through continuous modernization efforts.
    • The SOA and API Layer project will help promote a more efficient System by creating a layer between various components of the System that serves as the messenger for all data exchanges. This layer helps prevent a downturn in System performance by offloading demand on the System.
      • This reporting period, the Department completed its effort to develop requirements for this project. The Department is actively working to finalize the project scope by determining which APIs will be migrated to and deployed in an integration platform. In the next reporting period, the Department and its System and Software Integration vendor will finalize the project scope and begin developing a scope of work for an integration platform, including services required by a prospective vendor to ensure interoperability.
    • The Reemployment Assistance Help Center project created a front-end website that serves as a one-stop shop for System users to get answers to frequently asked questions, view information about their claim, submit inquiries to the Department for assistance, and submit information to the Department that facilitate claims processing.
      • This project was completed in December 2021. The Reemployment Assistance Help Center will undergo additional enhancements through continuous modernization efforts to improve internal workflows that ensure users’ claims are processed timely. 
    • The Strategic Planning Office project equips the Department with standards, governance, and project management services for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program, and oversees the Program’s scope, schedule, and budget to promote accountability and alignment with Department priorities.
      • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO) continues to provide overall Program and project management support.
      • The SPO continues to work with project managers to adopt ServiceNow to manage project budgets and monthly spending. Project managers are now utilizing ServiceNow to enter actual and anticipated project expenditures.
    • The Independent Verification and Validation project includes leveraging an independent third-party consultant to provide objective and proactive risk identification and assessment to the Department. Observations and risks identified by the consultant are used by the Department to implement the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and any necessary mitigating strategies.
      • IV&V continues to attend various Department meetings to support Program and project oversight.
    • The System and Software Integration project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.
      • The System and Software Integration vendor continues to work with Department staff and the Business Process Optimization vendor to develop technical requirements that support the Reemployment Assistance program’s needs and that will be used to develop procurements for future software procurements.
      • The System and Software Integration vendor developed software recommendation options for two projects this reporting period that will be considered by the Department as procurement documents are drafted.
      • The System and Software Integration vendor began working with Project Managers and Department staff to initiate developing scopes of work for various future procurements and will be refined as needed, as additional business requirements for the modernized System are finalized.
    • The Business Process Optimization project focuses on identifying, cataloging, and reengineering business processes and requirements that are necessary to improve the user experience. These reengineered processes and requirements will support a more efficient claims process for both internal and external System users.
      • The Department began working on the “All Other” module and prioritized three programs for business process optimization, including Appeals, Central Intake, and the Short-Term Compensation program.
      • The Department continues to hold bi-weekly workshops to support the development of business and technical requirements that will be used to procure for various software tools. Workshops focused on gathering requirements for how the current System operates is complete for the Employers and Third-Party Administrators module. Workshops focused on gathering requirements for how the modernized System will operate have started for both the Employers and Third-Party Administrators module and Initial Claims module.
      • The Department received and is reviewing the report containing requirements for how the modernized System will operate for the Continued Claims modules. The Department also received and is reviewing the report containing requirements for how the current System operates for the Employers and Third-Party Administrators module.
      • The Department hosted a roundtable discussion with several large employers and third-party administrators who utilize the current System to better understand their current user experience and identify opportunities for improvement.
    • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.
      • Core Claims and Claim Status
        •  This module is forecast to start in August 2022; however, the Department continues working with its SSI and BPO vendors to finalize the modernized System’s technical requirements and future state business requirements, respectively, to support future procurement activities.
      • Continued Claims
        • This module is forecast to start in September 2022; however, the Department continues working with its SSI and BPO vendors to finalize the modernized System’s technical requirements and future state business requirements, respectively, to support future procurement activities.
      • Employers and Third-Party Administrators
        • This module is forecast to start in October 2022; however, the Department continues working with its SSI and BPO vendors to finalize the modernized System’s technical requirements and future state business requirements, respectively, to support future procurement activities.
      • Initial Claims
        • This module is forecast to start in October 2022; however, the Department continues working with its SSI and BPO vendors to finalize the modernized System’s technical requirements and future state business requirements, respectively, to support future procurement activities.
      • The Data Warehouse project established a separate infrastructure environment for storing and reporting Reemployment Assistance data. The data warehouse enhances System performance by conducting reporting activities in a separate infrastructure environment.
        • This project was completed in January 2022.
      • The Reporting project includes migrating all System reports from the System to the Data Warehouse and developing and validating all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports. The data warehouse provides the Department with standardized data and reduces the need for staff intervention for future reporting activities.
        • 33 reports have been developed and validated and are being submitted directly to the U.S. Department of Labor from the Data Warehouse. The remaining six reports are currently being validated.
        • In the previous reporting period, the project scope was expanded to include 15 data populations that will be moved from the System database into the Data Warehouse to ensure they match data that is used for federal reporting. Three populations were moved into the Data Warehouse and developed this reporting period, two are in progress, and 10 are remaining for development.
        • The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) provided guidance to all states regarding the recovery for certain Reemployment Assistance overpayments and the Department initiated System enhancements to implement this guidance. To ensure the Department is submitting accurate data to USDOL, the Department will perform additional development work and testing on three reports and will test two other reports to determine if additional development work is needed.
      • The Archival and Purge project establishes a process for archiving and purging appropriate Reemployment Assistance data. These activities will reduce the Department’s data storage costs and greatly impact the efficiency and stability of the System, because it will purge any data that is no longer required to be maintained by the Department and allow for the secure storage in a separate environment of any data that the Department must maintain for a period of time.
        • In this reporting period, the Department finalized a project charter to outline the project’s objectives and defined the project’s scope.
        • A project kick-off meeting was scheduled for early July 2022.
      • The Master Data Management and Interoperability project focuses on creating a data catalog and data dictionary for the Department. These efforts promote data standardization and data sharing among information technology systems that exchange information with the Reemployment Assistance program.
        • This reporting period, the Department finalized project requirements and drafted the project schedule.
      • The Security Architecture Review project includes assessing the proposed modernized System to strengthen System security, reduce risk for all System users, and to define and implement enhanced security practices that meet or exceed modern security standards.
        • The Department initiated work on a security controls and skills assessment deliverable that serves as the foundation for the Security Architecture Review project. Due to the volume of security controls and the number of internal System users, the time originally allocated for this deliverable was deemed insufficient to complete this deliverable. A contract amendment to adjust the deliverable due dates is anticipated in early July. Though the project timeline will be extended to accommodate this change, the overall project schedule will not be impacted.
      • The Identity and Access Management project includes updating all Departmental identity management and access control policies and implementing enhanced front-end security measures to authenticate System users. These efforts ensure the individuals who have access to the System are provided the appropriate amount of access for their need.
        • Requirements for this project have been finalized and were used to conduct a market analysis for an identity and access management product. The results of the analysis will be evaluated and used to shape a procurement for this project in the next reporting period.
      • The Security Architecture Audit project includes a technical audit that will be provided by an independent third-party to review and test all technical aspects of the System for improved System security.
        • No change from the previous reporting period. This project is forecast to start in January 2023.

May 2022:

  • As Cloud Migration project includes transitioning the System from operating on hardware stored on-premise to a cloud-based environment to ensure all aspects of the System are available to users during periods of high demand for continuous claims processing, including both web-based and call center services. 
    • The Department is migrating various components of the System into a cloud-hosted environment, including files, databases, applications, and environment infrastructure. The updates shown below are as of this reporting period:
      • File migration: Completed in May 2022
      • Database migration: Completed in May 2022
      • Application migration: Migration activities are ongoing. An anticipated completion date will be provided in the next reporting period.
      • Environment Infrastructure migration:
        • Test environment: Complete in May 2022
        • Pre-production environment: In progress and anticipated to be complete in July 2022.
        • Production environment: Not started
      • This reporting period, the Department executed a contract with OpenText Exstream software, which is a communications management software that integrates data across the System. This supports the migration of data and applications currently stored on-premises into a cloud-hosted environment. Migrating these elements into a cloud-hosted environment supports System scalability and availability.
      • The Department is reviewing for compliance a draft of the proposed contract amendment for the Digital Appeals Recording Solution (DARS), which includes the requirement to migrate the technology from an on-premise hosted environment to a cloud-hosted environment. DARS enables the Department to record appeals hearings, which provides due process to employers, third-party administrators, and claimants who have filed an appeal on a Reemployment Assistance claim.
      • The conversion of the existing Reemployment Assistance Contact Center solution into a cloud-hosted environment is ongoing. Testing was initiated during this reporting period and will take place into the next reporting period, with an anticipated go-live date in late June or early July.
    • The Cloud Application Performance Management project includes utilizing a software tool that provides visibility into key System performance indicators, such as numbers of concurrent users, for System monitoring. The tool also allows the Department to set defined thresholds for performance and receive notification if remedial actions are needed to ensure maintain System performance and prevent System downtime.
      • No change from the previous reporting period. This project is currently forecast to start in July 2022.
    • The SDLC DevOps project includes improving documentation for the System, including application design documentation, artifacts, and dataflow diagrams. This helps establish a process that sets a standard for maintaining System documentation and planning the deployment of System enhancements that align and prioritize Reemployment Assistance program requirements with the System’s functionality.
      • The Department is interviewing several candidates for the DevOps Engineer position, which will support integration of the DevOps environment with the Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System.
      • The Department is working with the ServiceNow vendor to integrate this software with the new DevOps environment. ServiceNow will serve as a repository for System requirements. Integration of these software tools will sync the System’s testing environment and cross-reference requirements with test results. It will also develop an audit trail that can be used to reference changes made to the System over time.
    • The .NET and ORM Upgrade project is designed to ensure the Department’s .NET framework and Object Relational Mapping (ORM) software receive security fixes, updates, and technical support that align with industry standards. The .NET framework is a platform that is used to create and run software applications. ORM software promotes more efficient System development by translating low-level coding across tables that store data.
      • The Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s .NET framework has been upgraded to the latest available version and is scheduled to deploy in early June.
      • The Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s ORM software is being updated from version 3.5 to version 5.8. In this reporting period, the testing plan for upgrading the LLBLGEN layer, which connects the database and the System, is being revised to ensure continuity of System operations, given the magnitude of the upgrade. The upgrade, which includes 66 applications, will be deployed in phases. Deployment of these applications within the LLBLGEN layer is forecasted to be complete in October 2022.
    • The Rules Engine project includes utilizing a software tool that serves as a separate infrastructure environment for managing and executing business rules that govern how Reemployment Assistance claims are processed. Business rules that are currently operating within the System will be moved to the rules engine. By using a rules engine to manage and operate business rules, specifically those rules that are updated periodically to accommodate changes in state or federal law, the Department gains staff efficiency and helps support System performance. A rules engine is more user-friendly and doesn’t require System code changes, which means information technology staff can be repurposed for larger, more complex System enhancements and business rule changes can be deployed faster. Additionally, because the rules engine operates in a separate infrastructure environment, it allows for increased System performance.
      • This reporting period, the Department completed its effort to develop preliminary requirements for this project. Department staff began participating in workshops facilitated by the System and Software Integration vendor to identify and catalog detailed technical requirements for the modernized System. These requirements will be used to develop a scope of work for business rules engine, including services required by a prospective vendor to ensure interoperability.
      • The Department has identified four areas of focus for business rules that will be migrated to the business rules engine; however, further refinement activities are underway to determine a specific list of rules that will be migrated to the business rules engine.
    • The SOA and API Layer project will help promote a more efficient System by creating a layer between various components of the System that serves as the messenger for all data exchanges. This layer helps prevent a downturn in System performance by offloading demand on the System.
      • This reporting period, the Department completed its effort to develop preliminary requirements for this project. Department staff began participating in workshops facilitated by the System and Software Integration vendor to identify and catalog detailed technical requirements for the modernized System. These requirements will be used to develop a scope of work for an integration platform, including services required by a prospective vendor to ensure interoperability.
    • The Reemployment Assistance Help Center project created a front-end website that serves as a one-stop shop for System users to get answers to frequently asked questions, view information about their claim, submit inquiries to the Department for assistance, and submit information to the Department that facilitate claims processing.
      • This project was completed in December 2021. The Reemployment Assistance Help Center will undergo additional enhancements through continuous modernization efforts to improve internal workflows that ensure users’ claims are processed timely. 
    • The Strategic Planning Office project equips the Department with standards, governance, and project management services for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program, and oversees the Program’s scope, schedule, and budget to promote accountability and alignment with Department priorities.
      • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO) continues to provide overall Program and project management support.
      • The SPO continues to work with project managers to adopt ServiceNow to manage project budgets and monthly spending. In the next reporting period, project managers will fully manage project budgets and monthly spending using ServiceNow.
    • The Independent Verification and Validation project includes leveraging an independent third-party consultant to provide objective and proactive risk identification and assessment to the Department. Observations and risks identified by the consultant are used by the Department to implement the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and any necessary mitigating strategies.
      • IV&V continues to attend various Department meetings to support Program and project oversight.
    • The System and Software Integration project includes leveraging the expertise of a third-party services provider with experience in strategic planning, System design, System development, and System integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts to ensure the Department’s various modernization projects work as intended to deliver an enhanced user experience.
      • This reporting period, the System and Software Integration (SSI) vendor began reviewing technical artifacts provided by the Department and attending various project meetings for projects that have interdependency with the SSI project.
      • The SSI vendor also initiated hosting workshops with the Department to identify both existing and future state technical requirements to support the Modernization Program. These requirements, in addition to the business requirements being developed as part of the Business Process Optimization project, will be used to develop procurements for future software procurements.
    • The Business Process Optimization project focuses on identifying, cataloging, and reengineering business processes and requirements that are necessary to improve the user experience. These reengineered processes and requirements will support a more efficient claims process for both internal and external System users.
      • The Department continues to hold bi-weekly workshops to support the development of business and technical requirements that will be used to procure for various software tools. During this reporting period, the Department completed the workshops focused on gathering requirements that reflect how the current System operates for the Core Claims process and commenced workshops ahead of schedule for the Initial Claims and Employers and Third-Party Administrators modules.
      • The Department accepted the Lessons Learned Collection Process deliverable, which establishes a process to capture, document, and evaluate lessons learned that will support continuous System improvement.
      • This reporting period, the vendor submitted business processes for Department review for both the current and future state for the Continued Claims process. These future state requirements detail the specifications that must be met by future vendors who will provide software solutions for various Modernization projects.
    • The Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project includes optimizing the existing System and developing a user-friendly front-end for Reemployment Assistance claimants that is also mobile-friendly. The transformation will occur incrementally to ensure all System users benefit from System optimization, with a focus on enhancing the claimant experience first.
      • Core Claims and Claim Status
        • This module is forecast to start in August 2022; however, the Department is working with its SSI vendor to host workshops to determine the modernized System’s technical requirements and to the future state business requirements developed by the Business Process Optimization vendor to support future procurement activities for this module.
      • Continued Claims
        • This module is forecast to start in September 2022; however, the Department is working with its SSI vendor to host workshops to determine the modernized System’s technical requirements and will evaluate the future state business requirements that are being developed by the Business Process Optimization vendor to support future procurement activities for this module.
      • Employers and Third-Party Administrators
        • This module is forecast to start in October 2022; however, the Department is working with its SSI vendor to host workshops to determine the modernized System’s technical requirements for this module.
      • Initial Claims
        • This module is forecast to start in October 2022; however, the Department is working with its SSI vendor to host workshops to determine the modernized System’s technical requirements for this module.
    • The Data Warehouse project established a separate infrastructure environment for storing and reporting Reemployment Assistance data. The data warehouse enhances System performance by conducting reporting activities in a separate infrastructure environment.
      • This project was completed in January 2022.
    • The Reporting project includes migrating all System reports from the System to the Data Warehouse and developing and validating all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports. The data warehouse provides the Department with standardized data and reduces the need for staff intervention for future reporting activities.
      • No change from the previous reporting period.
    • The Archival and Purge project establishes a process for archiving and purging appropriate Reemployment Assistance data. These activities will reduce the Department’s data storage costs and greatly impact the efficiency and stability of the System, because it will purge any data that is no longer required to be maintained by the Department and allow for the secure storage in a separate environment of any data that the Department must maintain for a period of time.
      • In this reporting period, the Department assembled a project team and drafted a project charter to outline the project’s objectives.
    • The Master Data Management and Interoperability project focuses on creating a data catalog and data dictionary for the Department. These efforts promote data standardization and data sharing among information technology systems that exchange information with the Reemployment Assistance program.
      • This reporting period, a Project Manager was assigned began working on developing a project schedule and detailed project requirements.
    • The Security Architecture Review project includes assessing the proposed modernized System to strengthen System security, reduce risk for all System users, and to define and implement enhanced security practices that meet or exceed modern security standards.
      • A contract with Ernst & Young was executed in May 2022.
      • The vendor submitted a Project Management Plan and Schedule to the Department for review.
    • The Identity and Access Management project includes updating all Departmental identity management and access control policies and implementing enhanced front-end security measures to authenticate System users. These efforts ensure the individuals who have access to the System are provided the appropriate amount of access for their need.
      • Requirements for this project have been gathered and are undergoing internal review.
      • This reporting period, the project team initiated the enterprise information technology team to determine the impact of this project on enterprise applications that manage staff. These discussions are ongoing and will help support the development of a project plan to support project implementation, including the enhancement of existing enterprise applications and the System.
    • The Security Architecture Audit project includes a technical audit that will be provided by an independent third-party to review and test all technical aspects of the System for improved System security.
      • This project is forecast to start in January 2023.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program?

Governor Ron DeSantis signed and enacted HB 1463 on May 7, 2021, which established the Office of Economic Accountability and Transparency and created a path for implementing, and reporting on the progress of, an integrated, modular system hosted in a cloud service for the Reemployment Assistance program.

The Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program is a multi-year effort that focuses on addressing the immediate need to improve performance and accessibility of the Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System while also establishing the architectural framework and processes necessary to implement continuous modernization efforts efficiently and effectively.

What are the goals of the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program?

The primary goals for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program are to:

  • Provide a system that is efficient, scalable, and meets the needs of providing Reemployment Assistance benefits to protect workers employed in Florida who lose their job through no fault of their own;
  • Enhance services provided to Floridians to access better career and workforce training opportunities and achieve economic self-sufficiency;
  • Achieve Reemployment Assistance national prominence, as measured through the federal core measures, program integrity measures, and standards required by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor;
  • Improve access and equity in the delivery of Reemployment Assistance benefits;
  • Sharpen the Reemployment Assistance program’s focus on outcomes and accountability;
  • Provide a system capable of responding rapidly to changes in law and economic conditions;
  • Reduce cyber security risk and potential for fraud;
  • Improve information flow with claimants, employers, and Third-Party Administrators (TPA) to provide quicker resolutions;
  • Improve the Reemployment Assistance program quality, accountability, performance, and integrity;
  • Leverage new technologies to improve claimants, employers, and TPAs’ overall experience with the Reemployment Assistance Program, including reducing the amount of time it takes to file a claim for benefits;
  • Improve efficiencies and effectiveness in managing claim workload and being better equipped to handle unexpected spikes in the number of claims that may result from emergencies, disasters, or economic factors;
  • Eliminate manual, error-prone, labor-intensive processes;
  • Enhance system usability, including accessibility;
  • Reduce maintenance and support time and costs;
  • Incorporate technical standards sufficient to develop from and modern technologies;
  • Seamlessly integrate with other internal/external information technology assets; and
  • Modernize real-time and batch interfaces and all other systems exchanging data with the Reemployment Assistance program.

What funding has FloridaCommerce received for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program?

Governor Ron DeSantis signed and enacted HB 1463 on May 7, 2021, which established the Office of Economic Accountability and Transparency and created a path for implementing, and reporting on the progress of, an integrated, modular system hosted in a cloud service for the Reemployment Assistance program. As a result, FloridaCommerce was appropriated approximately $92.4 million in General Revenue Funds for the FY 2021-2022 modernization and continued maintenance of the Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System that complies with section 282.206, Florida Statutes.  Of these funds, approximately $19.3 million has been allocated for increased maintenance and operations of the system, $71.9 million was provided for system modernization, and approximately $1.17 million was allocated to competitively procure a provider with experience in conducting Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) services of information technology to provide comprehensive review, analysis, and testing to confirm that each projects’ requirements are correctly defined, and to confirm that each project is correctly implemented and functioning as part of the larger system.

How will FloridaCommerce’s efforts be monitored and assessed?

In accordance with section 287.056, Florida Statutes, and 60GG-2 Florida Administrative Code, Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) is required for all state of Florida projects that have total project costs of $10 million or more.  FloridaCommerce has procured the contractual services of Gartner, Inc., to provide independent, third-party IV&V services.  FloridaCommerce has also established the Office of Economic Accountability and Transparency to monitor modernization development and has procured a Strategic Planning Office as part of the Modernization efforts to provide project management and progress reporting. In addition, FloridaCommerce regularly engages partners for feedback.

What phases are involved in the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program?

The Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program includes approximately 20 projects which are grouped into the following categories: infrastructure, software, data and analytics, and security.  The following details summarize each anticipated project.

Infrastructure

  • Cloud Migration: Complete planning for remaining migration, readiness activities, and migration of Reemployment Assistance Benefits Information System’s infrastructure from the State Data Center and Disaster Recovery sites to a Cloud Service Provider using an Internet as a Service hosting model. Included within the migration project is the selection and implementation of a new document storage solution and document generation solution.
  • Cloud Application Performance Management: Provide application performance management, including functionality like root cause analysis, custom dashboards showing key performance indicators to communicate performance at-a-glance, and system monitoring with clearly defined thresholds when remedial action must occur and then defining those actions.

Software

  • Cloud Contact Center as a Service: Replace or migrate the current Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Center solution with a cloud-based contact center solution. The new system should be able to replace the current phone system (Cisco) and Interactive Voice Response system. This project was previously included in the Cloud Migration project identified in the Final Report.
  • System Development Life Cycle – Development Operations: Ensure the completeness and correctness of the application design documentation, related artifacts, and dataflow diagrams for the Reemployment Assistance Benefits Information System and ensure that a process is in place that aligns the Reemployment Assistance Benefits Information System functionality with management’s business requirements, including secure development best practices (DevSecOps, SDLC).
  • .NET and ORM Upgrade: Establish a solid architectural basis in support of continuous system modernization by upgrading the Reemployment Assistance Benefits Information System application to the latest version of the .NET Framework and defining a new architecture based on .NET Core and upgrade the Object Relational Mapping software to the most current version.
  • Systems-Oriented Architecture and Application Programming Interface Layer: Establish a solid architectural basis in support of the continuous modernization by defining a new architecture based on .NET Core, Web API framework, and a service-oriented architecture for the modernized Reemployment Assistance Benefits Information System application.
  • Rules Engine: Establish business rules into a user-visible and user-maintainable business rules engine. This will allow both maintaining business rules and developing new business rules without requiring code changes and subsequent deployments.
  • Business Process Optimization: Identify, assess, analyze, and redesign Reemployment Assistance business processes, and develop business and technical functional and non-functional requirements into a customer-centric business framework that leverages improvements and supporting technologies to deliver world-class customer service.
  • Incremental Customer Experience (CX)/User Experience (UX) Mobile-Responsive Software Transformation: Establish an agile and incremental solution to ensure that business process optimization is incorporated into the customer and user experience transformation activities for each of the functional modules within the scope of the CX/UX project.
  • Systems and Software Integration Procurement: Procure the contractual services of a third-party System and Software Integration services provider with experience in strategic planning, design, development, and integration for large multi-component system modernization efforts.
  • Strategic Planning Office: Enables FloridaCommerce to maintain focus and direction across all projects within the program. Serves as a single point of contact for budget, scope, and status reporting.
  • Independent Verification and Validation Procurement: Procure the contractual services of a third-party consulting firm with experience in conducting Independent Verification and Validation assessments to provide these services for the Reemployment Assistance modernization and mobile-responsive transformation project.
  • Reemployment Assistance Help Center: Includes the development of a front-end website that is a one-stop site for citizens/claimants to find answers to commonly asked questions and to enable easy navigation through all Reemployment Assistance processes and related documentation. Phase one of this project is limited to informational and navigational web page content development. Phase two of this project includes citizen master data management and data analytics to ensure that citizens have a complete view of all their current and historical information.

Data and Analytics

  • Data Warehouse: Establish a cloud-hosted data warehouse designed for reporting purposes. The warehouse will establish a single source of truth for customers, be independent of batch cycles, and maintain historical transactions.
  • Reporting Project: Rewrite all system reports and write any additional reports, as requested, using the existing data warehouse as a source of reporting data.
  • Archival and Purge Project: Establish a process and execute archival and purge of data in both the production database and file store.

Security

  • Master Data Management and Interoperability Project: Create a data catalog and data dictionary to enable standardization of data elements and interoperability across business units and other Departments per Florida Digital Services (FLDS) and section 282.206, F.S., requirements.
  • Security Architecture Review Services Project: Application security architecture services will ensure the application, underlying platform, and associated operations and development processes meet modern application security standards. Incorporating appropriate security controls from early in the application and system development lifecycle ensures security is inherent to the application and avoids incurring significant risk to users and prevents major costs from rework needed to meet security and compliance needs later.
  • Identity Management and Access Control Project: Acquire and integrate an identity and access management control service for utilization by all users of the system. This project includes the updating of identity management policies and procedures as well as any necessary migration of existing user accounts and roles to the new service.
  • Security Architecture Audit Services Project: Perform a technical audit consisting of a system, platform, application, and network hardening review, including a penetration testing engagement with scope involving, at a minimum, all application user and administrative interfaces, a sampling of all application environments and tiers, critical application infrastructure, access management platform, and staff resources.

How will FloridaCommerce ensure the sharing of data with partner agencies?

  • To enable timely implementation of business-driven, user-experience focused services, DEO will develop an application programming interface (API) framework to deliver web pages and responses to both end users and API consumers.

What is the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program timeline?

  • The Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program includes an initial two-year modernization effort with continuous modernization activities initiating once projects are complete. For details regarding the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program timeline, please click on the Roadmap tab.

How will FloridaCommerce advertise its procurement solicitations?

  • FloridaCommerce has chosen to procure products and services by using MyFloridaMarketPlace Sourcing by advertising eQuotes in accordance with F.S. 287.056.  Interested contractors must be registered in MyFloridaMarketPlace in order to conduct business with the State of Florida.
  • FloridaCommerce may solicit quotes for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program from contractors included on State Term Contract and/or Alternate Contract Source lists. Contractors are notified of these procurements by email based on the commodity codes they selected upon registration in MFMP as well as the commodity codes they have selected specific to each contract. 

Can anyone receive notification each time FloridaCommerce solicits quotes for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program?

  • Quote notifications are emailed to specific registered contractors that are listed on each respective State Term Contract or Alternate Contract Source and are not available for the public to view. Non-registered contractors can view solicitations only if they are a listed contractor or if a recipient of the solicitation forwards the notification. In accordance with chapter 287, Florida Statutes, the details of the solicitation (including scope of work, questions and answers, etc.) will not be available to the public until after the contract is awarded.

How can I get updates on vendor opportunities?

  • FloridaCommerce will provide updates on the Reemployment Assistance Modernization updates page each time a solicitation for products and/or services has been advertised.
    MyFloridaMarketPlace automatically notifies contractors of procurements by email based on the commodity codes they selected upon registration in MyFloridaMarketPlace as well as the commodity codes they have selected specific to each contract. To promote transparency, FloridaCommerce will also notify via email all contractors whose registered commodity codes match the commodity codes attached to the procurement being advertised.

    Additionally, FloridaCommerce will host a webinar in November 2021 to discuss the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program. Those interested in signing up for this webinar can do so here.

How can I learn more about FloridaCommerce's procurement strategy?

  • FloridaCommerce's Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program is an ongoing process that involves the preparation of specifications for upcoming contracts. To protect the competitive nature of these procurements, FloridaCommerce will not have any discussions related to the scope, evaluation, or negotiation of any previous, current, or future procurements with vendors or their representatives, other than FloridaCommerce's IV&V vendor, who is precluded from bidding on future Reemployment Assistance Modernization contracts.

    FloridaCommerce hosted a webinar on November 30, 2021 to discuss Reemployment Assistance Modernization and Procurement.

Do the Department’s procurements require contractors to provide financial statements? 

  • The Department may request corporate information from contractors to better understand the organization that has submitted a reply to a procurement. Financial information, such as copies of financial statements and statements about bankruptcy filings and Security Exchange Commission investigations, may be requested. If requested, please note the Department prefers, but does not require, financial statements be audited by a Certified Public Accountant.

What types of procurement vehicles will the Department utilize for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program?

  • The At this time, the Department does not anticipate advertising competitive solicitations, such as Invitations to Negotiate or Requests for Proposals. The Department will issue a series of Requests for Quote to enable the implementation of the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program. These Requests for Quote may be advertised through the Florida Department of Management Services’ State Term Contract list or an Alternate Contract Source list, such as the GSA Schedule 70 and/or NASPO.

How will the Department avoid conflicts of interest throughout the procurement process?

  • Per s. 287.057, Florida Statutes, the Department will avoid, neutralize, or mitigate significant potential organizational conflicts of interest before a contract is awarded. The Department will not proceed with a contract award if a conflict of interest is based upon the vendor gaining an unfair competitive advantage, including gaining access to information that is not available to the public and would assist the vendor in obtaining the contract, or obtaining source selection information that is relevant to the contract but is not available to all vendors that would assist the vendor in obtaining the contract.

    Additionally, a person who performs a feasibility study of the potential implementation of a subsequent contract, who participates in the drafting of a solicitation, or who develops a program for future implementation, is not eligible to contract with the Department for any other contracts dealing with that specific subject matter, and any firm in which such person has any interest is not eligible to receive such contract.

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Procurements

Procurements


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