WHAT IS THE SAM PROJECT?
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 features:
- 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). OMB’s 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, PL 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 WAS THE CONSORTIA DEFINED AND STATUS
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 ITO’s 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 systems:
Successful Partners In Reaching Innovative Technology (SPIRIT). Members include the following:
Acoma Canoncito & Laguna Hospital (ACL), Alaska, Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Eight Northern Pueblos, Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos, Inter-Tribal Council (ITC) of Oklahoma, Indian Township Passamaquoddy, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Missouri, Montana, Muscogee Creek Nation, Osage Nation, Otoe-Missouria Tribe, Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy, Pueblo of San Felipe, Santo Domingo Tribe, Wichita Caddo Delaware (WCD), Zuni Pueblo.
Mountain Plains State Consortium (MPSC). Member state agencies include Colorado, Iowa, Inter-Tribal Council (ITC) of Nevada, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming.
Crossroads. Member state agencies include Alabama, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.
For more information on MIS, go to the APD Document Library.
Updated May 2021