In 2015, Snohomish Health District entered into a contract with Accela to launch EnvisionConnect, a dedicated Environmental Health Information System replacing a patchwork of information systems that were used to capture and store data from over 100 field and office processes. Externally the system allows customers the ability to submit applications, pay fees, request vital records documents, and even review violation information from recent restaurant inspections. Internally, it allows staff to work more efficiently in the field, increase data integrity, and improve workflow. The system is the primary repository for work conducted by the Environmental Health division.
The original license and hosting agreement with Accela for the Envision Connect platform expired 8/13/18. The proposed new agreement had a total cost of $444,775.48 over three years. The contract duration is from January 01, 2019, to December 31, 2023, to better align with the District budget year.
The original license and hosting agreement with Accela for the EnvisionConnect platform expired 8/13/18. The proposed new agreement had a total cost of $444,775.48 over three years. The original contract duration was from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2023, to better align with the District budget year.
Additionally, District staff were recently notified that there had been a License and Support Agreement invoicing error from Accela. A review of payments already made to Accela and invoices not received for past licensing and hosting reveal a total amount of $387,585.36 in open invoices.
On April 17, 2019, Board and staff members participated in a telephone conference with Accela to discuss the new contract in light of discovery of unbilled amounts for 2015-2018 of $387,585.36. As a result of that teleconference, Accela agreed to write off approximately 50% of the unbilled amounts in exchange for an extension of the new contract from three years to five years.
Additionally, Accela agreed that the new contact would contain a 5% increase each year instead of the originally proposed 7% increases over three years. The new contract proposal term is January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2023, and has a total cost of $765,157.75. The total dollar value between the old and new contracts is a net discount of $226,606.99 over the next five years.
To pay for the old contract, staff originally recommended the use of 2018 surplus funds from vital records, foundational public health, and food. In reviewing the details of the foundational public health funding, the contract specifically calls out that the funds are to be used for preventing communicable disease, so staff have adjusted our recommendations to using County Assistance funds instead of foundational public health funds.
The remainder of those 2018 surplus funds are also enough to pay the unbudgeted difference for the 2019 contract.
To prevent similar incidents from happening in the future, the District has initiated an internal “hands-on” review of all contracts, grants, and MOUs in the agency. A standardized contract approval process is being developed to ensure all contracts are identified and managed per contract language. A database has been established to track and store all agreements until a suitable permanent contract management process can be implemented.
A proposed agreement has been prepared (Exhibit A). Upon approval by both parties, the agreement duration is January 01, 2019, to December 31, 2023, consistent with all applicable terms and provisions.