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GG 6
Centralize Customer Services for Licensing Agencies

Summary

The state’s 26 licensing agencies regulate 91 professions and occupations to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens. Although the 2001 Texas Legislature established an option for licensees to apply for licenses through the Internet, more should be done to ensure that the state provides efficient and cost-effective customer service. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), with the assistance of a private vendor, should create a central customer service center for consumers and licensees. The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) should specify the technology needed to operate the center, including an interactive voice response system, coordination and linkage of agency technology systems and Web design, hosting and maintenance. DIR, TDLR and the TexasOnline Authority should explore the feasibility and costs of creating a central automated license processing system.

Background

Texas has 26 professional licensing agencies. In 1994, the Comptroller’s office recommended that the administrative duties associated with these agencies be consolidated to eliminate unnecessary and costly duplication.[1] Both the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, which is reviewing several licensing agencies, and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) agree that such consolidation makes sense as long as professional and managerial control remains with the individual agencies.[2]

Five core functions are common to all licensing agencies: program management, customer service, license processing, education and enforcement. Many customer service and license processing activities could be consolidated without affecting agency autonomy. Education and enforcement, moreover, could be greatly improved through a central, public source of electronic information on licensing programs, allowing investigators and educators to focus more time on their core responsibilities.[3] TDLR, created in 1989, is the state’s primary oversight agency for regulated businesses, industries, trades and occupations. It administers 20 occupational and licensing programs.[4] As such, it is the logical entity to build and house centralized services for licensing agencies.

Exhibit 1 notes the general budget, staffing, licensing activities and cost per license of each of the state’s licensing agencies.

Exhibit 1
Budgets, Staffing, License Activity and Cost per License for 26 Licensing Agencies

Licensing Agency Fiscal 2003 Budget Staffing (FTEs) License Types Licensees Cost*/License
Non-Health Agencies
Department of Licensing and Regulation $ 6,556,626 144.5 13 17,125 $20.00
Real Estate Commission (Includes Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board) $ 4,406,613 95.0 9 98,849 $15.00
Cosmetology Commission $ 2,036,289 44.5 1 75,534 $ 3.60
Board of Plumbing Examiners $ 1,539,970 24.0 12 24,375 $ 4.40
Structural Pest Control Board $ 1,333,549 39.0 2 11,408 $30.00
Funeral Service Commission $ 532,127 10.0 4 4,423 $34.28
Board of Barber Examiners $ 549,621 14.0 1 17,459 NA**
Board Professional Land Surveying $ 357,631 4.0 4 5,892 $ 6.50
Court Reporters Certification Board $ 156,735 3.5 1 2,900 NA**
Board Tax Professional Examiners $ 156,081 4.0 1 3,400 $34.00
Polygraph Examiners Board $ 89,600 2.0 2 230 NA**
Board of Professional Engineers*** $ 1,632,300 25.0 1 48,621 $25.00
Board of Architectural Examiners*** $ 1,482,458 19.0 3 16,500 NA**
Board of Public Accountancy*** $ 3,296,454 43.0 1 57,000 $ 4.66
Non-Health Agency Totals $24,126,054 471.5 55 383,716  
 
Health Agencies
Board of Medical Examiners $ 5,242,224 104.0 12 68,128 $15.43
Board of Nurse Examiners $ 3,126,788 55.0 2 163,344 $ 2.15
Board of Pharmacy $ 2,773,326 46.9 1 20,362 $ 9.07
Board of Dental Examiners $ 1,381,143 27.0 2 22,577 $ 8.00
Board of Vocational Nurse Examiners $ 1,358,055 23.0 1 74,000 $ 7.90
Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners $ 795,462 18.0 4 14,692 $50.00
Board of Examiners of Psychologists $ 796,104 14.0 4 5,538 $23.00
Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners $ 598,766 10.3 4 5,918 $ 4.97
Optometry Board $ 361,653 6.0 1 3,148 NA**
Board of Chiropractic Examiners $ 343,672 7.0 3 4,767 $ 9.50
Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners $ 216,410 4.0 2 1,025 $ 9.00
Health Agency Totals $16,993,603 315.2 36 383,499  
Totals for All Agencies $41,119,657 786.7 91 767,215  
Sources: Senate Bill 1, 2001 Texas Legislature, and Roland Leal Consulting.
*Cost/license is an efficiency indicator; wide variances could be due to different licensing requirements.
**Agency has no cost per license performance measure.
***Agency part of a two-year pilot to operate outside the provisions of the General Appropriations Act.
[5]

The online option

The 2001 Legislature required the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) to administer a common Internet-based system to allow professional and occupational licensees to apply for their licenses through TexasOnline, an Internet “portal” site operated by DIR. The system must allow licensees to submit occupational licenses and other documents and submit payments online.

The Legislature also established the TexasOnline Authority to oversee the development of a common electronic infrastructure for the portal to benefit state agencies, including licensing entities, and local governments. The authority may charge all Texas licensees up to $5 annually to cover the costs of providing the online option. As of October 2002, 14 agencies had begun receiving license renewals online for 30 different license types. By mid-January 2003, an additional seven agencies and 15 license types will be included.[6]

TexasOnline has helped to simplify licensing by establishing a standard online template that captures about 80 percent of the information needed to process an occupational license. TexasOnline works with each agency to ensure that information provided by licensees, including payment information, is directly entered into its computer system to avoid the need for data re-entry.[7]

Although the agencies that administer these licenses incurred some additional costs in developing online licensing, they are beginning to see benefits. For example, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) became the first agency to “go live” with online licensing in August 2000. Since then, about 14 percent of persons eligible to renew their broker’s licenses have done so online, as did 21 percent of those renewing real estate sales licenses. The online process has reduced data entry errors, while TREC is beginning to shift some staff to other customer service functions because of improved efficiencies.[8] TDLR, the second state agency to offer online licensing, has reported positive feedback from participants.[9]

Even so, the online application option does not go far enough. TexasOnline simply takes applications online and sends the information to the appropriate agency. Customer service processes are not necessarily modified to take advantage of improved technologies. Agency systems for addressing customer inquiries and technologies to process licenses remain the same, and paper applications are still mostly handled manually agency by agency.[10]

Central customer service center

In 1996, Florida established a single licensing agency to handle all professional and occupational licensing for the state. In 2001, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (FDBPR) improved the efficiency of its customer service functions by creating a central customer service center. FDBPR established an eight-year contract with a vendor to analyze and design the center.

A study completed during the first six weeks of the contract identified current staffing levels and customer response processes of licensing divisions throughout the agency. The feasibility study found that a third of the 3.3 million calls FDBPR received each year went unanswered. It also found that the lack of central management, oversight and support technology increased costs and reduced effectiveness in all areas of customer service. According to TDLR, Texas’ licensing entities face many of the same problems.[11]

For example, although TDLR has a small customer service section, it does not track the length of the calls it receives or document what percentage of customer questions are answered on the first call. Without such information, it is impossible to evaluate the program’s effectiveness. An expanded customer service center using advanced technology could be operated by TDLR to handle these functions and to compile the data needed to ensure effectiveness.[12]

FDBPR and its vendor identified the specific information needs of each license type and established timelines and logistics for acquiring the necessary technology and transferring staff from the licensing divisions to staff the customer service center. The customer service center was up and running in six months.[13]

Florida required its vendor to purchase, test, deploy and manage the technology needed to operate the customer service center. A computer system integrates communications among the licensing agencies to provide the center with updated information on regulations, educational requirements and licensee status. The system provides automated e-mail responses, interactive voice response technology and Web-based information so that licensees can find answers to many of their own questions without staff help.

The system allows customer service personnel to look up customer accounts and helps them direct licensees to subject-matter experts designated by each licensing division when they cannot answer questions themselves. The central licensing agency retains policy authority while the vendor keeps a permanent team on site to ensure that the system is implemented, updated and maintained properly.[14]

The customer service center was funded entirely through savings from full-time equivalent (FTE) employee reductions and improved efficiencies.[15]

Advantages of a customer service center in Texas

Florida’s feasibility study found that, before the creation of the customer service center, FDBPR received an average of three calls a year from each of the state’s million licensees. And without the data integration provided by the center, staff members often had to research their answers to licensee questions, limiting their workload to only 40 calls per day. With management scattered throughout the agency, a supervisor to staff ratio of 1:10 was required to oversee customer service functions.

If Texas’ licensing agencies are experiencing similar conditions, they could be dedicating the equivalent of 221 FTE employees for customer service functions. Exhibit 2 outlines current cost estimates for the state’s 26 licensing agencies to provide customer services, while Exhibit 3 shows potential savings if these functions were handled through a central customer service center.

Exhibit 2
Estimated Staff Requirements for Customer Service Functions
26 Texas Licensing Agencies

Item Amount Assumptions Based on Florida Model
Annual Phone Call Volume 2,300,000 Three calls per year from each of Texas' 767,000 licensees
Calls handled by each customer service FTE 10,400 40 calls per day/260 days per year per FTE
Customer Service FTEs 221 Annual volume divided by calls per FTE
Cost for 221 FTEs $8,155,000 TDLR salary levels of $36,900 per FTE, including benefits
Supervisors Required 22 Supervisor/staff ratio of 1:10
Cost for 22 FTEs $1,496,000 TDLR salary levels of $68,000 per supervisory FTE including benefits
Total FTE Costs $9,651,000  
Source: Accenture LLP.

Florida’s customer service center has improved the delivery of customer services to licensees and consumers while reducing the number of FTEs dedicated to these functions. More than 30 percent of the call volume for all license types has been reduced because of self-service options provided by the Web and interactive voice response technology. The remaining calls are being handled more efficiently due to improved access to licensing data and improved training and management support and oversight. As a result, each staff member is now handling more than 60 calls per day. Centralized operations have allowed a reduction in the ratio of supervisors to customer service staff from 1:10 to 1:15.[16]

A central customer service center for Texas’ licensing agencies could provide benefits similar to Florida’s by providing easier access to license information and reducing the number of incoming calls.

Exhibit 3 summarizes the potential benefits of a center in Texas.

Exhibit 3
Estimated Staff Requirements for Customer Service Functions After the Creation of a Central Customer Service Center for 26 Licensing Agencies

Item Volume Assumptions Based on Florida Model
Annual Phone Call Volume 1,611,000 30 percent reduction in calls based on licensees answering their own questions via the Web or the interactive voice response system
Calls handled by each customer service FTE 15,600 60 calls per day (up from 40) from improved efficiencies; 260 days per year per FTE
Customer Service FTEs 103 Annual volume divided by calls per FTE
Cost for 103 FTEs $3,801,000 TDLR salary levels of $36,900 per FTE including benefits
Supervisors Required 7 Supervisor/staff ratio of 1:15, up from 1:10, based on improved efficiencies from centralized operations
Cost for 7 FTEs $476,000 TDLR salary levels of $68,000 per supervisory FTE including benefits
Total FTE Costs $4,277,000  
Total Savings $5,374,000 Compared to estimated staff costs without the centralized customer service center
Source: Accenture LLP.

Next steps

Texas contracted for its TexasOnline portal through a partnership arrangement similar to the one Florida used to establish its customer service center. BearingPoint (formerly KPMG Consulting) operates the portal on behalf of the state and has invested about $23 million in the portal’s infrastructure. BearingPoint is recovering its costs through a combination of user, subscription and premium service fees; no state dollars were used to establish the site.[17]

DIR appointed a steering committee including representatives from each licensing agency to advise it on the implementation of the online initiative. State law requires each licensing entity to report to the Legislative Budget Board on its progress toward using TexasOnline to perform various licensing functions. While the legislation does not specifically require DIR or the steering committee to establish a central customer service center, this initiative would be consistent with the intent of the legislation to benefit licensing authorities and licensees.[18]

The 2001 Legislature created DIR’s Program Management Office (PMO) to direct and facilitate electronic government projects affecting multiple state agencies. The PMO is expected to identify and approve funding for these projects, create teams to coordinate them and eliminate unnecessary duplication. State law also authorizes the PMO to establish standards that state agencies must follow during such projects.[19] These PMO functions could benefit a customer service center initiative by developing technology criteria for the vendor and coordinating efforts among licensing agencies.

License processing

Even with a centralized customer service center in place, each agency still must handle “back-office” administrative duties such as receiving and processing paper applications; handling payments not received online; and tracking and reporting on educational requirements, investigations and enforcement activities.[20]

According to DIR, each licensing agency maintains its own data center and uses various computer platforms and databases to process licenses. Technical expertise can vary widely from agency to agency.[21] No single technology standard is applied across licensing agencies. While larger licensing agencies, such as TREC and TDLR, are beginning to simplify their administrative processes with improved technology, smaller agencies generally lack the expertise and funding to do so.[22]

Florida consolidated its license processing functions while it was creating the customer service center. While consolidating hardware and software systems for license processing benefited the state, it entailed costs of more than $73 million over an eight-year contract. The state is paying for this consolidation through a 39-cent annual fee on licensees and a state investment of $16 million.

Recommendations

A. State law should be amended to require the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) to establish a vendor contract for a central customer service center.

DIR already is authorized to contract with a private vendor for a common electronic licensing system. This recommendation would expand DIR’s authority to include the design and implementation of the technology needed for a central customer service center, including an interactive voice response system and all software and hardware requirements. DIR’s Program Management Office (PMO) should establish, manage and oversee a multi-year, performance-based contract based on the Florida model and ensure that vendor services are fully coordinated with the TexasOnline infrastructure to keep costs to a minimum. The contract should include a feasibility study to identify technology and license processing systems at all licensing agencies, and should specify vendor outcomes for all customer service technologies. Vendor payments should be based on savings from FTE reductions at licensing agencies and other cost reductions resulting from improved efficiencies.

B. State law should be amended to establish a consolidated customer service center at the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).

TDLR should be authorized to manage and oversee a central customer service center for the state’s 26 licensing agencies. The steering committee for electronic occupational licensing transactions should coordinate with the licensing agencies to identify and address needs and concerns related to the center’s design and creation. TDLR should work with DIR, the PMO, the TexasOnline Authority, the steering committee and the vendor to establish all policies, procedures and training requirements for the center. TDLR should manage its day-to-day operations, establish its staffing requirements and authorize staff transfers from participating agencies.

C. The legislation implementing Recommendations A and B should contain language requiring DIR, TDLR and the vendor to prepare a report to the 2005 Legislature on the project’s status and proposals for additional consolidation.

The report should identify all costs and savings achieved by the central customer service center and should include specific legislative proposals for expanding the system to other agencies and state and local entities.The report should include options for consolidating license processing functions, including new technologies that could further reduce costs and administrative burdens. It also should identify payment options needed for the proposed improvements, including state investments, shared savings and subscription fees.

Fiscal Impact

The vendor contract would not require state funds because savings from FTE reductions would pay for the purchase, design, implementation and maintenance of all technology for the central customer service center. The estimate assumes that the vendor contract would be executed in fiscal 2004 and that the center would be operational at the beginning of fiscal 2005. Based on Florida’s model, the benefits of the center, including FTE reductions, would begin in fiscal 2005 and reach their full potential in fiscal 2006.

Savings from FTE reductions would be $5,374,000 annually, beginning in fiscal 2006. The estimate assumes that 221 customer service FTEs and 22 supervisor FTEs currently provide customer service functions at the state’s 26 licensing agencies, and that the center would reduce these levels to 103 FTEs and 7 FTEs respectively (Exhibits 2 and 3).

Based on this assumption, 118 customer service FTEs would be eliminated, saving the state $4,354,000, based on TDLR’s average salary of $36,900 per FTE (including 28.28 percent benefits). Fifteen supervisor FTEs also would be eliminated, saving $1,020,000, based on TDLR’s average supervisory salary of $68,000 (including 28.28 percent benefits). In fiscal 2006 and beyond, total savings would be $5,374,000. Savings in fiscal 2005 are estimated at half of this amount, or $2,687,000.

Total savings reflect the salaries and benefits of FTE reductions. To realize such savings, agency appropriations should be reduced by $2,095,000 in fiscal 2005 and $4,189,000 in fiscal 2006 and thereafter. To achieve total benefit reductions of 28.28 percent, appropriations for the Texas Employees Retirement System should be reduced by 6 percent of the salary amount for retirement and 14.63 percent for health insurance; appropriations for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts should be reduced by 7.65 percent of the salary amount for Social Security and Medicare taxes. The reduction amounts are reflected below.

  Fiscal 2005 Fiscal 2006 Fiscal 2007 Fiscal 2008
Salary $2,095,000 $4,189,000 $4,189,000 $4,189,000
Benefits
ERS Retirement (6%) $125,700 $251,400 $251,400 $251,400
ERS Health (14.63%) $306,400 $612,900 $612,900 $612,900
Comptroller FICA (7.65%) $160,200 $320,500 $320,500 $320,500
Total Benefits (28.28%) $592,300 $1,184,800 $1,184,800 $1,184,800
Total Salary and Benefit Reductions (nearest $1,000) $2,687,000 $5,374,000 $5,374,000 $5,374,000

No initial state investments would be made for the vendor contract; the vendor would be paid from the state savings generated by FTE reductions. The estimate assumes that initial vendor costs for designing and developing the center would be $6.4 million. Ongoing system and technical support, including an on-site vendor team of four FTEs, would cost $1.3 million per year.

The following chart outlines vendor investments, savings from reduced FTEs, and ending balances each year. The break-even year for the state, which is the year in which savings from FTE reductions would exceed the vendor’s charges, would be fiscal 2007. The state would receive $770,000 in fiscal 2007 and about $4,844,000 in fiscal 2008.[23]

  Fiscal 2004 Fiscal 2005 Fiscal 2006 Fiscal 2007 Fiscal 2008
Technology design and development ($6,400,000) $0 $0 $0 $0
Ongoing System and Technical Support $0 ($1,300,000) ($1,300,000) ($1,300,000) ($1,300,000)
Annual Salary and Expense Savings $0 $2,687,000 $5,374,000 $5,374,000 $5,374,000
Carrying Charges ($590,000) ($1,077,000) ($619,000) ($79,000) $0
Vendor Savings (Cost) ($6,990,000) $310,000 $3,455,000 $3,995,000 $4,074,000
Ending Balance ($6,990,000) ($6,680,000) ($3,225,000) $770,000 $4,844,000

Recommendation B assumes that the management and oversight functions provided by the PMO could be accomplished with one FTE position. According to DIR’s Business Plan and Budget for Fiscal 2003, PMO staff costs for three FTEs are $223,000, for an average of $74,000 each.[24] Assuming this rate, the cost to DIR for one additional PMO position would be $95,000 ($74,000 in salary plus 28.28 percent for benefits, or $21,000).

TDLR would need two managerial employees to manage the project during fiscal 2004, and to work with DIR and PMO to develop vendor specifications and service-level agreements and to procure the vendor. The cost of these additional employees would be about $136,000, based on TDLR’s average management-level staff salary of $68,000 each, including 28.28 percent for benefits. Once the customer service center becomes operational in fiscal 2005, these employees would be paid for through savings achieved from FTE reductions.

TexasOnline’s role could be accomplished with existing resources, through vendor investments and fees already charged to licensees. The committee could expand its functions with existing resources.

Since the exact number of staff assigned by each licensing agency for customer service functions is not known, it is not possible to transfer staff to the center until the completion of a feasibility study. Therefore, to cover the costs for Recommendation B, the appropriations of the 19 licensing agencies with budgets of more than $500,000 should be reduced by 2 percent beginning in fiscal 2005. The total amount of these budgets is about $39,438,000; the 2 percent reduction would provide about $789,000 per year, as outlined below.

Licensing Agencies with Budgets of More Than $500,000 Fiscal 2003 Budget Amount Reduced
(2 percent)
Department of Licensing and Regulation $6,556,626 $131,133
Board of Medical Examiners $5,242,224 $104,844
Real Estate (Includes Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board) $4,406,613 $88,132
Board of Public Accountancy $3,296,454 $65,929
Board of Nurse Examiners $3,126,788 $62,536
Board of Pharmacy $2,773,326 $55,467
Cosmetology Commission $2,036,289 $40,726
Board of Professional Engineers $1,632,300 $32,646
Board of Plumbing Examiners $1,539,970 $30,799
Board of Architectural Examiners $1,482,458 $29,649
Board of Dental Examiners $1,381,143 $27,623
Board of Vocational Nurse Examiners $1,358,055 $27,161
Structural Pest Control Board $1,333,549 $26,671
Board of Examiners of Psychologists $796,104 $15,922
Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners $795,462 $15,909
Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners $598,766 $11,975
Board of Barber Examiners $549,621 $10,992
Funeral Service Commission $532,127 $10,643
Totals $39,437,875 $788,757

Since the vendor contract would not include new facilities, the estimate assumes that, based on information from TDLR, about $325,000 annually would be required for an appropriate facility for the center, beginning in fiscal 2005. It also assumes that all center staff would require $150 per year in training; for 110 employees, this would amount to approximately $17,000 per year. The costs to implement Recommendation B for fiscal 2004 through fiscal 2008 for staff, training, and facilities are outlined below.

  Fiscal 2004 Fiscal 2005 Fiscal 2006 Fiscal 2007 Fiscal 2008
TDLR Staff ($136,000) $0 $0 $0 $0
PMO staff ($95,000) ($95,000) ($95,000) ($95,000) ($95,000)
Staff Training $0 ($17,000) ($17,000) ($17,000) ($17,000)
Facility Costs $0 ($325,000) ($325,000) ($325,000) ($325,000)
Agency Budget Cuts $0 $789,000 $789,000 $789,000 $789,000
Savings (Cost) ($231,000) $352,000 $352,000 $352,000 $352,000

Recommendation C could be accomplished with existing resources. The report to the 2005 Legislature should provide additional savings and cost information that could reduce agency licensing costs, but the amount cannot be estimated at this time.

Fiscal Year Savings/(Cost) to General Revenue from Agency Budget Cuts Savings to General Revenue From Vendor Contract Total Savings/(Cost) To General Revenue Change in FTEs
2004 ($231,000) $0 ($231,000) +3
2005 $352,000 $0 $352,000 -66
2006 $352,000 $0 $352,000 -132
2007 $352,000 $770,000 $1,122,000 -132
2008 $352,000 $4,844,000 $5,196,000 -132


Endnotes

[1]Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Gaining Ground: Progress and Reform in Texas Government (Austin, Texas, November 1994), p. 337.

[2]Interview with Steve Hopson, senior analyst, Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, Austin, Texas, September 18, 2002; and interview with Brian Francis, deputy executive director, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Austin, Texas, September 18, 2002.

[3]Interview with Brian Francis.

[4]Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Sunset Commission Decisions, (Austin, Texas, June 2002), p. 1; and Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, “Response to Comptroller’s Request Regarding Consolidation of Back Office Functions for Certain Licensing Agencies,” Austin, Texas, August 26, 2002, p. 1.

[5]Texas Board of Professional Engineers, Sunset Self Evaluation Report, submitted to the Sunset Advisory Commission June 4, 2002, p. 8.

[6]Tex. S.B. 187, 77th Leg., R.S. (2001), and materials provided to the Comptroller’s office by the TexasOnline Division, Texas Department of Information Resources, October 18, 2002.

[7]Interview with Tim Kennedy, analyst, TexasOnline Division, Texas Department of Information Resources, Austin, Texas, May 16, 2002 and October 18, 2002.

[8]Texas Comptroller Survey, response from the Texas Real Estate Commission, June 6, 2002.

[9]Texas Comptroller Survey, response from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, June 14, 2002.

[10]Telephone interview with Phil Barrett, Director, TexasOnline Division, Texas Department of Information Resources, Austin, Texas, February 26, 2002.

[11]Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Business Process Assessment Study: Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, by KPMG, Inc. (Tallahassee, Florida, 2001), Section 4, pp. 3-5; and telephone interview with Brian Francis.

[12]Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, “Response to Comptroller’s Request Regarding Consolidation of Back Office Functions for Certain Licensing Agencies,” p. 2; and telephone interview with Brian Francis.

[13]Telephone interview with Rick Thompson, associate partner, Accenture LLP, Tallahassee, Florida, October 11, 2002.

[14]Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the State Technology Office, Exhibit A to the Agreement with Accenture LLP (Tallahassee, Florida, February 2, 2001), p. 37.

[15]Interview with Rick Thompson.

[16]Materials provided by Rick Thompson, associate partner, Accenture LLP, Tallahassee, Florida, September 27, 2002.

[17]Materials provided by Gary Miglicco, managing director and national director for e-government services, BearingPoint, Austin, Texas, July 24, 2002.

[18]Tex. S.B. 645, 77th Leg., R.S. (2001).

[19]Texas Gov. Code §2055.054 and §2055.055.

[20]Interview with Phil Barrett.

[21]Interview with Tim Kennedy.

[22]Interview with Gary Miglicco, managing director and national director for e-government services, BearingPoint, Austin, Texas, April 26, 2002.

[23]Materials provided by Rick Thompson.

[24]Texas Department of Information Resources, Business Plan and Budget for Fiscal 2003 (Austin, Texas, August 2002), Section 5, p. 6.