Press Release

No. 001
November 4, 2010


NYC BigApps and NYC DataMine Named Overall Winners

Annual Awards Recognize City IT Programs that Increase Efficiency and Enhance Service Delivery

Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) Commissioner Carole Post today announced the annual Excellence in Technology Awards Program (ETAP) winners, recognizing the very best of New York City's IT staff and projects in 2010. The ETAPs are conducted as part of the annual New York City Technology Forum, an event for and about 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. The 2010 ETAP winners include staff members from nearly four dozen New York City agencies, who were presented with the awards at a ceremony in the Brooklyn Marriott.

"Every day we're working to make New York City government more efficient and more effective - and technology features prominently in this agenda," said Deputy Mayor Goldsmith. "What's equally important going forward is that we continually pursue initiatives that apply new ideas to old problems in better ways. With initiatives like those found among today's award winners, New York City is well on its way to institutionalizing an atmosphere where innovation can flourish."

"As IT leaders, each day our work helps make City government more open, responsive, and accountable; in countless languages; across a network of offices and agencies across five boroughs; for 8.3 million New Yorkers and millions more businesses, employees, and visitors," said DoITT Commissioner Carole Post. "Under the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Goldsmith, we're now focusing on the next step in enhancing service delivery: taking the many things we do as a City and finding ways, using innovative ideas, to improve service delivery while stretching every dollar to the limit. The annual ETAP awards recognize projects and staff who help deliver on that goal."

The Overall ETAP for 2010, chosen as the project that exemplifies the best attributes of leadership, technical implementation, innovation and teamwork, was presented to the NYC BigApps competition and supporting NYC DataMine website.

NYC BigApps is the City's annual contest for software developers and members of the public to create web or mobile applications using City data. Now in its second iteration, the City has roughly doubled the number of datasets available, bringing the total to more than 350. These datasets provide developers and programmers with additional material, including public safety data, buildings complaints, and real-time traffic numbers from which to create new digital applications. Last year's winning applications are today helping New Yorkers find mass transit routes, review public school information and gather an array of information based on their current locations.

The NYC DataMine that supports the BigApps competition is one of the core components of the City's open data effort, helping to establish standards for data formatting, serve as a central hub for all City government data, and set an example for collaboration between City agencies.  The datasets are available in a variety of machine-readable formats and are refreshed when new data becomes available. Some of the most common file formats include CSV, XML, TXT, SHP, and others that align with current data standards. Data is presented by category, by agency, or by other City organization. Descriptions of the data, the collection method, and other contextual material, called metadata, make the datasets easier to understand and use.

Other outstanding projects and individuals were also chosen as 2010 ETAP winners in the following categories:

Commissioner's Award for Enabling the Connected City
311Online and Mobile Application - 311 Customer Service Center & DoITT

311Online is the City's one-stop, searchable web portal, providing residents, visitors, and businesses quick and easy access to thousands of City services. Through the site, users can obtain information, report problems, check the status of previously-filed complaints and request City services - just as they can by calling 311. For each service, users are provided with a description and linked to online capabilities for that service, complete with step-by-step instructions to file complaints directly online. 311Online has received more than one million visits since its inception and currently receives more than 2,000 visits daily.

As an essential complement to 311Online, the free 311 iPhone - and iPad - compatible app uses GPS to recognize a user's location, provides a menu of common quality-of-life conditions to select from, and allows users to upload up to three pictures to accompany any complaint. This mobile app makes reporting a variety of quality-of-life issues easier than ever, including graffiti, street maintenance, street light issues, damaged trees, dirty vacant lots; users can also report lost property in a taxicab. The app is available for download at the Apple iTunes store.

Demonstrated Leadership in Management of Information Technology
Steve Vigilante, Deputy Chief Information Officer - Department of Education

Over his more than two decades in City government service, currently as Deputy Chief Information Officer of Operations for the Department of Education (DOE), Steve Vigilante has enhanced the DOE infrastructure by infusing innovation, enabling learning environments for over 1.1 million students, staff, and administrators. He manages the technology operations in 1,600 agency instructional and administrative sites, as well as the largest 802.11 wireless network deployed in the United States. Since arriving at DOE in 2002, his significant accomplishments include implementation of a state-of-the-art network connecting all schools and central offices, providing a secure learning environment; and coordination of the largest mainframe computer consolidation in City government history, optimizing operational and cost efficiencies. And beginning with the launch of the NYC iSchool in September 2008, Mr. Vigilante's leadership laid the groundwork for a successful model school that transforms traditional, industrial-age classrooms to technology-enhanced learning environments, serving online courses to students anytime, anywhere, from any device.

Demonstrated Excellence in Project Management
Anna Stern, Assistant Deputy Commissioner - Human Resource Administration

Anna Stern has managed the Human Resource Administration (HRA) Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) since inception, giving HRA unparalleled access to the core data on its under-care population. The largest diversified social services data warehouse in American government, deployment of EDW has enabled HRA to realize cumulative savings of more than $400 million in its first five years of operation. The system used by business analysts in HRA and the Office of Management and Budget to run thousands of ad hoc queries monthly, giving them data instantly while freeing programmers for higher-level  systems development tasks

Best Application Serving an Agency's Business Need
LUC Data Share Project - Administration for Children's Services

The LUC Data Share Project is collaboration between the New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS) and the New York State Office of Court Administration (OCA) to more effectively share data. By drawing information from three different systems, the LUC Data Share Project replaces the manual procedure of entering data, creating petitions, and taking them to court. The number of documents that need to be manually scanned has been reduced by about 70%, generating both fiscal and environmental benefits. And sharing the data between ACS and OCA reduces duplicate data entry, leading to fewer errors and less time spent on superfluous data entry. This project has also established New York City as a leader in the electronic filing of child abuse and neglect petitions and as the only municipality in the country to transmit petitions with an electronic version of the Notary Stamp. Ultimately, the children and families served by ACS and OCA benefit from timelier hearings and more effectively-disseminated, accurate data to inform the attorneys, judges, caseworkers, and others who are working to achieve positive outcomes for children.

Best Application Serving the Public
Restaurant Letter Grade Application - Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

All New York City restaurants are subject to regular, and typically unannounced, inspections by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DoHMH). Inspectors check for compliance in food handling, food temperature, personal hygiene, and vermin control. Based on the number of violations, the inspector totals points, and this number becomes the restaurant's inspection score - the lower the score, the better. Now, DoHMH has made this data available to New Yorkers through the Restaurant Letter Grade Application on The application provides inspection results for nearly 24,000 restaurants while also automating the entire inspection process, from applying for a permit, to the assignment of inspections, to the filing of violations. Leveraging the New York City Wireless Network, the Letter Grade Application enables DoHMH to upload inspection results on a real-time basis, making the information available to the public online quicker than ever before. This application not only better informs the public about where they eat, but also incentivizes businesses to keep their scores high and employ healthy business practices.

Best IT Collaboration Among Agencies
Address Assignment Application - Department of City Planning, DoITT, Bronx Borough President's Office, Brooklyn Borough President's Office, Manhattan Borough President's Office, Staten Island Borough President's Office

Addresses are a critical component of the delivery of many City services - including those from the 311 and 911 call centers, a well as various inspectional functions across a range of agencies. The Address Assignment Application (A4) is a secure, web-based application that enables Borough President Topographic Units to record new address and street assignments more effectively. In the past, different processes and procedures existed across the various Borough President offices for making the address assignments and notifying City agencies. A4 streamlines and automate these previously manual and separate procedures for all key stakeholders. By providing a standard user interface, set of basic validation rules, access to a central repository, and automated workflow, A4 unifies address assignment practices, enables greater efficiency, and contributes to consistent citywide standards.

Best In-House Developed Application
Situational Awareness for Field Response System - Office of Emergency Management

The Situational Awareness for Field Response System was designed to promote the Office of Emergency Management's mission by quickly providing reliable data to decision makers for optimal management of an emergency response. There are two components to the system: the Active Incident Dashboard and the Emergency Response Data Packet Generator.

The Active Incident Dashboard displays all emergency incidents being monitored by OEM at any one time on a map of New York City. By selecting any displayed incident point, additional information is available in the form of the last ten updated status reports. Live feeds of the status of the electrical networks in the City and local National Weather Service watches and warnings are also included.

The Emergency Response Data Packet Generator supports OEM's Citywide Incident Commanders (CICs) in the field. Before the development of the application, OEM would create maps and tables for a particular incident upon the request.  With the new system, OEM can generate a data packet consisting of multiple maps for any incident logged into its reporting system. The packet is generated in approximately one minute and sent to the CICs in the field. Whether on-screen or in hard copy, these maps and tables give on-site coordinators an initial understanding of the incident vicinity, and can be used to plan interagency responses.

Driving Digital Government Award
Asset Management Parks System (AMPS) - Department of Parks and Recreation

The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) maintains 28,000 acres of parkland and a myriad of park features. To maintain these assets and provide service to the public, DPR has relied upon a vast number of employees and division assignments. This diversity led to a decentralized approach to managing and documenting work when attempts were made to move away from paper-based records. The agency-wide Asset Management Parks System (AMPS) represents a milestone in creating a holistic and centralized view of the agency's productivity and assets, and achieves greater efficiency for DPR's business operations. Using AMPS, DPR staff can use mobile devices to track daily assignments and plan for seasonal tasks and special events; they can also track the life of a work order and receive real-time updates. In addition, AMPS provides mobile device capabilities for full inventory reporting, allowing DPR to know, at any given time, the quantity of items in its storehouses and their values. The system also helps improve inventory leveling and alerts storehouse managers when inventory needs to be replenished. The mobile devices can also be used to take photos of park issues that can then be attached to submitted work requests. Improved metrics produces from AMPS are leading to more effective resources distribution, the benefits of which extend to New Yorkers who will find their parks both cleaner and safer.

Best Mobile or Wireless Project
Mobile Wireless Access Program - New York City Police Department

The Mobile Wireless Access Program allows New York City Police Department (NYPD) wireless routers installed in vehicles to sense the presence of new network nodes in close proximity to their locations, providing faster response times and remote access to data. While Police Officers would have previously had to return to their precincts to access data, this new mobile capability provides crucial information quickly to detectives conducting an investigation. Users can now view details of a call for service normally only available to the dispatcher, and Police Officers can search the history of prior calls for a particular address, access full-color mug shot photos for warrant checks, and receive real-time audible alerts to when they encounter stolen or potentially hazardous vehicles. The Mobile Wireless Access Program ensures that no matter what network is selected while roaming, the connection is secure and all applications function properly. This one-of-a-kind infrastructure gives the NYPD the ability to access critical information as quickly as possible, better preparing them for any situation in the field.

Green IT Award
Direct Order System - Department of Citywide Administration Services

The Direct Order System is a web-based intranet application developed by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) that allows City agencies to process paperless purchase orders online while evaluating against DCAS requirement contracts. Direct Order is helping the City's sustainability efforts by reducing paper and energy usage, as well as reducing costs associated with over 14,000 direct purchase orders processed by DCAS each year. Some of the system's benefits include reduced paper and photocopier usage, reduced order processing time by an average of 45%, greater access to detailed transaction histories and order status, decreased ordering errors, and enhanced information for reporting purposes. The City also sees improved productivity as staff members spend less time on manual processes and inefficient order tracking activities, and greater amounts of time to spend on more productive endeavors. The Direct Order System is already in use at 19 City agencies, and implementation for remaining City agencies in progress and continuing through 2011. As more agencies begin using the system, Direct Order will help the City to realize even greater sustainability improvements and cost savings.

IT Futurist Award
Mark Montgomery - Office of Management and Budget

With 37 years of City service, most recently as Associate Director at the New York City Office of Management and Budget, Mark Montgomery combined a thorough command of technology with core business and operational insights to enable deployment of some of the largest-scale IT systems in New York City history. From the era of the punch card to the iPad, among the projects Mr. Montgomery provided direction on include: the 311 Customer Service Center, Business Express, the New York City Automated Personnel System, the Building Information System, a number of handheld computing endeavors, and the financial management systems on which formulation of the City's budget relies. Most recently, his efforts were integral to the transformational CITIServ program, which will help the City save $100 million over five years through citywide consolidation of IT infrastructure.

Excellence in IT Service and Support Awards

In addition, 58 individual staff members and managers from 30 different City agencies were presented with "Excellence in IT Service and Support" awards for their work on various foundational technology projects over the past year.

Established in 2001, the Excellence in Technology Awards Program salutes the best IT projects implemented by City agencies over the previous year and the 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, selected as the project that exemplifies the very best of IT in the City of New York.

Previous Overall ETAP winners are:

2009: Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (DOE)
2008: New York City Wireless Network
2007: New York City Automated Personnel System
2006:  DataShare/Integrated Justice Project
2005:  Real Time Crime Center (NYPD)
2004:  Enterprise Email Solution
2003:  New York City 311 Customer Service Center
2002:  Henry Jackson (OEM) & Lawrence Knafo (DoITT), for Outstanding Technological Leadership in response to the September 11th Attacks
2001:  Virtual Agency Project (Department of Finance)

Contact: Nick Sbordone  (212) 788-6602