Press Release

Press Release # 002
Thursday, November 1, 2007


New York City Automated Personnel System Chosen as Top Winner

Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) Commissioner Paul J. Cosgrave today named the winners of the 2007 Excellence in Technology Awards in a ceremony held at the Brooklyn Marriott.  The Excellence in Technology Award Program (ETAP) honors the very best of New York City’s IT staff and projects each year, and is awarded at the annual New York City Technology Forum sponsored by Government Technology Magazine and the Center for Digital Government.  The 2007 ETAP award winners are comprised of staff members from nearly 40 New York City agencies.

The announcement of this year’s ETAPs follows on the heels of the unveiling of PlanIT, New York City’s technology strategy for coordinated, effective and efficient citywide IT implementation.  Each of today’s winning projects belongs to a specific part of the City’s overall business framework—from key mission areas like economic development and sustainability, public safety, social services, education, community cervices and City infrastructure; to mission-support functions such as citywide administration and legal affairs; to the City’s underlying foundational IT initiatives that keep it running.

“The Excellence in Technology Awards Program gives us a chance each year to recognize the outstanding efforts of New York City’s technology professionals, and this year they have outdone themselves once again,” said DoITT Commissioner Paul J. Cosgrave.  “The 2007 awardees represent in microcosm the array of transformative initiatives the Bloomberg Administration has launched—all with the same goal: to provide ever-better service to its customers.  Implementation of these award-winning projects, and many more either planned or already underway, will ensure that our residents, businesses visitors and employees continue to benefit from IT initiatives worthy of the world’s greatest city.”

The Overall ETAP Award for 2007, chosen as the project that exemplifies the best attributes of leadership, technical implementation, innovation and teamwork of all the nominations received for the year, was presented to the New York City Automated Personnel System (NYCAPS).  A state-of-the-art human resource management and benefit administration system, NYCAPS provides the City a sophisticated management tool to improve turnaround times for personnel and benefit actions, eliminate manual processing and paperwork, and save City time and taxpayer money.

Originally implemented in four pilot agencies in August, 2005, NYCAPS is now used in over 75 agencies citywide to process personnel and health benefit transactions for more than 160,000 employees.

NYCAPS also garnered the 2007 ETAP for Best IT Collaboration Among Agencies.  Implementation of NYCAPS, a key PlanIT initiative for improving citywide administration, is due to the joint efforts of staff from the Financial Information Services Agency, Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Office of Payroll Administration, Office of Labor Relations, Office of Management and Budget, Department of Transportation, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, and the New York City Office of the Comptroller.

These other outstanding projects were also chosen as ETAP award winners for 2007 in the following categories:

Demonstrated Leadership in Management of Information Technology
Kamal Bherwani, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Appointed CIO of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) in 2005, Mr. Bherwani has executed many IT strategies and initiatives that have significantly enhanced technology functionality agency-wide.  One of his first projects was the automation of day care inspections using handheld technologies, an initiative which received the prestigious Mobilizer Award from Mobile Enterprise magazine.

Mr. Bherwani’s success with the DOHMH IT governance process lead to his being invited to chair the City’s Executive CIO Council’s sub-committee on IT Governance and Project and Portfolio Management.  The committee’s work has been accepted as the governance process for all of the City’s large, complex, or cross-agency technology projects.

Demonstrated Excellence in Project Management
Ira Goldstein, Taxi and Limousine Commission

Ira Goldstein has fostered the Taxicab Passenger Enhancement Project (T-PEP) from inception through the more than 30 separate programmatic milestones that have been realized.  T-PEP is a precedent-setting integration of diverse technologies that are revolutionizing the way the Taxi and Limousine Commission interacts with its taxicab licensees and the riding public—some 650,000 passengers each day.  It includes a Passenger Information Monitor, ability to accept credit or debit card payments for taxi fares, a text messaging application for emergencies and lost items, and a GPS-enabled vehicle location technology that eliminates the need for paper trip sheets.

Demonstrated Excellence by an Agency Manager in Advancing Technology (2)
Robert Podmore, New York City Housing Authority

In nearly 30 years of service, most recently as Deputy General Manager of Operations, Robert Podmore has made many lasting contributions to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).  Among his most recent projects are NYCHA’s Centralized Call Center, enabling residents to schedule appointments and NYCHA to better manage its workload and materials; and NYCHA’s customer relationship management program, a 22-month initiative that will allow it to become an industry leader in resident services and operations.

Phil T. Pulaski, New York City Police Department

Deputy Commissioner Phil T. Pulaski has served the New York City Police Department (NYPD) with distinction since his appointment in 1980.  As Deputy Commissioner of Operations, his responsibility is to create, oversee and monitor crime strategies, which have resulted in reduced street crime. Commissioner Pulaski has served as Commanding Officer of the Intelligence Division, and was responsible for the NYPD’s counter terrorism intelligence collection and investigation programs.  He has also coordinated the NYPD's chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear/hazardous materials intelligence and investigative programs, and the NYPD's counter-terrorism Critical Response Vehicle and Hercules deployments.

Best Application Serving an Agency’s Business Needs (2)
DRAW Website, New York City Transit

As New York City’s subway system is constantly being rehabilitated and upgraded, the voluminous books of subway engineering drawings, photos, and other data that engineers rely upon were in need of almost constant re-issuing.  DRAW is a web application that displays these vital documents electronically to any authorized New York City Transit (NYCT) employee with a network-connected computer.  Over 700 NYCT employees are now using DRAW, retrieving between 1,000 and 2,500 images daily.

Electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR), Health and Hospitals Corporation

The Health and Hospitals Corporation’s (HHC) electronic medical record has been enhanced to include the Electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR) for nurses, replacing an inefficient paper-based system nurses had been employing for decades.  Now in use by thousands of HHC nurses each day, eMAR allows nurses view doctor’s orders on the computer exactly as they were entered, rather than having to transcribe them onto a paper administration record.  The eMAR module was developed with substantial input from nurses, pharmacists and physicians, since each plays a vital role in the overall medication process.  The key functional objectives included automation of documentation at the point of care along with standardization of the medication administration process.

Best Application Serving the Public
Buildings Scan and Capture Application Network (B-SCAN), Department of Buildings

The Department of Buildings (DOB) has seen an increase in the volume of applications, permits and complaints over recent years, and now receives approximately 320,000 physical pages of paper each month.  The Buildings Scan and Capture Application Network, or B-SCAN, is an electronic document management system that has streamlined the job-filing process, beginning with the scanning of all documents upon acceptance, and virtually eliminating the need for applicants to submit multiple copies of original documents.  Documents are immediately available to both staff and applicants through the B-SCAN web portal, meaning applicants no longer need to go to a DOB office to review their submissions.  Now receiving over 400,000 hits daily, B-SCAN has provided the agency with many benefits, including streamlined business processes, decreased paper storage, and increased productivity and consistency.  The solution also provides the foundation for future growth to capture all other documentation processed by DOB, including plans, architectural drawings, and photos.

Best In-House Developed Application
Sex Offender Monitoring Application (SOMA), New York City Police Department

The Sex Offender Monitoring Application (SOMA) is used by NYPD investigators to track the activities of registered sex offenders in the New York City area.  The application enhances public safety by providing close supervision of perpetrators who have been convicted of violent sex crimes.  SOMA automatically conducts warrant checks prior to a scheduled visit via state and federal systems, then compiles arrest data in order to provide investigators with vital information.  The information collected from external systems is consolidated into a customized report, which includes a photograph of the offender.  Information from SOMA is also used by the Real Time Crime Center to identify convicted sex offenders that may reside or work within the immediate area of a committed sex crime.  The application helps minimize the time required for investigators to complete routine inquiries while allowing for data sharing with other units.

Most Innovative Use of Technology
Cybersettle, Office of the Comptroller

An average of 24,000 new claims are filed against the City of New York annually, which the Office of the Comptroller is responsible for settling and adjusting.  In an effort to reduce the litigation backlog and better control claim costs, the New York City Comptroller’s Office has implemented Cybersettle.  Cybersettle facilitates high-speed, confidential claim settlements by matching offers and demands and allows parties to settle disputes instantly via secure Internet connection. The application uses a patented online, double-blind bid process for matching each party’s settlement offers and demands.  Cybersettle virtually eliminates the use of the telephone and face-to-face meetings for claim negotiation, and allows the Comptroller’s Office to expand its operations to 24x7 without incurring additional expense.  Over 2,000 personal injury settlements have already been reached using Cybersettle, representing an average savings of nearly $17,000 per settlement over those claims not using the system.

An estimated $35.8 million in total settlement costs have been saved to date, resulting in benefits not only for the City’s tax payers, but for plaintiffs as well, who see faster resolutions to their cases.

Best Wireless Project
Wireless Laptops for Case Workers, Administration for Children’s Services

The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) have partnered to pilot the use of laptops to enable ACS caseworkers to work more efficiently.  Caseworkers now have the ability to interact in a more immediate fashion with key ACS systems, improving the quality of their field reporting as events are recorded closer to the time they occurred.  The laptops are lightweight, have a long battery life and durable construction, and utilize wireless security functionality to fully encrypt all data.  Now, important thresholds, such as 24-hour and 48-hour contacts, are able to be met a higher percentage of the time, as caseworkers no longer need to be at their desks to enter data collected from the field.

Best GIS Application
NYCityMap, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications

NYCityMap, available on the City’s official website,, is an application that provides unprecedented access to a wide range of publicly-available New York City information about transportation, education, public safety, and resident services on interactive map platform.  Offering several features not previously available—such as City Council district and Community Board boundaries, restaurant inspection results, subway station entrances and exits, and an aerial photograph-view of the City—NYCityMap may be used with or without entering a specific address, and allows users to pan over any selected area and zoom in and out with ease.  To further the user experience, a number of improvements to NYCityMap have been made since its initial launch.  When entering a specific address, for instance, visitors can now directly access property records or building elevator inspection and violation information.  A click on the “Neighborhood” listing for that address provides links to restaurant inspection results for the entire zip code and ongoing City construction projects.

Special Recognition Award
EmergencyOperations Center, Office of Emergency Management

Implemented by the Office of Emergency Management, the City’s new Emergency Operations Center (EOC) became operational in October 2006.  Featuring 33% more floor space and 50% more seating capacity, the entire facility is linked with a network infrastructure and a shared AV system to allow all agencies to view the same data, video or voice at the same time—which is critical to sharing information and disseminating instructions.  In case of citywide events, City officials can go live to New Yorkers even without any press at the facility.

Lifetime Achievement Award (3)
Milton Fischberger, New York CityFire Department CaryPeskin, Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Walter Shelley, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications

IT Service and Support Awards

In addition, 59 individual staff members and managers from 30 different agencies were presented with “Excellence in IT Service and Support” ETAP awards for their work on various technology projects over the past year.

The Annual New York City Technology Forum, now in its tenth year, is an event for and about state and local government, to foster discussion and dialogue on best practices in the use of IT as a strategic tool for managers, executives and policy makers.  IT staff members from agencies across the City will be making presentations throughout the two-day event, on topics including IT Governance and Portfolio Management, Legacy Migration and Modernization, Enterprise Service Oriented Architecture, Web 2.0 and its Effect on Government, Identity Access Management, the Greening of Information Technology, the New York City Wireless Network for Public Safety, and more.

Part and parcel of the New York City Technology Forum is the Excellence in Technology Awards Program (ETAP), established in 2001 to salute the best of technology projects implemented by City agencies over the previous year and the IT staffs responsible for them.  Agency heads throughout the City are invited to submit nominations, with a citywide screening panel reviewing each submission and selecting a winner in each category.  From the nominations, a single entrant is chosen to receive the overall Excellence in Technology Award.  Previous winners of the Overall ETAP Award are:

2006:   DataShare/Integrated Justice Project
2005:   Real Time Crime Center (NYPD)
2004:   CityServ – Citywide Enterprise Email Solution
2003:   New York City 311 Customer Service Center
2002:   Henry Jackson (OEM) and Lawrence Knafo (DoITT), for Outstanding Technological Leadership in response to the September 11th Attacks
2001:   Virtual Agency Project (Department of Finance)


Nicholas Sbordone (212) 788-6602