Ten years ago, Virginia government had hundreds of different computer systems and software contracts spread over every different Virginia government department and agency. In fact, just in the Virginia Department of Transportation, there were multiple computer systems that did not talk to each other. For example, the system that handled new construction could not communicate to the system handing maintenance.
To solve this, Governor Mark Warner and the Virginia General Assembly embarked on a billion dollar plan to put all of Virginia’s Executive Branch government under one system and created the Virginia Information Technology Agency (“VITA”) to oversee all technology issues for state government.
It’s been 10 years, and Virginia has recently announced that the entire Executive Branch is now under one system managed through VITA and operated through a contract with Northrop Grumman. Now all departments’ and agencies’ computer systems can talk to each other. So, for example, the Dept. of Health can send information to the State Board of Elections as to who recently died so that their voting registration can be closed, and the DMV can tell the Department of Social Services if a Welfare recipient is claiming two different addresses.
To give you an idea on how big an operation this is, the total 2012 state expenditure on technology was $198.7 Million, with 90% of that going out in contracts to the private sector. Thus, there is nearly $180 Million a year in government contracts IT business with the State of Virginia.
Included in this massive overhaul of how the state deals with technology, Virginia recently put on line its new centralized e-VA web site. This is billed as a one-stop shop for all of Virginia’s procurement. You can find it on http://www.eva.state.va.us.