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   DataBus - Vol 41 No. 5: August-September, 2001
   President's Column
Creating Tools For Our Membership

Conference planning is well under way and this year's lineup in speakers and vendors will prove to be one of the best ever. In addition, a new configuration of the Network Operations Center and the technical talks presented there should bolster the exceptional setting provided by Monterey and the Conference Center. This year will be hosted in a much larger venue, with over double the floor space and more breakout rooms. In addition, the vendors are creating opportunities to network with fellow professionals from around the State. Throw in a great golf tournament and we think the conference will be down right irresistible. But this is not the focus of this column. The Board of Directors passed a resolution this past meeting that represents a quantum leap for the organization. CEDPA will release its first RFP to establish a WEB presence that adds features for the use of our membership. This development marks a turning point for CEDPA and a maturing of the organization. In addition, the Board took procedural steps to assure the viability of the organization and to protect its assets.
CEDPA is an organization that is managed by IT professionals who have full time jobs in district or county offices. The conference and other activities are the result of regular meetings arranged by the Board and developed over a yearlong schedule. It is a great deal of work, particularly the conference, but there is also a great deal of satisfaction in providing a forum for other working professionals across the State. In addition, many Board members also serve on other statewide panels and they bring to CEDPA a wide variety of information that assists in our efforts to provide for membership needs. Because the organization has become more complex, the Board felt it necessary to reflect this complexity in operational terms.
Until now, the CEDPA Board has stretched its resources both personal and organizational to provide the conference, DataBus and WEB with information and experiences that assist members as they manage their organization's technical resources. I think our efforts have been commendable but the Board frequently discusses how to extend capacity, to generate more useful applications, to create a fuller experience for our membership. The Board has met this challenge with the approval of an RFP.
CEDPA will issue an RFP to secure quotes for the development of website components. This option has been discussed for a couple of years and I anticipate that the new resources that are offered will be tremendous assets to our membership. We will be posting the RFP on the CEDPA listservs and in the DataBus and encourage any member to pass along the RFP to qualified individuals or firms. The RFP will ask for development of the following services:
  1. The creation and maintenance of an online database of job descriptions with browser based retrieval and reporting.
  2. Creation and maintenance of an online database of currently available bids that may be used by agencies for the procurement of goods or services. They will also serve as models for bid development.
  3. CEDPA Board for mailing and notification.
  4. An online automated membership enrollment process
  5. A vendor yellow pages with searchable index
Addison Ching has done an excellent job of drawing specifications for the project. These specs will be rolled into a document for publication. It is our hope to have the process complete by the conference and perhaps even a conceptual design to demonstrate. This project provides opportunities for CEDPA to extend basic services to our membership. These services are hopefully the first in a long series of future benefits of membership. I want to now use this column to create a challenge for future CEDPA presidents to add at least one major feature to the WEB presence during her or his term in office. If each one does this then the professional stature of CEDPA will be enhanced and our membership well served by the Board.
I hope the actions of the Board meet with your approval. Please don't hesitate to contact me or any other board member with recommendations or suggestions. Take care.