Thursday, December 5, 2013

City Technology Project Wins Multiple Awards


The City’s Department of Information Technology Public Safety Team continues to be recognized for the success of the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) program. The program is an American National Standard and has expanded to several 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) and alarm monitoring central stations across the United States.

The ASAP project was chosen as one of 15 Government Computer News (GCN) award winners for "Outstanding Information Technology Achievement in Government" in 2013. According to the announcement from GCN, this year's winning projects were selected from more than 200 nominations submitted to GCN, based on the degree to which a given IT project improved an agency's ability to operate more efficiently or serve the public more effectively. The City’s project team was formally honored at the 26th Annual GCN Awards Gala on November 19 in McLean, Va.

The City’s technology project won another award recently when Donna Roy, Executive Director of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) announced the five Best of NIEM award winners during a November 6 event at the National Defense University in Washington D.C. The City was recognized for producing a major enhancement and conducting a proof of concept to ensure the integrity of the ASAP Message Broker Service. As a result of award, the ASAP project has become a permanent fixture in the NIEM Hall of Fame. As ASAP is a technical protocol, the Message Broker Service came about in 2012 with the addition of a main server (the Message Broker) for all of the alarm companies to connect to and the development of the main program that controls traffic coming from the alarm companies to ensure that the data is only routed to 9-1-1 PSAPs enabled to receive the data as well as perform validity checks on the data itself.

On September 9, the City was presented the 2013 Governor’s Technology Award during the 16th annual Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium that was held in downtown Richmond. The ASAP Message Broker Service won the “IT as an Efficiency Driver, Government to Business”’ category. Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey and Chief Information Officer Sam Nixon presented the award on behalf of Governor Bob McDonnell. 

“Receiving these three prestigious awards for the ASAP project re-emphasizes the outstanding achievement by our City’s Department of Information Technology and 9-1-1 staff in providing excellent service to Richmond’s residents and businesses,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “I am pleased that Houston TX, Washington D.C., Tempe AZ, and other localities have followed Richmond’s lead in adopting the use of this standard. The benefits of the ASAP program are tremendous as it reduces 9-1-1 processing times, reduces response times by public safety responders, and provides a data exchange that is accurate and concise during the delivery of alarm notifications between alarm monitoring companies and 9-1-1 public safety answering points.”

Including these three awards, the City of Richmond has now won eight awards for the ASAP project.