Bellone: "The web portal is a critical tool for implementing SuffolkShare that will help save taxpayer dollars and streamline bureaucracy."
Suffolk County, NY - January 12, 2017 - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced that Suffolk County has selected Veratics, a disabled veteran-owned small business firm to implement a Shared Services Web Portal and a key component of the county shared services plan, known as SuffolkShare. The plan is projected to save Suffolk County and participating local governments approximately $37 million over two years.
“The web portal is a critical tool for implementing SuffolkShare that will help save taxpayer dollars and streamline bureaucracy,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “This project supports Governor Cuomo's Shared Services Initiative and, most importantly, benefit all of our towns and villages in making government more efficient and effective for the people we serve."
The Shared Services Web Portal will be capable of facilitating and tracking cooperative purchases of goods and services between municipalities and the private sector. The web portal will provide a virtual marketplace, contract and license uploading capability, an inter-municipal agreements listing, spotlight section to highlight success stories, municipal communication forums such as video conferencing, a SuffolkShare scoring tool kit, cooperative procurement on-line solicitation functionality, reporting features, and ratings and feedback facilitation.
Suffolk County received fifteen responses for the contract request and, through a detailed vetting process, six firms were invited to make presentations, with Veratics being awarded the contract. Veratics has certifications in defense contract audit, and U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs verification and evaluation. Veratics will deliver a solution that is used by over 700 online store fronts serving millions of transactions per month. The portal is expected to be up and running 45 days after the contract is signed. The total bid submitted by Veratics is in the amount of $388,741 with an annual maintenance cost of $20,022.
The County was recently awarded a total of $299,155 in state funding through the 2017 Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. The funding, which is through the New York State Department of State Local Government Efficiency Grant Program, will enable the County to share a services portal technology platform to facilitate Shared Services with municipal governments County-wide. Training materials and performance measures will be integrated into the Shared Services platform to support resources sharing and collaboration on initiatives.
The Suffolk County Shared Services Plan is a comprehensive 10-point plan that provides a modern inter-municipal framework among participating municipalities to enhance service offerings and improve the ability for local governments to collaborate, implement and augment their programs and initiatives. The plan includes designing a virtual municipal service store, establishing an intra-county procurement consortium, offering an assortment of inter-municipal services with participating municipalities, and providing a certification function to identify and quality savings achieved by the use of the shared services program. The full plan can be found here.
At the 2018 State of the State Address, Governor Cuomo announced his proposal to make he County-wide Shared Services Panels permanent. In addition, the State Department of Financial Services will publish guidance and provide technical assistance to local governments that would ease the process of creating health care consortia and provide $225 million statewide to match savings from County-Wide Shared Services Initiative plans.