Bureau of INFORMATION SYSTEMS
A brief description of each BIS division follows:
This group maintains the official website for the New York City Comptroller’s Office (www.comptroller.nyc.gov). The website provides the public with important information and assistance. The website, which averages approximately 90,000 visits each month, is continually updated to reflect key current issues and to facilitate navigation and use.
Network Administration has responsibility for installing and maintaining the operating systems for the Agency’s SUN and Wintel computing platforms. In addition, they design, implement and maintain all switches, routers, firewalls, servers, and telecommunication lines that support the Agency’s computing requirements, as well as backup and restore capabilities. This group also has responsibility for architecting, implementing and enforcing computer infrastructure security procedures such as firewall policies and anti-virus protection.
IT Operations and Communications Services monitors the agency’s network environment and administers the office’s telephony and personal digital assistant (PDA) services. Various tools such as Microsoft’s Operations Manager are used for this purpose. For the network environment the group ensures that servers and workstations are up-to-date with the latest Microsoft security patches. They also ensure that the networking platform is up-to-date with the latest software such as antivirus, web and email filtering programs. In addition, they ensure that all agency users have access to their network resources such as email, files, printing and internet access. IT Operations also enforces the agency’s user and computer group security policies.
For telephony services, the group administers all land line, cell phones, and Blackberry’s for all office personnel. This includes maintenance and renewal of agreements with service providers (Verizon, RIM, etc.) and interfacing with provider technicians and the City’s Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications.
One of the most significant applications in the agency is a state-of-the-art document management and optical imaging system known as OAISIS (Omnibus Automated Image Storage and Information System). The Document Management and GIS Systems group supports and maintains the OAISIS system. OAISIS was developed for the Comptroller’s Bureau of Law and Adjustment (BLA), Bureau of Labor Law (BLL) and the Office of Contract Administration (OCA). The system supports the critical business functions administered by these bureaus: the processing of all claims filed against the City; the registration of all City contracts with third party vendors; and the enforcement of the City’s labor laws. OAISIS is going through a major transformation to the Next Generation OAISIS (NGO). (See Technology Transformation) The Comptroller's Office worked with Northrop Grumman to deploy NGO. This BIS division manages the Northrop relationship, including the implementation of system enhancements, deploying new software releases, updating hardware platforms and databases, and addressing help desk calls from OAISIS users throughout the City.
In addition to NGO, this group also supports the Agency’s GIS needs. GIS applications have been developed to support the NGO claims process by providing BLA with the ability to visualize and analyze their data, enabling them to make decisions with respect to risk management and disallowing claims. GIS has evolved to support analysis and reporting by the Comptroller’s Office on numerous issues important to the City including: Auto insurance, noise and air pollution, banking regulations, affordable housing, health care & hospital closings, and transit system repairs.
The Central Imaging Facility (CIF) is where the claims processing, contracts registration, and labor law enforcement processes begin. Claimants can come to CIF to submit claims and agencies can come to CIF with contracts for registration. Labor law transactions and vendor W-9 information is also processed in CIF. All of these documents are prepared and scanned into the Next Generation OAISIS (NGO) system using high speed scanning technology; then they are indexed using specific pre-determined criteria. Once CIF completes its operation, the NGO system automatically forwards the documents into the NGO workflow process. Based on index information, the NGO workflow feature automatically routes the documents to the in-basket of an employee in the proper business area within BLA, BLL or OCA for processing. Once processed, the paper documents are batched and boxed by CIF and sent to off-site storage on a monthly basis. CIF maintains and reports detailed metrics on all of its document processing.
The Asset Management Systems division provides technical support to the Bureau of Asset Management (BAM) for the accounting and reconciliation functions associated with approximately $90 billion of pension assets in the City’s five major pension systems. They also provide technology support for all short-term trading desk activities, proxy activities, and reporting of key data to the five major pension systems. In addition, they manage key vendor relationships with QED Financial Systems for PARIS (Pension Asset Reconciliation and Information System) and the technology group with Bank of New York/Mellon for their custody support systems.
The BIS Help Desk provides centralized client support for all employees of the Comptroller’s Office and the Office’s business partners who utilize our key applications. The Help Desk directly provides assistance for various software applications, including the Microsoft suite of products and over 100 different application software products. The Help Desk also maintains all client hardware peripheral devices, such as PCs, printers, and scanners.
All technology-related problems can be phoned into the Help Desk’s call center operation. These calls are monitored in an effort to meet service level agreements with our clients. On average, the Help Desk handles over 300 calls per month. The Help Desk also monitors the completion or resolution of calls which do not fall directly under the unit’s responsibility, but have been escalated to other divisions within BIS or to third party vendors. Detailed metrics are maintained and reported on the Help Desk operations.
This unit supports specialized system development and application maintenance for all 18 bureaus of the agency. They currently support a portfolio of approximately 50 applications which were developed using Microsoft Access, SQL, Microsoft .NET and Cobol. Based on new or changing business requirements, all bureaus in the Agency can request enhancements to existing systems or new development systems projects by initiating a System Enhancement Request (SER).
The Data Center Operations unit manages the printing and distribution of special check transactions and other related reports and records. Specifically, larger volume check printing jobs required by smaller agencies such as the Board of Elections and the Parking Violations Bureau are handled by this unit, as are specially requested pension transactions, 1099s and other miscellaneous check printing and signing operations; the unit also coordinates the mailing and distribution of the jobs completed.
The Program Management Office was established to develop and maintain standards, methodologies and procedures utilized by the Bureau of Information Systems. This division develops tailored policies and procedures representing government technology best practices; maintains operations metrics for the Office of the Comptroller; and administers the Agency’s Information Technology Strategic Plan, which addresses a three year time horizon and is updated annually. The Strategic Plan outlines the future business objectives and direction of each of the 18 bureaus which comprise the Comptroller’s Office, and the technology solutions that will be deployed to support these objectives. Additionally, a Monthly Operations Report is published which outlines the progress of each project, as well as critical BIS and Comptroller’s Office operating metrics for key business functions within the Agency.
A key administrative function of the Program Office is to administer all technology procurement for the Agency. The Program Office guides capital projects through the initial budget creation, business case analysis, funding request, request for proposals or bid, contract finalization, and budget monitoring through the completion of the project.
The Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery (BCDR) team coordinates the maintenance of the Comptroller's Office Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan. The team creates and maintains business recovery procedures tailored for the operations of each of the 18 bureaus of the Comptroller’s Office. The BCDR team works with bureau liaisons to review changes to the Agency’s organization and business environment and updates the BCDR Plans to reflect those changes. The group also works closely with the rest of the BIS team to identify all changes in the technology infrastructure and ensure that those changes are reflected in the Plans as well. Updated Plans are made available to all Agency personnel and are reviewed and tested bi-annually through mock disaster events.
The team also maintains an alternate processing site which will be used by designated Agency employees in the event of a disaster occurrence.
Finally, this group manages key vendor relationships associated with the Agency’s BCDR plans. These vendors include SunGard and Northrop Grumman, among others.