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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 Economic Opportunity (DEO) 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


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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November 2021: DEO refreshed the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program Roadmap.


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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.

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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. 

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.


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Updates

Updates


April 2022:

  • As part of its Cloud Migration project,
    • The Department completed the Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) for this project. An RTM allows for thorough and accurate testing by developing a list of requirements that detail how a system or technology should perform. Testers will use this RTM to confirm the System is performing as expected as it is migrated to the cloud.
    • The Department completed the first phase of data migration into a development system that supports testing. Migrating data into a development system creates a testing environment that allows staff to conduct user acceptance testing before deploying any changes in the System.
    • The Department completed its statement of work for OpenText Exstreme software. This will facilitate 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. 
    • The Department continued working to migrate its existing databases into the cloud. Migrating these elements into a cloud-hosted environment supports System scalability and availability. It is anticipated this effort will be complete in early May 2022.
  • As part of its SDLC DevOps project, the Department continues to advertise for a DevOps Engineer, which will support integration of the DevOps environment with the Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System. This 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.
  • As part of its .NET and ORM Upgrade project, 
    • The Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s .NET framework is being upgraded from version 4.0 to version 4.8. This technology upgrade ensures the latest enhancements are applied to the System. Testing is complete and deployment is scheduled to be complete in June 2022. 
    • The Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System’s Fraud Initiative Rules and Rating Engine (FIRRE) application is being upgraded from version 4.5 to version 4.8. System testing was complete in March 2022. During this period, the Department implemented code changes as part of its regularly scheduled System enhancement schedule. Deployment of this technology upgrade is forecasted to be complete in June 2022.
    • The Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s Object Relational Mapping (ORM) software is being updated from version 3.5 to version 5.8. In this reporting period, the LLBLGEN layer, which connects the database and the System, completed testing for all 66 applications ahead of schedule. Deployment of these applications within the LLBLGEN layer will continue and is forecast to be complete in October 2022.
  • As part of its Rules Engine project, and to support the procurement writing efforts that will be provided by the System and Software Integration vendor, the Department developed preliminary requirements and began evaluating all business rules that currently dictate how the System performs and the Reemployment Assistance program is administered. As part of the evaluation, staff will prioritize a subset of rules that will be deployed in a Rules Engine product to provide maximum benefit to all System users. This evaluation will also facilitate a defined scope for the project.
  • As part of its SOA and API Layer project, this reporting period, the Department increased collaboration with the Florida Digital Service to learn more about the state enterprise solution for integrating large, multi-component information technology systems, which could potentially serve the modernization Program’s technology needs for this project. The Department continues to work with its SSI vendor to assess the needs of the modernized System to determine the most appropriate integration platform.
  • The Strategic Planning Office (SPO):
    • Continues to provide overall Program and project management support. This reporting period, the SPO completed building out resource and capacity management and planning in ServiceNow to better understand the Program’s staffing needs.
    • 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 Department accepted the second Independent Verification and Validation Quarterly Assessment Report this reporting period. This report includes the period beginning January 1, 2022, and ending March 31, 2022, to outline the overall Program risk across a set of risk dimensions and categories.
  • A contract with Peraton was executed for System and Software Integration services.
  • As part of its Business Process Optimization project, 
    • The Department continues to hold bi-weekly workshops to support the development of business and technical requirements that will be used to procure for the Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project. During this reporting period, the Department completed the workshops focused on gathering requirements that reflect how the current System operates for the Continued Claim process. The Department also completed the workshops focused on gathering requirements on how the modernized System should operate for the Core Claims process.
    • 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.
    • The Department accepted the Core Claims To-Be requirements deliverable. To-Be requirements detail the specifications that must be met by the vendor and software solution selected for the Incremental Customer Experience/User Experience Mobile-Responsive Transformation project.
  • The Core Claims and Claim Status module of the Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation is forecast to start in August 2022; however, the Department started identifying and developing requirements for the Core Claims and Claim Status process to support future procurement activities. The Continued Claims module is forecast to start in September 2022. The Employers and Third-Party Administrators and Initial Claims modules are forecast to start in October 2022.
  • Four additional reports have been fully validated as part of the Reporting project and are now being submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor directly from the Data Warehouse, including the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) 538 Advance Weekly Initial and Continued Claims Report, ETA 203 Characteristics of the Insured Unemployed Report, ETA 9052 Nonmonetary Determination Time Lapse, Detection Date, and ETA 9016 Alien Claims Activity Report. Nine additional reports have been developed and are being tested and validated.
  • Contract execution for the Security Architecture Review project is delayed due to ongoing contract negotiations. The Department anticipates contract execution will take place in early May.
  • The Department has performed preliminary research to identify technology solution options to support an enterprise-wide Identity and Access Management (IAM) project. Requirements gathering activities commenced and are being used to refine research efforts to support phased IAM activities for both staff and Employers and Third-Party Administrators.

March 2022:

  • As part of its Cloud Migration project, the Department reengaged its Digital Appeals Recording Solution (DARS) vendor to develop an approach and timeline to migrate this technology into a cloud-hosted environment.
  • The Department accepted a deliverable from its database migration vendor, which provided a diagram of the current database flow to support the Cloud Migration project. This diagram maps out the flow of information for the Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System to show data inputs, outputs, storage points, and the routes between each destination. Additionally, this diagram is a key information source that supports the Department's analysis and design of the modernized System.
  • Azure Government Cloud staff training was conducted this reporting period to support staff working on the Cloud Migration project. This training helps prepare staff for systems, database, and Cloud administration and provides instruction regarding Microsoft fundamentals.
  • Four additional reports have been fully validated and are now being submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor directly from the Data Warehouse, as part of the Reporting project, including the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) 227 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, ETA 9050 First Payment Time Lapse Regular, Partial, and Workshare. Eight (8) additional reports have been developed and are being tested and validated. The ETA 227 Regular Unemployment Compensation, ETA 227 Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation, and ETA 227 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation reports are still being validated to ensure compliance with the Unemployment Insurance Program Letter 20-21, Change 1, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • The Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s .NET framework is being upgraded from version 4.0 to version 4.8 as part of the .NET and ORM Upgrade project. Local testing is complete; additional testing is ongoing and is forecasted to be complete in June 2022.
  • The Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System’s Fraud Initiative Rules and Rating Engine (FIRRE) application is being upgraded from version 4.5 to version 4.8 as part of the .NET and ORM Upgrade project. System testing was complete in March 2022. During this period, the Department implemented code changes as part of its regularly scheduled System enhancement schedule. To ensure the performance of the System is functioning as intended with the .NET upgrade, the Department is conducting additional testing.
  • The Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s Object Relational Mapping (ORM) software is being updated from version 3.5 to version 5.8 as part of the .NET and ORM Upgrade project. In this reporting period, the LLBLGEN layer, which connects the database and the System, is currently being upgraded. Development of the LLBLGEN layer is ongoing and is forecast to be complete in October 2022. The Department anticipates having a more accurate forecast for completion next month, following the completion of development activities.
  • To support the procurement writing efforts that will be provided by the System and Software Integration vendor, the Department developed a project schedule for all Rules Engine project activities. The ISF Final Report published in Feb. 2020 recommends the Department perform an analysis of the existing business rules and identify which business rules will be decommissioned in the existing System and implemented in a rules engine during the two-year modernization effort. During this reporting period, the Department continued evaluating the existing business rules and analyzing which business rules will be considered in-scope for the two-year modernization effort that will provide direct support to the Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project. Remaining rules will be integrated into the Rules Engine as part of a continuous modernization effort.
  • The Department continued documenting procedures required to migrate existing technical processes documentation from the existing technical processes documentation tool to a new tool that will help streamline development operations processes as part of the SDLC DevOps project. This reporting period, the Department also developed use cases and identified and documented technical requirements for integration with ServiceNow, a tool that will assist the Department with managing its digital workflow.
  • The Department began holding bi-weekly Business Process Optimization workshops on March 3 to support the development of business and technical requirements that will be used to procure for the Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project.
  • In preparation for initiating the final two phases of the Identity and Access Management project, the Department began actively working toward defining user roles, permissions, and workflows, and aligning this effort with enterprise-wide identity and access management efforts.
  • In preparation for initiating the final two phases of the Identity and Access Management project, the Department began actively working toward defining user roles, permissions, and workflows, and aligning this effort with enterprise-wide identity and access management efforts.
  • System and Software Integration contract execution is delayed due to ongoing contract negotiations.
  • Security Architecture Review contract execution is delayed due to ongoing contract negotiations.

February 2022:

  • The Department procured Cloud Migration resources to assist with migrating the Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System database into a cloud-hosted environment. Migration activities are expected to take place over the next several months. For this reporting period, regulatory requirements were gathered and are undergoing legal review, a project schedule and budget were created, and remote access to the technical environment was established for off-site staff to support project progress.
  • Four (4) additional reports have been developed and are being tested and validated as part of the Reporting project, including the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) 227 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, ETA 227 Regular Unemployment Compensation, ETA 227 Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation, and ETA 227 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.
  • For the .NET and ORM Upgrade project, the Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s .NET framework is being upgraded from version 4.0 to version 4.8. Local testing is complete; additional testing is ongoing and is forecasted to be complete in May 2022.
  • For the .NET and ORM Upgrade project, the Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System’s Fraud Initiative Rules and Rating Engine (FIRRE) application is being upgraded from version 4.5 to version 4.8. System testing is ongoing and is forecasted to be complete in Mar. 2022.
  • For the.NET and ORM Upgrade project, the Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s Object Relational Mapping (ORM) software is being updated from version 3.5 to version 5.8. In this reporting period, the LLBLGEN layer, which connects the database and the System, is being upgraded and is forecast to be complete in the summer of 2022.
  • To support the procurement writing efforts that will be provided by the System and Software Integration vendor, the Department developed a project schedule for all Rules Engine project activities. The ISF Final Report published in Feb. 2020 recommends the Department perform an analysis of the existing business rules and identify which business rules will be decommissioned in the existing System and implemented in a rules engine during the two-year modernization effort. During this reporting period, the Department evaluated the existing business rules and began analyzing which business rules will be considered in-scope for the two-year modernization effort that will provide direct support to the Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project. Remaining rules will be integrated into the Rules Engine as part of a continuous modernization effort.
  • The Department secured a technical writer for the SDLC DevOps project, which will write technical specifications for the System to implement necessary changes and continues to work toward procuring a second technical writer. The Department is also documenting procedures required to migrate existing technical processes documentation from the existing technical processes documentation tool (TFS) to ServiceNow.
  • The Department held a kick-off meeting with the Business Process Optimization vendor and delivered all artifacts that demonstrate how a Reemployment Assistance claim is processed. In the next reporting period, workshops will commence to support the development of business and technical requirements that will be used to procure for the Incremental CX/UX Mobile Responsive Software Transformation project.
  • To support the procurement writing efforts that will be provided by the System and Software Integration vendor, the Department identified the project team for the SOA and API Layer project, completed the project charter, developed a high-level timeline for the project, and assessed the project’s risk and complexity.
  • To support the procurement writing efforts that will be provided by the System and Software Integration vendor, the Department identified the project team for the Master Data Management project, completed the project charter, developed high-level timeline for the project, and assessed the project’s risk and complexity.
  • The Department has selected a vendor to perform Security Architecture Review services and has initiated contract negotiations with the vendor. Contract execution is expected by the next reporting period.

January 2022:

  • The Department procured Cloud Migration project resources to assist with migrating the Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System database into a cloud-hosted environment. Migration activities are expected to take place over the next several months.
  • Four additional reports have been developed and are being tested and validated as part of the Reports project, including the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) 227 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, ETA 227 Regular Unemployment Compensation, ETA 227 Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation, and ETA 227 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.
  • The Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System application’s .NET framework is being upgraded from version 4.0 to version 4.8 as part of the .NET and ORM Upgrade project. Testing is ongoing and is forecasted to be complete in May 2022.
  • The Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System’s Fraud Initiative Rules and Rating Engine (FIRRE) application is being upgraded from version 4.5 to version 4.8 as part of the .NET and ORM Upgrade project. Testing is ongoing and is forecasted to be complete in March 2022.
  • As part of the .NET and ORM Upgrade project, the Reemployment Claims and Benefits Information System application’s Object Relational Mapping (ORM) software is being updated from version 3.5 to a version (version 5.X) that will be determined following an analysis of the application. In this reporting period, an analysis of the application is being conducted to determine which version of the ORM software is most feasible and compatible for the Department’s modernization efforts.

December 2021:

  • The Reemployment Assistance Customer Contact Center executed a contract to migrate its call center solution to the cloud, as part of the Cloud Migration project. This initiative will provide a scalable call center solution with an enhanced interactive voice response (IVR) solution to provide greater self-service options for callers.
  • The Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System database has been updated from Oracle 12 to Oracle 19c. This upgrade is part of the Cloud Migration project and ensures the database is updated to the latest version and is technically supported for ongoing maintenance.
  • A contract has been executed for database migration, as part of the Cloud Migration project. The database migration is a required piece necessary to move the application to the cloud which offers System scalability and faster data processing times for all users.
  • The Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System application’s .NET framework is being upgraded from version 4.0 to version 4.8, a critical step in the .NET and ORM Upgrade project. Testing was initiated in Dec. 2021 and will be complete in Jan. 2022.
  • The Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System’s Fraud Initiative Rules and Rating Engine (FIRRE) application is being upgraded from version 4.5 to version 4.8 as part of the .NET and ORM Upgrade project. Testing was initiated in Dec. 2021 and will be complete in Jan. 2022.
  • The Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System application’s Object Relational Mapping (ORM) software is being updated from version 3.5 to a version (version 5.X) that will be determined following an analysis of the application, as part of the .NET and ORM Upgrade project. In December, an analysis of the application was initiated to determine which version of the ORM software is most feasible and compatible for the Department’s modernization efforts.
  • The Department completed Reemployment Assistance Help Center project activities associated with the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and has initiated project closeout and lessons learned activities. Project closeout activities will take place during the month of January to ensure a smooth transition. The Reemployment Assistance Help Center will undergo further enhancements through continuous modernization efforts, such as completing additional guide resource translations and those designed to improve internal workflows that ensure users’ claims are processed timely.
  • The technical environment for the Reemployment Assistance Help Center was enhanced to allow claimants to access 2021 tax forms and information, such as 1099Gs, without requiring log-in to the Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System.
  • The Department has fully transitioned all user management within the Reemployment Assistance Help Center, including traceability for safety and security measures, from the vendor to in-house support. This allows the Department to independently customize the technical environment and manage solution access.
  • The technical environment for the Reemployment Assistance Help Center was enhanced to ensure RA Help Center features are available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole to better serve Florida’s diverse population and ensure compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Civil Rights Commission. Remaining translation activities are targeted for completion in Quarter 1 2022.
  • The Resource section of the Reemployment Assistance Help Center was enhanced to allow RA Help Center users to simultaneously access user guides and manuals and the RA Help Center, to ensure users can successfully navigate the RA Help Center.
  • The technical environment for the Reemployment Assistance Help Center was enhanced by streamlining all Able and Available eligibility issues into the RA Help Center so that all fact-finding and other adjudication activities for Able and Available issues are conducted in a single environment.
  • December 16: Advertised a Request for Quote (RFQ) for Systems and Software Integration services by using Alternative Contract Sourcing. Registered contractors that are included on the following approved Alternative Contract Source lists for providing Systems and Software Integration services can submit a response to this RFQ: Alternate Contract Source Number 43230000-NASPO-16-ACS for Cloud Solutions, and GSA Schedule 70 – 54151S for Information Technology Professional Services. To view the RFQ, click here. For questions regarding this FAQ, please contact DEO’s Contracts and Grants team.
  • December 8: Advertised a Request for Quote (RFQ) for Security Architecture Review services by using MyFloridaMarketplace (MFMP) Sourcing. Registered contractors that are included on Florida’s State Term Contract list for Management Consulting Services, Number 80101500-20-1, will automatically receive a quote notification by email directly from MyFloridaMarketplace with details about the solicitation. To view the RFQ, click here. For questions regarding this FAQ, please contact DEO's Purchasing Office, Purchasing Manager.
  • December 1: Advertised a Request for Quote (RFQ) for Business Process Optimization services by using MyFloridaMarketplace (MFMP) Sourcing. Registered contractors that are included on Florida’s State Term Contract list for Management Consulting Services, Number 80101500-20-1, will automatically receive a quote notification by email directly from MyFloridaMarketplace with details about the solicitation. To view the RFQ, click here. For questions regarding this FAQ, please contact DEO's Purchasing Office, Purchasing Manager.

November 2021:

  • November 30: Held an informational webinar about the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program and procurements. Vendor lists from the State Term Contract and Alternate Contract Sources were included who provide information technology and staffing services and consultation. A link to sign up to attend the webinar was made available online and the webinar was also featured on The Florida Channel for greater visibility. Click here to view the recorded webinar.
  • The technical environment for the Reemployment Assistance Help Center was enhanced to allow claimants to securely upload required documentation for their Reemployment Assistance claim.
  • The technical environment for the Reemployment Assistance Help Center was enhanced to provide increased functionality for Reemployment Assistance Appeals. Claimants may now use the Reemployment Assistance Help Center to upload forms required to file or reopen an appeal. Additionally, claimants may use the Reemployment Assistance Help Center to submit issues that are directly placed into a workbasket for timely resolution by staff.
  • A Resource section has been added to the Reemployment Assistance Help Center that provides links to Reemployment Assistance guides and videos that offer support to claimants. Many guides and videos are available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole to support Florida’s diverse workforce on their journey toward reemployment.
  • The technical environment for the Reemployment Assistance Help Center was enhanced by adding an additional fraud prevention layer to better protect claimants against suspicious activity.
  • Submitted three additional federally mandated reports, including the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) 218 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and ETA 207 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation reports, to the U.S. Department of Labor from the Data Warehouse. Additionally, the ETA 902 Regular report is ready to be submitted from the Data Warehouse should a natural disaster occur. The remaining 41 federally mandated reports are prioritized and queued for development and data validation.

October 2021: 

  • Engaged the Executive Office of the Governor’s Reimagining Education and Career Help (REACH) Office to seek input and ensure the alignment of Reemployment Assistance Modernization efforts were encompassed and consistent with that of the state’s workforce system integration.
  • Secured a Strategic Planning Office to serve as a single point of contact to ensure the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program remains within budget, the schedule remains timely and steady, the scope is fully developed in order to meet the needs of Floridians and DEO, and the status of reporting is systematic, precise, and accurately reflects each project’s progress.
  • Submitted three additional federally mandated reports, including the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) 5159 Regular, ETA 5130 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and ETA 902 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance reports, to the U.S. Department of Labor from the Data Warehouse. Additionally, the weekly Disaster Automated Reporting and Information System report is ready to be submitted from the Data Warehouse should a natural disaster occur. The remaining 44 federally mandated reports are prioritized and queued for development and data validation.
  • Submitted the October 2021 Monthly Status Report for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program to the Executive Office of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget as well as to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
  • The Reemployment Assistance Help Center was enhanced to allow claimant accounts to be locked or unlocked, as appropriate, in real-time rather than taking the system offline to process requests. This better protects and serves claimants.
  • Developed the technical environment in the Reemployment Assistance Help Center to allow claimants to securely upload documentation, such as proof of wages, so claimants could request a monetary redetermination on their claim and receive benefits.
  • Integrated workflows in the Reemployment Assistance Help Center and distributed claimant issues to trained staff to allow for more efficient and timely resolution of Reemployment Assistance claims.
  • Developed a section of the Reemployment Assistance Help Center for overpayment information, including guidance and options for claimants, such as filing an appeal, submitting a waiver, and repayment.
  • Procured a cloud-based solution for the Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Center. A cloud-based Customer Service Center, once launched, will ensure the Reemployment Assistance program is accessible to all callers, even during periods of high demand.

September 2021: 

  • Advertised a Request for Quote (RFQ) for Strategic Planning Office services by using MyFloridaMarketPlace (MFMP) Sourcing. Registered contractors that are included on Florida’s State Term Contract list for Management Consulting Services, Number 80101500-20-1, will automatically receive a quote notification by email directly from MyFloridaMarketPlace with details about the solicitation. To view the RFQ, click here. For questions regarding this FAQ, please contact DEO's Contracts and Grants Office.
  • Submitted the first of 49 federally mandated reports, the Employment and Training Administration 5159 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation report, to the U.S. Department of Labor from the Data Warehouse.
  • The Reemployment Assistance Help Center was enhanced to provide timely updates and correspondence to users who submit a request for help to increase transparency, and to establish an identity verification process for claimants who are less than 18 years of age.
  • Expanded Reemployment Assistance Help Center functionality to allow DEO and Local Workforce Development Boards to better serve claimants.
  • Deployed automated processes in the Reemployment Assistance Help Center to streamline self-service options for users whose identity has been authenticated.
  • Submitted the September 2021 Monthly Status Report for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program to the Executive Office of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget as well as to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
  • The Identity Management and Access Control project was initiated ahead of schedule to provide increased security and multi-factor authentication for existing claimants, employers, and third-party administrators before accessing the Reemployment Assistance system. Since the implementation of this common best-practice tool, DEO has seen a significant decrease in fraudulent activity.

August 2021: 

  • Hired a Director for the DEO’s Office of Economic Accountability and Transparency to provide leadership for critical objectives, priority issues, and to promote key DEO initiatives and strategic planning efforts, including but not limited to Reemployment Assistance Modernization.
  • Conducted a kick-off meeting with the Florida Digital Service, the Florida Department of Revenue, and the Florida Department of Financial Services to seek input on recommended Reemployment Assistance enhancements.
  • The Identity Management and Access Control project was initiated ahead of schedule to provide increased front-end security and multi-factor authentication for new claimants. Since the implementation of this common best-practice tool, DEO has seen a significant decrease in fraudulent activity.

July 2021: 

  • FY 2021-2022 began, providing the necessary appropriated funding to officially begin modernization efforts.
  • DEO procured Independent Validation and Verification services to provide independent programmatic oversight and quality assurance services, as well as to ensure the overall value of the state’s Reemployment Modernization efforts are achieved and that Floridians are provided a product that meets their needs with an enhanced user experience.
  • The Department completed the Data Warehouse project ahead of schedule to improve DEO’s access to data and statistics as well as boost the system’s overall performance. The Data Warehouse serves as a central repository for all Reemployment Assistance federal reporting data, which allows the agency to reduce the size of the current Reemployment Assistance database.

June 2021: 

  • DEO issued a Request for Information on System and Software Integration services to help support future procurements targeting Business Process Optimization and Integration to enhance the customer experience.

May 2021: 

  • 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.
  • DEO launched the Reporting project ahead of schedule. The Reporting project includes re-writing all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports using the new Data Warehouse as a source of reporting data. The U.S. Department of Labor requires the state to submit weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports of unemployment programs administered by the state to measure workload and programmatic activity, and to ensure the State of Florida is issuing funds timely, efficiently, and accurately.

April 2021: 

  • The Florida Legislature unanimously passed HB 1463, 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.

March 2021: 

  • The Reemployment Assistance Help Center was developed and launched for claimants and employers to both provide and receive additional information from DEO.

February 2021: 

  • The ISF Final Report for Improved Delivery of Reemployment Assistance Benefits was published. This report provides the suggested roadmap for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program.

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 DEO 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, DEO 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 DEO’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.  DEO has procured the contractual services of Gartner, Inc., to provide independent, third-party IV&V services.  DEO 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, DEO 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 DEO 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 DEO 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 DEO advertise its procurement solicitations?

  • DEO 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.
  • DEO 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 DEO 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?

  • DEO 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, DEO will also notify via email all contractors whose registered commodity codes match the commodity codes attached to the procurement being advertised.

    Additionally, DEO 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 DEO’s procurement strategy?

  • DEO’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, DEO 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 DEO’s IV&V vendor, who is precluded from bidding on future Reemployment Assistance Modernization contracts.

    DEO 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.

Procurements

Procurements


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