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Infrastructure & Citizens Services
Oklahoma Highway Patrol
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol received approval from the Governor to utilize roughly $7.6 million in CRF grants towards the following programs listed below:
- COVID-19 Protective Response Equipment – OHP delivers critical security services at Oklahoma’s Strategic National Stockpile, for the movement of the State’s PPE to the frontlines, and for the future deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, while also delivering critical law enforcement services on the State’s highways and interstates. Utilizing CRF dollars, OHP is in the midst of retrofitting officers with body cameras, face shields, and other protective equipment to ensure a healthy and functional workforce during the ongoing pandemic.
- Electronic Records Management System – OHP’s current records management process is carried out entirely by hard copies of paperwork passing through multiple levels of staff and management. Utilizing CRF, OHP will implement an electronic records management system that will bring the agency into FBI compliance while providing delivering long-term efficiencies and safer interactions with local law enforcement, the general public and other agencies throughout the state.
- Safety Answering Point Upgrade – OHP will install Safety Answering Point (PSAP) software, equipping the state agency for supporting 9-1-1 calls to enhance aid for first responders in pandemic response and future catastrophic events.
- Statewide Public Safety Radio System – OHP is establishing a statewide public safety radio system to create efficient, streamlined communication across various law enforcement agencies. This will enhance OHP’s efforts to support local law enforcement functions should local police and county sheriff offices become challenged by the virus.
- Electronic Crash Reporting -- When an officer arrives at a crash site, they must obtain the driver license, vehicle registration, and insurance information from all the parties involved. This process is currently handled manually, through written reports and mailed documentations into headquarters for manual entry into a computer system. OHP will implement a new system that safely digitizes this process, delivering long-term efficiency while also minimizing person-to-person interactions that create risks of exposure to the virus.
- Contactless Drivers License Renewals – The arrival of COVID-19 in Oklahoma prompted the agency to make driver licenses and identification cars available for renewal online. CRF funds will be leveraged to hire additional contractors to accelerate online applications and address the backlog created by the in-person authentication requirements for federal REAL-ID compliance.
OHP has filed for reimbursement for additional expenses related to COVID-19, which is visible on the transparency dashboard.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections received approval from the Governor to utilize roughly $2 million in CRF economic grants towards the following programs listed below to improve operations across 27 State facilities and enhance services to protect the health of inmates, staff, and visitors and improve operations. ODOC has filed for reimbursement for additional expenses related to COVID-19, which is visible on the transparency dashboard.
- Infrared Thermometers – Infrared screening systems will be placed at the entrances of facilities, visiting rooms and other high-traffic areas in prison facilities to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 inside prisons.
- Virtual Court Hearings – In order to facilitate court hearings virtually for inmates in State custody, ODOC is utilizing CRF resources to retrofit each facility with audio and visual equipment in designated spaces. This will reduce the potential exposure for COVID-19, while delivering efficiencies by reducing the staff and time demands that come from transporting inmates to various courthouses across the State.
- Additional IT upgrades – To improve the delivery of educational resources and public health information for both inmates and staff, ODOC is replacing outdated technology across all statewide facilities to include television screens and the introduction of mobile, computer kiosks.
State Government Business Continuity
It is critical for agencies that provide health services, economic support, and public and social safety to those experiencing crisis due to COVID-19 to have business continuity. Business continuity helps the State best address the health, safety and emotional and economic health of all Oklahomans.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Oklahoma did not have a disaster recovery plan to ensure critical data was saved in an emergency, meaning a disruption in the State’s system could have resulted in a multi-day disruption in the delivery of essential services to Oklahomans, including the collection of COVID-19 data, the ability to pay unemployment claims, and the capability to offer health and mental health services via telemedicine.
The State must be able to continue to deliver critical services at all times, and outdated and unreliable systems are a direct threat to ensuring this can happen. Once this lack of emergency preparedness was identified, the Stitt administration allocated $110 million in CRF to address the issue and has increased its focus on reviewing and strengthening business continuity and disaster recovery plans for all 189 state agencies.
Front Porch and Non-Profit Agency Collaboration
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on Oklahoma’s most vulnerable populations. In order to better provide services to these Oklahomans during this historic pandemic, the State utilized $245,000 in CRF to launch the pilot year for the Front Porch Initiative in Oklahoma and Tulsa Counties.
The goal of the Front Porch Initiative is to simplify and streamline the ways Oklahomans interact with state health and human services agencies by building partnerships between the State and Oklahoma non-profits to provide a one-stop shop for Oklahomans to access key resources and services.
Software is used by non-profits and municipalities for case management, giving all entities "No Wrong Door" access to relevant customer information so that Oklahomans affected by the pandemic can receive coordinated care across agencies.
The State’s partnership with the Oklahoma City Diversion Hub launched on June 8, 2020 and focuses on assisting justice-involved individuals. The State’s partnership with Emergency Infant Services in Tulsa launched on October 26, 2020 and focuses on serving infants and children whose families are in financial crisis.
DHS Foster Kids Christmas Support
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Foster Christmas Gift Support program provides $50,000 in CARES Act funds to help facilitate the donation and dissemination of Christmas gifts for children in DHS custody.
These funds covered the expense to stand up a paperless process online for foster families to request gifts for foster children. Thousands of foster parents across the state have used this new system to safely submit requests and needs this holiday season.
Pandemic Response Real Estate Strategy
The Pandemic Response Real Estate Strategy leverages up to $1 million in CRF to develop a strategic plan to address the State’s real estate and to evaluate it in regard to the State’s current and future needs. It will take into account the recent increases in tele-work capabilities and the future design demands to improve hygiene and customer engagement. The project will deliver a more efficient management of State resources as well as safe working conditions for public employees and customers engaging with the State’s services.
Healthy Workplace Air Quality Assessment
Roughly $600,000 in CRF is being placed towards reducing the potential spread of COVID-19, and other infectious diseases, by assessing the current quality of air in State buildings, to build a plan to improve it and protect employees and visitors alike. Research has shown that poor indoor quality can increase the spread of COVID-19 and that high-quality HVAC systems in buildings can reduce the likelihood of spread. The surveying for this infrastructure project is underway.
Online Courses for Public Employees
Given the challenges of in-person training, this provides access to a large database of classes to all state employees, including support for teleworking, working in the coronavirus environment in which we now live, and business and technology courses to build skills across a broad set of topics.
Modernization for High-Traffic State Agency Websites
This project utilizes $21 million of CRF to implement web modernization for 25 state agencies and the main ok.gov website to improve citizens' access to state services remotely and allow for state employees to work remotely in emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor’s Pandemic Communication Infrastructure
The remote pandemic communications project uses $70,000 of CARES Act funding to provide the governor and other key state officials with the ability to safely communicate with Oklahomans at all times while preserving social distancing.
The remote system will allow state officials to participate in interviews with media or give an address to the state while being the only person in the room.
Unemployment Check Disbursement System Update
In order to provide stability and efficiency for Oklahoma’s citizens, $200,000 of CRF was used to replace the Oklahoma State Treasurer’s paper check printing application and hardware to facilitate the Unemployment Check Disbursement System.
The outdated system that is now being replaced crashed twice during the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting tens of thousands of unemployed Oklahomans.
Nurse Licensure Modernization
In response to the increased pressure on Oklahoma’s health care system, the State of Oklahoma is allowing nurses from other states to practice in Oklahoma if they have the proper documentation. In order to ensure these nurses are deployed as quickly and accurately as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, the State utilized $300,000 in CRF to replace the legacy AS400 system at the Board of Nursing and moved to an updated electronic system that will allow licenses to be processed more efficiently and effectively.
PPE Inventory Management System
In order to ensure Oklahoma can manage ongoing forward logistics for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and continue to build a strategic stockpile, the State is investing roughly $500,000 to develop a statewide system to ensure future PPE management needs can be met with a technology platform proven to be maintainable and scalable to meet the needs of the Department of Health and its regional distribution centers.
Pandemic Fiscal Cliff Budget Analysis
At the beginning of FY21, estimates showed that in FY22, Oklahoma was projected to face an approximately billion-dollar expense vs. revenue shortfall. With this in mind, the State is using $350,000 of CRF to engage Guidehouse, a company that specializes in advising and consulting state and local governments, to perform an analysis of the State’s revenue and expenses and make recommendations for cost savings opportunities, sources of additional revenue and more efficient use of the state budget based on benchmarking against other states and relevant entities and comparisons across state agencies.
This analysis will place emphasis on steps that can be taken immediately to reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 on the State’s finances.