ETS and WDE Joint Task Force






Flint Waters, State Chief Information Officer  




ETS and WDE Joint Task Force




October 24, 2013




Tony Young, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor


At the request of the chairmen of the Joint Education Committee, the Department of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) is providing an update on the progress related to the ETS and WDE Joint Task Force.

“Progress on and developments from the joint ETS/WDE task force in IT strategic vision development and plan for school finance data administration and data collection systems and budget implications.”

ETS continues to collaborate with the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) on the maintenance and collection of educational data. In June, a continuity plan was developed identifying success criteria towards providing sustainable IT system support and technology consultation to the WDE. A joint ETS/WDE task force was established to address the administration and implementation of school finance and data collection including the identification of requirements necessary to facilitate the integrity, accuracy and security of all information and data utilized in calculation and distribution of payments to Wyoming school districts. The WDE, with support from ETS, is leading the efforts to implement the recommendations from the joint task force.

Success criteria and current status:

  • WDE begins immediate classification and recruitment of open positions deemed appropriate in support of the recent data needs assessment (0004 and 0077).

    • The two positions were reclassified and recruitments were posted by WDE.

  • Two occupied IT positions immediately move to ETS by Statute in support of the State IT mission (0051 and 0032).

    • The two occupied IT positions were transitioned to ETS. The two individuals completed the IT Consolidation on-boarding process to ensure correct team placement based on skills and career path desires.

  • One open position would move to ETS for the immediate hiring of a project manager dedicated to WDE needs (0092).

    • The open project manager position was moved to ETS, recruitment is in the candidate selection stage of the process in collaboration with WDE.

  • ETS provides staffing for a task force to collaborate as part of the larger team at WDE as they determine the needs for technology and data enhancements and continuity.

    • ETS has provided and continues to provide expertise in the areas of IT transition, business analysis, enterprise system architecture and education IT.

  • ETS provides immediate evaluation of risk state of existing servers, systems and infrastructure and responds appropriately to ensure technology is stabilized.

    • Systems management is needed in the following areas:

      • SharePoint maintenance and management

      • Active Directory maintenance and management

      • Database Administration maintenance and management

      • Server Operating Systems maintenance and management

    • Security review and audit on WDE’s Active Directory solution including the current user accounts and permissions. This review will cover identifying the appropriate user accounts and access rights. What has been found so far is that potentially some contractors may have inappropriate access to data and accounts through WDE’s Active Directory.

    • WDE data staff are a competent team working to meet mandated reporting obligations and can most likely improve their capabilities if they have assistance in IT maintenance and management of the supporting environments.

    • One goal of WDE data staff is to migrate the Oracle data system to a Microsoft SQL platform; however, they do not have the resources, staff or time to complete this task on their own and will need assistance. It is perceived, this conversion is to address cost effectiveness for maintaining the databases as well as leveraging easier to find SQL database administrator support resources.

    • While assisting WDE in attempting to comply with open records requests from their email system under the Superintendent, ETS was able to locate older email files belonging to WDE staff with the exception of Cindy Hill and Kevin Lewis. These files are from the legacy email system operated by WDE before the Google implementation. More work is underway in an attempt clarify this report and check backup systems from legacy WDE email, prior to the staff being assigned to ETS.

      Note: With enhanced software ETS was able to recover the missing email from a backup copy of the email system.

    • ETS has expedited review of budgetary items, bid waivers and RFP’s to assist WDE in meeting short timelines related to legislative mandates.

  • Joint task force provides input as needed regarding budgetary needs for immediate submission on behalf of WDE and ETS.

    • ETS reviewed WDE’s IT Budget Exception requests determining it best to continue with support and maintenance of existing systems.

    • It is the recommendation of ETS that a high-level strategic plan be developed before making decisions related to technology approaches and directions to ensure funds are being allocated appropriately to enhancements and upgrades. In the interim, support and maintenance agreements of existing systems need to be continued.

  • ETS participants can assist, if requested, in the determination of position language for the hiring of the WDE positions outlined in the MPR/RTI assessment.

    • ETS reviewed language for hiring of the WDE positions outlined in the MPR/RTI assessment.

    • ETS used the B11 process to transfer an AWEC position to meet the need of a third position outlined in the assessment.

    • All three positions were posted for recruitment by WDE.

Additional assistance:

  • Upon request from WDE, quotes were provided for programming and database assistance to participate in reducing current backlog. This item is the only one with a potential budgetary impact. The use of these services is at the discretion of WDE within their existing budget.

  • ETS has held several meetings with WDE to provide technical and planning expertise in meeting current and upcoming challenges.

Next steps:

  • WDE major applications are being reviewed to determine further recommendations.

  • ETS will work with WDE to identify appropriate security restrictions for contractors operating within the WDE system.