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Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy Information Technology Plan September 10, 2001 Part One - Agency Administrative Information 1. Agency Title (Acronym) DMME 2. Plan Date September 10, 2001 3. Approved By O. Gene Dishner, Director. 4. Agency Contact Stephen A. Walz Director of Administration Phone: 804-692-3211 Fax: 804-692-3237 E-mail: email@example.com DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 2 Part Two - Agency IT Strategic Direction 1. Summary of Current Agency IT Environment Background DMME was created on January 1, 1985 when the Virginia General Assembly consolidated state agency mineral and energy business programs from three agencies into one. When first formed, DMME’s operations were hampered by programs that were not meeting their statutorily mandated requirements, a lack of coordination among customer services, different employee cultures from the three source agencies, isolated work locations located from Richmond to Wise County, inadequate equipment and facilities such as incompatible communication systems, and a lack of automation. The new department inherited a mixture of a few old PCs and limited access to statewide computer networks such as PMIS and CARS. Most record keeping and processing were manually completed. Shortly after being formed, DMME started using a participatory strategic planning and management process to develop a unified agency mission, strategic and operational goals, objectives, strategies, and agency values. The strategic planning process was also used to help establish managerial accountability for work quality. In completing the strategic plan, DMME looked at its internal management needs and mandates from federal agencies (such as the Office of Surface Mining and Department of Energy), state law and regulations, and central state agencies (such as the Departments of Accounts and Planning and Budget). DMME initially focused its efforts on supporting its mandated inspection and enforcement activities and improving administrative efficiency and effectiveness. Therefore, its first information technology priorities were to develop computer-based data systems to support mine licensing, permitting and inspections, and to develop administrative support systems addressing budgeting, purchasing, and asset management needs. Extensive customer involvement in system design and implementation was used to ensure that systems were mission focused, user-based and integrated into department work procedures. This resulted in the establishment of an agency-wide mini-computer based system supporting agency word processing, coal, mineral, and gas and oil regulatory database systems, an integrated budget/accounts payable/purchasing system, and a department-wide document management and e-mail system. Technology improvements have allowed DMME to shift its computer systems to a networked client-server environment, its database systems to IBM’s UniVerse database based system, and its e-mail and office tools to a Microsoft (MS) standard. The department also changed its network from one based on sending multiplexed data over leased point-to-point data lines to a unified statewide frame-relay IP network and local DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 3 area networks connected in a wide area network over the Commonwealth Telecommunication Network backbone. These technology improvements further allowed the department to develop new laptop PC-based inspection and enforcement systems to enhance field services. Over time, DMME expanded the scope of its regulatory programs to include new customer compliance assistance and education services. This resulted in DMME developing new information technology approaches such as electronic permitting of coal mines, new electronic miner certification and testing programs, and use of digital mapping and geographic information systems. DMME also expanded its educational programs for mineral extraction businesses, educators, localities, and the general public. This led to development of services such as electronic maps-on-demand, electronic mine safety training modules and CD-ROMs, geology educational CD-ROMs, and DMME’s Internet site. DMME regularly has had to respond to changing mandates. For example, the Virginia General Assembly enacted the Mineral Mine Safety Act in 1992 to shift agency resources away from duplicating mine safety inspections with the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration to an enhanced training role. The General Assembly directed DMME to establish these services based on an assessment of the risks present on individual mine sites. This required DMME to develop a risk assessment methodology and the information technology system to support the risk assessment. In 1998, the General Assembly amended the Mineral Mine Safety Act to require independent contractors working on mine sites to use certified mineral miners, provide safety inspections in areas they were working, and develop mine safety plans. This added a large new customer base to the department’s mineral mine safety program. This mandate change required the department to modify its automated systems to capture the unique data on independent contractors’ operations. Other chapters in Title 45.1 of the Code of Virginia that govern DMME programs have been similarly changed, necessitating changes to the department’s information technology environment. DMME adopted an information technology support system to provide information management tools to its employees located across the state. Computer user representatives/power users in each main DMME location help central Office of Management Information Systems (OMIS) staff support both office and field end users. The Department’s Information Technology Team provides advisory services to department management and OMIS staff regarding technology issues. Substantial information technology training has been provided to end users to facilitate their use of the agency’s information technology tools. The department has used seat management principles such as following a regular technology refresh schedule for client and server equipment, operation of an e-mail based help desk for end user support, and standardization of hardware and software platforms. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 4 Today, DMME’s 240 employees are located principally in four offices across the state. Almost one-third of the agency’s workforce works in a field setting, with their vehicles as their primary workstations. This results in a wide geographic dispersal of agency personnel and constantly challenges the agency to maximize the use of technology to communicate effectively and share resources. DMME uses technologies such as inspector remote access to the agency’s information systems via laptop computers; electronic submittal of permit applications by DMME’s customers; and a Southwestern Virginia regional radio system to overcome these obstacles. Technologies such as high quality electronic communications over local and wide area networks, teleconferencing, and use of tools such as MS Outlook and NetMeeting are critical to ensure the department operates both effectively and efficiently in serving its customers across the state. IT Successes DMME has implemented numerous information technology projects that have contributed to the effective and efficient accomplishment of its core business objectives. These are important factors in its efforts to reach agency goals and meet the agency’s mission. Each of DMME’s regulatory divisions uses a program specific database system to maintain permitting, licensing, inspection, enforcement, production, and other related data. These data systems allow the department to track and analyze critical data trends needed for management decision making. The systems include standard report capability as well as the ability to program ad-hoc reports from the database. This allows managers to use quantitative data when assessing issues or responding to outside requests for information. As an adjunct to DMME’s regulatory system databases, the agency developed laptop inspection and enforcement systems for use by field inspectors. Inspectors populate data into their laptop computers from the central division database system so they have operational permit or license data available in the field. The laptop systems include automated forms for use in the field. New data entered in the field is automatically replicated into DMME’s central databases to avoid double entry of field reports. This system also permits dial-up access to upload and download data from the centralized database systems remotely. This tool has provided the field inspectors with the information needed to more effectively complete their field functions and provide enhanced service to the agency’s mineral extraction business customers. DMME recognized that managers needed accurate, timely access to budget and expenditure data to properly manage their work. Additionally, the department recognized that there should be a direct linkage of automated budget, purchasing, fixed asset, and DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 5 other related systems. Neither the centralized state financial systems such as the Commonwealth Accounting and Reporting System (CARS) nor off-the-shelf systems provided this functionality. Therefore, the department contracted to have an agency- specific system developed for its use. This system is still in use and is the backbone of the agency’s financial management process. The system provides information to program managers, supervisors, and department management on items ranging from forecasting budgets; to tracking expenditures and revenues by program, fund, object code and other factors; to monitoring grants; to tracking telecommunication costs; to accessing data by vendor; and many others. DMME’s system links to CARS through regular file transfers. DMME is now working with the Department of General Services to develop the necessary interfaces to link DMME’s accounts payable-procurement system with the eVA electronic procurement system. DMME’s coal mining customers submit a large amount of text, maps, and data in their coal mine permit applications. This information must be updated throughout the life of mining permits as conditions change. In order to bring efficiencies to this system – helping the mine operators develop their permit applications, and helping DMME review the applications – DMME has developed an electronic permit system. Operators generate and submit their initial permit application electronically, attaching digital maps and database information to their text packages. Using workflow technologies, the department routes sections of the permits to the appropriate in-house reviewers. The workflow system compiles the completed reviews and internal approvals to facilitate coordinated replies back to the permit applicant. Once applications are completed and issued, mine operators are able to download their permit data and only update the necessary sections as mining conditions change. This has led to efficiencies both for the department’s mining customers and for the department’s internal operations. DMME has developed a large inventory of digital maps and data on the state’s geology. This includes items such as geologic maps and data, mineral resource databases, and digital maps showing the extent of historic coal mining in Southwestern Virginia. DMME customers use many of these digital maps and databases to enhance their work. DMME makes most of these maps and data available over the Internet to its customers. DMME’s mine safety program provides mine safety training and materials to coal and mineral mine workers across the state. DMME has developed training applications, using tools such as MS PowerPoint, to deliver this training. These programs are provided to the department’s mining company customers as CD-ROMs or by direct electronic transfer. DMME is now partnering with the Center for Coal and Energy Research at Virginia Tech to develop virtual reality training technologies for critical mine jobs. This training will help the mine operators operate their facilities more efficiently and safely. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 6 DMME provides a wide range of geologic, energy efficiency, and regulatory program information to its customers through its Internet site. Consistent with governing executive orders, DMME is enhancing its site to facilitate direct business between the agency and customers. Current IT Focus DMME has identified information technology priorities that will enhance the department’s ability to achieve its strategic and operational objectives. Update Legacy Systems DMME has started a database migration program to move applications and data from its legacy PICK, multi-value, Universe database to a Microsoft SQL server or similar relational database. The department is investigating middleware technologies that will allow applications to manage existing multi-value data as a relational database. This will allow better integration of existing, separate division databases into a department- wide data warehouse. This migration also will allow new applications to be developed using relational database tools, and enable direct customer Internet-based access to agency information. DMME is upgrading its agency-wide desktop and server operating systems platform to Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server. The agency is standardizing the desktop and server platforms through this upgrade. This should lead to enhanced client support and more efficient and effective server management. DMME’s regulatory divisions have identified updates needed to make their laptop enforcement systems better meet field inspector needs. While some division’s systems have been updated, the department’s information technology staff still must complete the upgrade of all laptop enforcement applications. Electronic Permit and Workflow System Development DMME has developed an electronic permit application and workflow review system for coal surface mining and reclamation permits. DMME is evaluating the implementation of this system to determine how it may be used for the department’s mineral mining and gas and oil customers and divisions. DMME also is evaluating other uses of the workflow technology to enhance department operations. DMME will need to add electronic signature capability to the electronic permit application systems when the state-government electronic signature protocol is made available. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 7 Digital and Mapping and Metadata Standards DMME has developed considerable geologic, mining and related data for use with mapping and geographic information systems. DMME is investigating methods to consolidate its digital mapping data and processes into forms more readily available to department customers and employees. The department is looking at central data storage options, middleware options, and map browser-client interface options. DMME is looking at what information technology tools will enhance the department’s knowledge management capability for handling this information. The department also is developing metadata guidelines for its spatial data and databases. DMME is investigating methods to integrate digital image storage into the DMME laptop enforcement systems and databases. This will enhance the ability of field personnel to record field conditions for use in inspection reports, enforcement actions, and communication with agency management. Next Generation Internet Services DMME is developing new methods to enhance citizen access to DMME information over the Internet. This may include enhancing access to information on geology and mineral resource availability through use of an extranet approach. The department is identifying methods to give customers access to information on persons certified as mineral and coal mine workers. The department is investigating methods to increase interactive communication with customers across the Internet. DMME also will be addressing what is needed to ensure access to the department’s Internet site by persons with disabilities. The department also is investigating e-commerce options for selling its geologic publications or allowing customers to complete other business with the Department over the Internet. Enhancing Administrative Services DMME operates an integrated budgeting, accounting, purchasing, and asset management system. DMME must work with the Department of General Services to integrate its system with the statewide eVA electronic commerce system. This will require developing an electronic interface between the systems. As other new central state government systems are developed, DMME will need to develop interfaces that maximize the systems’ value to DMME employees. DMME is developing a new database application to support the DMME University. The DMME University is an umbrella program to provide management and skills training to all agency employees. The data system will provide program management and training documentation for the University. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 8 Changing technologies and software programs provide new opportunities for improving department services. DMME continuously investigates the opportunity to improve its services, including those provided by information technology advances. DMME is committed to implementing cost effective information technology solutions where it will enhance the agency’s services. As part of this effort, DMME is investigating use of a more formal Information Technology Investment Management (ITIM) process as an adjunct to the agency’s strategic planning and management process. DMME has used many ITIM principles in its past information technology decision-making. However, the department may be able to improve its decision-making processes through more direct use of ITIM processes. 2. Critical Issues (from agency strategic planning process) DMME is faced with five critical, strategic issues that will significantly impact the department’s available resources, services, and ability to carry out its mission. Each are discussed below. Issue DMMELT01: Changes in the mineral extraction and energy industries. Issue and Overall Impact DMME’s mineral extraction customers recently have seen a great amount of volatility in their marketplaces. They must be able to quickly respond to changing market conditions and expect DMME to quickly respond to their changing needs. In response, DMME’s management and operational systems must be nimble and able to adjust to customer needs. Flexible, customer-based information systems are critical to providing this nimble customer service. Virginia’s coal industry has been experiencing a period of realignment. The following table shows the number of tons of coal mined per year and number of miners employed at Virginia coal mines. 1990 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Tons of coal 46,636,708 35,917,208 36,782,065 36,889,166 34,001,911 32,253,994 33,257,080 mined Number of 491 374 331 356 352 361 343 licensed mines Number of 10,601 7,190 6,406 6,781 6,054 5,668 5,131 coal mine workers The table shows that Virginia’s coal industry has mined fewer tons of coal and employed fewer workers since 1990. This is generally attributed to the fact that most of DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 9 the thicker, more easily mined coal seams already have been mined. The remaining tonnage is more difficult and expensive to mine. This has happened at the same time that the price of coal, which is effected by the price of natural gas and oil, dramatically decreased from the post-oil-embargo highs. Large, low-cost, Western United States coal mines have been developed, and there has been increased competition from other countries such as Venezuela, Columbia, Australia, and Indonesia. These changes required coal mine operators to increase efficiencies by producing coal on more shifts (with some mines going to 24 x 7 production), using more independent contractors on the mines, and eliminating functions such as training and safety department which are not directly producing coal. This in turn, has lead to an increased expectation that DMME will provide training and mine safety services to the industry. The drop in the annual tonnage mined and the number of Virginia coal miners has been slowed by enactment of the Virginia Coalfield Employment Enhancement Tax Credit. Some coal mine operators have stated that they would not have opened new mines without this credit. The amount of coal mined also has been influenced by the dramatic rise in the price of natural gas in 2000. While this has led to an increase in the price of coal both on the spot market and in new long-term contracts, the sharp rise in gas prices has made coal more cost-competitive with natural gas for large utility projects. This increase in demand has helped stabilize coal production in Virginia. The price rise also has led to an increase in the number of new mine licenses and permits in the state. This may lead to future increases in coal production. Growth in Virginia coal production may be limited by a shortage of trained, experienced coal miners. Many miners have left the marketplace as the number of jobs shrunk during the 1990s. Additionally, the average age of coal mine workers has been increasing, so that today it is about 50 years old. The industry will be faced with replacing these workers in the near future. These processes are placing increased demands on DMME for miner training and miner certification services. Virginia’s natural gas production has increased significantly since the early 1990s due to substantial development of coalbed methane reserves. This growth in production has been coincident with the growing demand for natural gas for generating electricity. Future natural gas production in Virginia will depend on the life span of existing coalbed methane wells, the amount of new well development, and the future markets for gas in residential, industrial and utility markets. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 10 The price of natural gas fluctuated from 1994 through 1999 in response to changing oil prices and warmer or cooler winters. However, the demand for natural gas caught up with supply in 2000, resulting in a sharp increase in natural gas costs. This has lead to an increase in natural gas well drilling and will lead to additional increases in production. These higher prices are expected to last for a few years until supply can catch back up with demand. 1990 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Mcf gas production 14,773,584 49,867,443 54,290,353 58,248,751 58,519,271 71,825,610 71,545,334 Number of gas wells 819 1,671 1,819 2,018 2,400 2,741 3,058 DMME sees a risk that, after the current natural gas price increase subsides, gas well operators may abandon wells without plugging and reclaiming them. This would leave the plugging and reclamation to be completed by DMME. If there were a significant number of bond forfeitures, there would be insufficient funds available to complete the needed work. DMME will closely monitor this situation, take interim actions such as requiring some inactive wells to be plugged to ensure significant numbers of unreclaimed sites are not abandoned, and address the amount of required bond if significant numbers do become abandoned. A significant disagreement has been developing between the coal and natural gas industries over which industry has dominant rights to develop its property when the coal and gas are located on the same tracts of land. Coalbed methane well operators are required to obtain consent from coal owners to stimulate (or fracture) a coal seam for natural gas production. Virginia’s mineral mining industry has been experiencing a period of growth in the last few years. As Virginia’s economic engine has grown over the past years, so has the mineral mining industry. The majority of non-fuel minerals mined in Virginia are used for road and building construction. Smaller amounts are used for agriculture, high temperature ceramics, glass manufacturing, and absorbing clays. As the state increases its expenditure for highway construction, production of non-fuel minerals grows. 1990 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Tons of minerals 95,304,541 82,275,495 84,717,936 89,918,385 89,836,868 91,495,727 96,389,509 mined Number of mineral 482 480 488 485 484 480 mines Number of mineral 5,288 4,865 5,103 4,855 4,816 5,140 4,842 mine workers DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 11 To help meet this growing demand, Virginia’s mineral mine operators have increasingly hired independent contractors for many mine jobs. This has lead to an increase in the demands for training and certification of mineral mine contractors and workers. Virginia’s mineral mine worker population is becoming more diverse. For example, there are increasing numbers of Spanish-speaking workers in some areas. DMME will have to modify its mine safety and training services to address this changing workforce. IT Impact DMME’s information technology and systems must be nimble and able to adjust to rapidly changing customer needs. Systems must be flexible to quickly generate the data needed to assess changing issues. The agency’s IT systems must be able to quickly incorporate data changes due to new legislative or regulatory mandates. The agency’s IT systems must facilitate breaking down programmatic or division stove piping, improving communication among DMME divisions, and providing seamless services to the agency’s customers. DMME must move away from its legacy data systems and incorporate new technology into its services. Additionally, DMME must maintain and update its regulatory systems, such as the divisions’ laptop systems, as the industry changes. IT Strategy DMME must make the change from division-centric, multi-value databases to a relational database/data warehouse environment. Existing centralized division data management programs and field inspector laptop systems must be adapted to this new environment. Programs, such as expansion of the electronic permitting to non-coal production, must be developed to enhance mineral extraction site permitting speed and accuracy. IT solutions to facilitate sharing of geologic and programmatic information among DMME divisions must be further developed. IT solutions must enhance the department’s digital mapping and geographic information system capabilities, and allow the department to develop new applications for the data, such as better modeling of geologic conditions in areas around underground mines. Base Funding DMME will use base funding to implement these IT strategies. Additional Funding Not applicable. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 12 Measure(s) of Success DMME uses a series of performance measures to help evaluate the success of its strategic and operational objectives. These include measures such as the percentage of mineral extraction permits that are processed within deadline, the number of incidents causing off-site impacts per 100 permitted mineral extraction sites, the percent of required inspections completed within time deadlines, and percent of geologic maps available in digital form. DMME evaluates the results of these performance measures as a method to measure the success of the related department information technology programs. Additionally, information technology project managers establish scheduled milestones for completion of their projects. The unique milestones for each project are based on legal deadlines, such as when a new law becomes effective, and programmatic needs. Project success is measured against timely accomplishment of these milestones. Issue DMMELT02: Federally-driven changes to regulation of mineral extraction sites. Issue and Overall Impact There has been a pattern of increased involvement by federal government agencies in mineral extraction activities. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Environmental Protection Agency have expanded their efforts to regulate mountaintop removal and valley fill practices on coal mines in West Virginia. While some of this expansion was muted following a U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling overturning a lower court ruling in the West Virginia mountain top mining case, significant new actions are covered under a voluntary settlement agreement and are being implemented outside of the litigation. For example, the federal Office of Surface Mining is completing an Environmental Impact Statement for surface mining activities that may lead to increased federal environmental and historic resource permitting requirements. This may in turn lead to an increased need for digital geologic, historic mining, and land use data to be used in permit applications and reviews. Any increased level of regulation on the West Virginia sites will lead to demands for such regulation in Virginia. An additional example of this increased federal involvement in coal mining regulation is seen in the Environmental Protection Agency’s move to force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to require individual project permits for mine reclamation that involves rebuilding surface streams in areas where excess mine overburden is placed. EPA Administrator Whitman also stated in a recent speech in West Virginia that she foresees additional EPA involvement in regulating the nation’s coal mining industry. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 13 The Environmental Protection Agency and several Northeast states have increased enforcement actions against operators of Midwest and East Coast coal-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act, New Source Review program. Dominion Power has reached a tentative settlement agreement with the EPA and New York in one case. While the EPA has temporarily suspended these enforcement actions, it is considering a new multi-pollutant regulatory approach for coal-fired power plants. These actions have led electric utilities to look at carbon sequestration projects as part of their environmental programs. In response, DMME has been working with Southwestern Virginia landowners and utility companies to implement carbon sequestration projects on coal mined lands. This has the potential to increase the amount of new reclamation of old unreclaimed coal mine lands. The EPA has signed consent decrees in Virginia and other states to implement total maximum daily load (TMDL) limits on lakes, stream, and rivers. States are being required to draft TMDLs under the terms of the settlement. Runoff from historic mining has been found to be a major source of existing pollution loads in some Southwestern Virginia streams. Therefore, DMME and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have signed a memorandum of agreement under which DMME is taking the technical lead in developing resource extraction based TMDLs for those stream segments. DEQ is also looking to DMME and affiliated stakeholders to help reduce the pollution loads in these streams. The DEQ is looking at regulation of mine discharges and reclamation of abandoned mined lands as ways to decrease pollution loads. To date, DMME has been able to obtain federal grants for the cost of developing the TMDLs. However, if DMME is unable to continue to obtain these grants, the department could be faced with either no longer completing the mineral extraction related TMDLs or requiring state funds for such work. The federal authorization for the Abandoned Mined Land (AML) program is set to expire in 2004. If it is not reauthorized, there will be fewer funds available to reclaim abandoned coal mines. This would decrease Virginia’s ability to fix the public safety and environmental degradation problems from these abandoned mines. This also would decrease Virginia’s ability to implement TMDLs response plans in Southwestern Virginia. There are other related issues that will complicate reauthorization of the AML program. The interest from the trust fund is used to support the retirement and health care funds for retired union miners whose parent companies are no longer available to pay into these funds. Many Western states that do not have the mining legacy of Eastern states such as Virginia have objected to continued taxation of Western coal production for mine reclamation. It is to early to determine whether the fund will be reauthorized. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 14 The Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation (LEAF) prevailed in a case against the federal EPA over its approval of Alabama’s underground injection control (UIC) program governing gas and oil wells. This case decision requires all coalbed methane well stimulation to be covered under a Class II UIC permit. Depending on how the EPA and the State of Alabama implement the UIC regulations, or on any change in the federal Clean Drinking Water Act, this may substantially limit development of coalbed methane wells. Virginia does not have primacy over UIC permitting – these permits are issued out of EPA’s Philadelphia regional office. In response to this case, the EPA is studying issues related to stimulation of coalbed methane wells. There also are two pieces of legislation before the federal Congress that would require EPA to study the need for such regulation before requirements were imposed in all states. If the LEAF decision stands in current form, Virginia may need to review how it wishes to handle Class II UIC wells. DMME continues to monitor this case, as well as federal legislative action. Recently, there was a major coal impoundment failure in Kentucky. This impoundment failure came after a series of smaller impoundment failures in Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia in previous years. While DMME has taken steps to lessen the risk of a failure in Virginia, the National Research Council is studying the need for changed regulation of mine impoundments. This may lead to new demands for regulatory action by DMME. DMME has partnered with community groups and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete mine reclamation and acid mine drainage control projects in Southwestern Virginia. The Corps of Engineers is interested in completing additional acid mine drainage control projects both on coal mines in Southwestern Virginia and on mineral mines in other parts of Virginia. IT Impact As federal laws or regulations change, the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy must modify its programs to implement these changes. This often requires changes or additions to the agency’s information technology systems. DMME needs to maintain flexibility in its information technology systems to account for these ongoing changes. IT Strategy DMME’s regulatory systems will need to be moved to a relational database environment. This will allow new system development and system modifications to be more easily accomplished as federal, and corresponding state, regulations change. DMME also must maintain the capability to modify its legacy information systems to incorporate new or amended legal requirements. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 15 Base Funding DMME will use base funding to implement these IT strategies. Additional Funding Not applicable. Measure(s) of Success DMME will measure the timelines of the agency’s response to federal statutory or regulatory changes as a measure of the success of the related information technology strategies. Issue DMME LT03: Changing DMME business practices for enhanced customer service. Issue and Overall Impact DMME’s customers expect efficient service that meets their needs. They do not care whether the service comes from any specific section within DMME, or for that matter from any specific state agency. For example, citizens expect abandoned mine lands causing public safety and environmental problems to be reclaimed. They do not care what government program achieves this reclamation. In response, DMME is developing ways to create a more seamless delivery of service to its customers. DMME is committed to examining and modifying its business structure to achieve this seamless customer service. Customers increasingly expect electronic access to DMME business. The department offers a substantial amount of geologic, energy efficiency, and mining regulatory program information and provides digital data and maps through its Internet site. The department also has implemented an electronic permitting process for coal- mine permits. DMME is evaluating opportunities for more direct electronic commerce such as paying permit fees or purchasing materials directly across the Internet. DMME is evaluating expanding customer access to its electronic information through approaches such as extranets and enhancing the ability of DMME employees to access this data through a digital data and mapping Intranet application. Additionally, operators of external web sites are demanding data from DMME to use on their web sites. One example includes Wise County’s requests for DMME coal mine mapping data for use in the County’s GIS. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 16 DMME has used a workflow product as the basis of the agency’s coal mine electronic permitting application. This workflow technology offers opportunity for DMME to streamline other services such as other regulatory program permits and internal administrative processes. Customers are more and more expecting seamless access to all of state government, not just to individual agencies. As cross cutting issues arise such as the need for watershed-wide management strategies, agencies will be required to work together more closely. Outside parties are continuing to require DMME employees involvement in legal proceedings regarding mineral extraction activities. DMME employees have been asked to appear as expert witnesses or to testify regarding actions taken during inspections. Additionally, some outside parties are using the Freedom of Information Act to gather information for legal proceedings in lieu of legal discovery proceedings. The Commonwealth is implementing a new statewide, shared land mobile radio network. DMME will replace its existing radio system as this new statewide network is implemented in Southwestern Virginia. DMME is working with the system’s developers to ensure that the system will enable mobile computing and data transfer, so that agency employees will have in-the-field access to the agency’s information systems. Virginia has started its eVA statewide electronic commerce program. DMME and the Department of General Services must develop an electronic procurement system interface to facilitate DMME use of the eVA system. DMME has expanded the use of performance measurement as a management tool. This has expanded the uses of data collected in agency databases, and created the need to collect new data. This has allowed DMME to better assess the effectiveness and efficiency of its customer services. DMME integrates support for the Commonwealth’s economic development activities into its programs. DMME works with groups such as the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Coalfield Economic Development Authority. This partnering will continue to offer challenges to DMME to broaden its work beyond its traditional mineral resource and energy efficiency activities. Examples of this expanded work include efforts to help the Coalfield Economic Development Authority locate energy production facilities in Southwestern Virginia, to provide assistance to the developer of the Coalfield Expressway, and to provide assistance to localities to develop industrial development facilities on abandoned coal and mineral mined lands. Virginia state government is placing more emphasis on managing water pollution issues on a watershed basis. As part of this effort DMME has been assessing the need for DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 17 abandoned and orphaned mines on a watershed-wide basis. The department also has started working with watershed-based community groups to partner on mined land reclamation projects. IT Impact DMME’s information technology systems must be able to be adapted to new electronic government applications. This will require either programming digital interfaces between DMME systems and the central state systems or other integration strategies to tie DMME’s activities to the central state systems. DMME needs to ensure any integration of systems enhances end-user capability and does not diminish the capability of the information technology tools available to the end users. The department’s information technology systems may need to be upgraded to accept new technologies such as workflow and digital signature. Technology refresh must be maintained to ensure the department’s information technology systems can run the new applications. New information technology solutions must be tied to agency business needs. Information technology investment management principles can be used to help assess the need for information technology solutions. DMME must maintain backup and disaster plans to ensure continued operations as the department relies more on technology to achieve its intended business results. IT Strategy DMME must evaluate e-government opportunities for enhanced customer service and internal efficiencies. The agency must maintain a regular technology refresh schedule, implementing new software applications that improve service effectiveness and efficiency and that exceed minimum information technology investment management standards. This includes items such as upgrading to MS Windows and Office 2000 for the department’s standard client and server systems. The department also must develop consolidated digital mapping standards and metadata, and will be evaluating methods to integrate digital image storage and file management into its database and laptop systems. The department must develop the systems to integrate central electronic government systems into the department’s business. The department must maintain and periodically test its disaster recovery plans. Base Funding DMME will use base funding to implement these IT strategies. Additional Funding Not applicable. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 18 Measure(s) of Success Information technology activities that improve DMME business practices can be measured by efficiency and outcome performance measures. For example, standards that improve agency staff’s capability to review permits can be measured by evaluating the average time the permits are in each stage of review. Performance measurement of administrative services is completed through methods such as focus group meetings with line division staff. Other service improvements are measured using customer surveys. Issue DMMELT04: Education about minerals and energy issues. Issue and Overall Impact DMME is being asked to take an expanded role in education of mineral extraction industry workers, local government officials, and the general public. Coal and mineral mine operators and independent contractors have increasingly requested additional training from DMME. The average age of coal miners has increased to around 50. Replacing this aging workforce will require a substantial number of new miners be trained, both to work as general coal miners and to fill specialized positions such as mine foremen, chief electricians, blasters, and others. Local government officials often are faced with conflicts between mineral extraction activities and residential and commercial development. This happens as suburban sprawl reaches areas containing quarries, or as coal mining or gas well operations expands into a new area. Local officials also are faced with problems of development occurring in areas with adverse geologic conditions. In response, local officials have looked to DMME for assistance about how to best incorporate mineral issues in comprehensive planning. DMME has provided broad-based training to local land use planners, and is being asked to provide assistance to individual local officials. DMME is being asked to develop geological and mineral teaching materials to meet the state standards of learning requirements. In response, DMME has partnered with groups such as Radford University, the Virginia Aggregates Association, and Luck Stone to produce geologic and mineral educational tools. DMME also works with school systems on mineral educational issues through areas such as hosting student visits during the Wise County Coal Appreciation Days, and as providing presenters at teacher and student training institutes. DMME also is partnering with the Interstate Mining Compact Commission teacher workshops to develop coal mining related teaching tools. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 19 The Consumer Advisory Board reporting to the utility restructuring Legislative Transition Task Force has asked DMME to evaluate the need for energy efficiency consumer education in Virginia. The Board is recommending that the Commonwealth take a larger role in such consumer education. IT Impact DMME will need to look to enhanced Internet and automated services to serve the needs for increased mining, mineral and energy education. Customers will need access to department information and data at their educational level, be it the general public, a doctoral geology student, a mining company, or an engineering consultant. This will require making the data available through a variety of mechanisms, ranging from direct database access, CD-ROM based programs, direct Internet-based training, virtual reality presentations, and others. Additionally, all data should be qualified using metadata so that users can understand the quality and limitation of the data sets. Increasing the level of Internet access to department information systems raises new security concerns that must be addressed. IT Strategy DMME will need to provide access to educational information and training in a manner that is easy for customers to access. DMME will need to implement a next- generation Internet site, with features such as extranet or other interactive access for classes of customers, which allow users to quickly access the information they need. This next-generation Internet access must be provided in a manner that protects the integrity of the departments information systems. Internet access also must be accessible by persons with disabilities. Base Funding DMME will use base funding to implement these IT strategies. Additional Funding Not applicable. Measure(s) of Success DMME will need to measure customer satisfaction with its educational activities through tools such as customer surveys and customer group reviews. DMME also must look to secondary measures such as student success rates on state standards of learning Virginia geology modules to further measure the efficacy of its educational efforts. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 20 Issue DMMELT05: Responding to under-served areas. Issue and Overall Impact Issues continually arise in areas where state government is not providing services. For example, customers have been requesting new data about the state’s groundwater resources as development is expanding in areas with limited groundwater supplies. While the Department of Environmental Quality traditionally has focused its resources on groundwater in the Tidewater area where there have been large withdrawals, groundwater resources are increasingly being used in the Northern Neck, Piedmont, and Shenandoah Valley. There is no coordinated state approach to providing information about groundwater resources in these areas. Citizens and localities have looked to DMME to provide information on the geology and the areas potential to supply groundwater for new development in these areas. The Commonwealth has begun its transition to a restructured electric utility industry. In response, state government will have to manage procurement of electricity differently. DMME has reached agreement with the Department of General Services to take the lead technical role in helping the Commonwealth’s agencies and institutions competitively procure electricity. This will require better management of state utility data to develop needed energy procurement packages. The executive branch of government also is being expected to take a role in the policy considerations of how the electric and gas industries are being changed. DMME has been asked to increase its involvement in these issues as legislation has been taken up by the General Assembly. There is an increasing public expectation that old, unreclaimed mineral extraction lands will be cleaned up. These lands may be causing public safety and health problems or polluting waters of the Commonwealth. DMME is working to expand the available funding for mine reclamation projects, and to improve the department’s management capability of projects. Economic development agencies, particularly in Southwestern Virginia, are increasingly looking at mined land as an economic development opportunity. These lands often have good road or rail access and utility services. The sites can be left flat to enhance their development potential in an area that is mostly mountainous. DMME is being asked to partner with these organizations to assist in identifying and developing these sites. Additionally, local groups are requesting DMME to complete reclamation on abandoned mined lands in such a way as to support new industrial development. As the Coalfield Expressway is constructed, local officials will look to DMME for assistance in creating land adjacent to the highway that is suitable for economic development as part of mining projects. This requires DMME to be better able to characterize these sites so that the economic development organizations can match the sites to appropriate uses. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 21 IT Impact Using geologic data to help assess groundwater supplies requires the department’s geologic and mineral resource data and mapping capabilities be flexible to new uses. Groundwater analysis requires integration of information from various sources. This leads to the need to develop digital geologic data inflexible formats that can be used in various mapping or geographic information systems. It also leads to the need to integrate regulatory information that relate to groundwater supplies with geologic data. This requires that the department have flexible database systems that can be integrated with geologic and topographic mapping programs. Optimizing electric procurement activities requires gathering and analyzing large amounts of utility metering information. This requires use of real-time monitoring and data gathering, as well as computer-based analysis and control programs. Systems used for utility data gathering and analysis in state agencies will need to be coordinated to ensure interoperability and coordination. Implementation of this capability across state agencies will require substantial cooperation among the agencies. Characterization of mined land for economic development uses requires analysis of numerous site factors such as location, access to transportation and utilities, geology, and topography. Data systems containing this information must be flexible to provide for both general regional analysis of potential sites as well as site-specific analysis. IT Strategy DMME geologic, mineral resource, and regulatory data systems must be integrated and flexible to account for the varied types of analysis required to develop new services. Data should be shareable among the systems, through data warehouse or data mart technologies. Data should be able to be imported into various mapping and geographic information systems within both DMME and outside organizations. This leads to the need for open-system, relational databases that contain data in standard formats. DMME must develop energy use and cost data systems that integrate with systems found in other state agencies. Procurement of new systems to gather and analyze utility data must be carefully handled to provide the end-user and management level capability that is required to achieve the intended energy savings and cost control results. Base Funding DMME will use base funding to implement these IT strategies. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 22 Additional Funding Not applicable. Measure(s) of Success DMME will evaluate the flexibility of its information systems to provide data for the wide variety of end use programs the data can add value to. This will be done through technical analysis of data interoperability and surveying customers using this data. Utility monitoring and tracking systems will be evaluated to measure whether they provide the data needed to analyze energy use in a user-friendly manner understandable by both facility managers and utility contract managers. 3. Agency IT Vision Applications Environment DMME’s vision for the future consists of an integrated set of administrative, regulatory, inspection, and enforcement applications operating on an industry standard relational database platform. The agency’s field inspectors will be equipped with the capability to interact with agency-wide data sets that will provide them with reliable and timely information, as well as providing a reliable mechanism for collecting information and images in the field. DMME’s applications environment will be made up of client/server applications running in a n-tier configuration. The applications in this environment will be made up of thin and thick clients, as well as web-based applications. DMME applications will be developed internally or contracted with external contract software developers when commercial off-the-shelf products are unavailable. Information in DMME’s database systems will be accessible through standard reporting tools such as Crystal Reports, Microsoft Access, and Microsoft Excel. DMME’s local procurement systems will be interfaced with the eVA procurement and other central state information technology systems to provide simple and reliable data interchange and interoperability. By migrating to an industry standard relational database, DMME will be able to develop or procure state of the art business applications which meet the business needs of the agency. It will also enable DMME’s application developers to use current development methodologies, tools, and applications. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 23 Public Web Access DMME’s core databases will be accessible to the public through a web-based information portal that provides an easy to use and expandable collection of data. This data will be automatically updated from DMME’s core business applications to a secure externally accessed web site. DMME’s customers will be able to transact business with the agency both in person and across the Internet. Customers will be able to go on-line to purchase geologic and mineral resource products, will be able to file permit applications and reports, and complete other agency business. Customers will use Virginia’s standardized digital signature protocol as required for security and legal accountability. By web enabling DMME’s databases, DMME will improve its overall customer service by providing 24-hour, direct, and easy access to information available in DMME’s databases. The implementation of e-commerce will improve that division’s ability to service their customers. An on-line catalog will provide 24-hour customer access, as well as an up to date list of all available products. Customers will be able to submit and update required information to the department in a more efficient, electronic manner. Technical Infrastructure DMME’s desktop and laptop environment will be standardized on Windows 2000 Professional. The DMME server infrastructure will consist of Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server platforms. The standard protocol for the LAN and WAN environment will be TCP/IP. Desktop and laptop management will be provided through the implementation of Microsoft management tools such as Microsoft SMS and MOM. DMME’s office applications environment consists of Microsoft Office. The messaging and collaboration system for DMME will consist of Microsoft Exchange 2000 utilizing Microsoft Outlook as the standard e-mail and collaboration client. DMME will use a regular technology refresh process to maintain information technology systems that meet end-user needs. DMME’s spatial data will be centralized and accessible throughout the agency’s divisions. This data will be integrated with DMME’s core business applications. The standardization of the DMME desktop and system infrastructure will maximize the efficiency of information system operations. Using industry leading support and management tools will increase the department’s capability for desktop support and operations by allowing automated software distribution and updates. DMME IT Strategic Plan September 10, 2001 Page 24 Creation of a common, open standard for DMME’s spatial data will provide all agency divisions with consistent, reliable, and fast access to all agency spatial data. This will enhance DMME’s capabilities to operate as a seamless organization. Use of common, open standards for spatial data will enable applications integration, as well as faster and simpler information publication and distribution to DMME’s external customers. DMME will be better able to manage spatial data in a secure environment, and provide both information and metadata to agency customers. DMME’s private customers and public agency partners will be better able to integrate agency spatial data into their applications. IT Management DMME will use its strategic planning process to identify mission focused IT initiatives. As part of this effort, DMME will more formally use Information Technology Investment Management (ITIM) processes to select, control and evaluate IT projects. Use of ITIM processes will assist DMME in creating a business driven IT portfolio based on the needs and requirements developed within the DMME’s strategic planning process.
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