The WIC Program State Agency Model (SAM) Project is a Food
and Nutrition Service (FNS) 5-year initiative to plan, develop and deploy
model information systems (IS) in WIC State agencies. The system
requirements for each model will be defined by a consortium of State and
local agency representatives. The model systems will have the following
- Modern Web (HTML/HTTP) technology
- Standard WIC data elements
- Open system architecture
- Modular components
- Compliance with Federal policy and regulations
WHAT IS THE IMPETUS FOR THIS INITIATIVE?
The SAM project was initiated by FNS at the request of the
Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMBís philosophy on WIC State
agency system development is: "Build it once and replicate it many
times." OMB is also encouraging e-government initiatives with
strong collaboration at all levels. Based on this philosophy, FNS
developed a business case for the SAM Project and received approval from
Departmental officials and OMB to proceed with the project.
HOW IS THE SAM PROJECT FUNDED?
The long range plan includes budget requests for $30
million annually, subject to appropriations, over a 5-year period, or $150
million total for fiscal years (FY) 2004-2008. FY 2004 was the first year
of anticipated funding, and the FY 2004 WIC appropriation provided $30
million for WIC MIS if not needed to support WIC caseload. However, these
funds were required to be used to support WIC participation and therefore
were not available to support the SAM initiative.
Recognizing the importance of the SAM initiative, Public
Law 108-265, Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization ACT of 2004, enacted
on June 30, 2004, requires the Secretary to use in FY 2006 through 2009
$30 million for management information systems (MIS).
HOW WILL THE CONSORTIA BE DEFINED?
In April 2004, through a competitive process, FNS
solicited applications from State agencies interested in participating in
a SAM consortium. Applications were received from 16 geographic State
agencies and one Indian Tribal Organization (ITO) submitting on behalf of
13 ITOís in the Southwest region. Applications were evaluated based on a
number of factors, including technical flexibility in selecting and
adopting new technologies, need for a new system based on lack of system
functionality, age of existing WIC system, level of technical
infrastructure, and availability of staff. After careful review by an FNS
selection panel and approval by senior management, the following three
consortia were selected to participate in the development of model
Successful Partners In Reaching Innovative Technology (SPIRIT)
Chickasaw Nation is the lead State agency for this consortium. Members
include the following State agencies from Oklahoma and New Mexico:
Muscogee Creek Nation, Wichita Caddo Delaware (WCD) Enterprises, Otoe-Missouria,
Inter-Tribal Council (ITC) of Oklahoma, Osage Nation and Choctaw Nation
from Oklahoma; and Acoma Canoncito & Laguna Hospital (ACL), Zuni Pueblo,
Santo Domingo Pueblo, Five Sandoval Pueblos, Eight Northern Pueblos, and
San Felipe Pueblo from New Mexico. SPIRIT has begun system design. In
order to support this effort, FNS awarded approximately $1,280,000 FY 2004
multi-purpose/infrastructure funds and $1,061,000 FY2005
multi-purpose/infrastructure funds to the SPIRIT consortium.
Mountain Plains State Consortium (MPSC) Colorado is the
lead State agency for this consortium. Member State agencies include Utah
and Wyoming. MPSC has recently completed the planning phase and has
procured a quality assurance (QA) contractor. FNS awarded approximately
$500,000 in FY 2004 multipurpose/infrastructure funds and $1,010,000 in FY
2005 multi-purpose/infrastructure funds to support this project.
North Carolina is the lead State agency for this consortium. Member
state agencies include Alabama, Virginia and West Virginia. This
consortium will be on a slower track as these State agencies have not
worked together in the past. Crossroads has started the project by
undergoing a BPR. FNS awarded approximately $925,000 in FY 2005
multi-purpose/infrastructure funds to the Crossroads consortium.
For more information on MIS, go to the