State Sen. Michael Padilla
SANTA FE ― New Mexico State Sen. Michael Padilla (D-Bernalillo) sent a letter to Gov. Susana Martinez Tuesday alerting her that significant portions of a critical IT project meant to deliver a new case management system for CYFD is now overdue.
In his letter, Padilla urges the governor to see that the project gets prioritized and properly resourced for a swift and timely completion.
This comes just days after the governor’s office announced that Daryl Ackley, the Department of Information Technology (DoIT) Secretary, will be departing near the end of the month.
The new case management system, called the Enterprise Provider Information Constituent Services Project, or EPICS, provides a web-based system for child welfare, juvenile justice, early childhood services, and behavioral health. It was envisioned as a consolidation of legacy data reporting and tracking tools, leading to a more comprehensive and accessible system for CYFD case managers.
The total budget secured for the new system is close to $20 million.
“We all desire a safe and secure environment for the children and families of New Mexico,” Padilla said. “EPICS was billed as a much-needed IT resource that would provide CYFD case managers with a singular, more holistic view into their cases, thereby helping to quickly connect more dots between all areas affecting a child’s safety, including law enforcement, and ultimately better serve our kids in need. It must be fully implemented as soon as possible.”
According to the Enterprise Project Management Office within the DoIT, the project, which kicked off seven years ago, was to be finished by the end of June. It now stands at only two thirds completion, according to Secretary Ackley. In recent years, reports on the status of the project have noted that progress has been stymied by poor project planning and constant shifts in management and staffing.
“This new system may be just one of many tools utilized to prevent further harm to New Mexico’s children, but the administration cannot sit by and wait for yet another tragedy before goading the DoIT into swifter action,” Padilla said. “This should be an all-hands on deck initiative with keen oversight from the executive and department heads until the complete system is in place and fully operational.”
Read copy of letter here.