Budget Crisis Spurs Innovation from ProMiles

Excerpt from Government Technology® - www.govtech.com
December 5, 2008, By Casey Mayfille

Megan's Law Web site maps of registered sex offenders

"If there is a project that comes with an impossible time line, no resources and limited funding, it usually has my name on it," said California Department of Justice Bureau Chief Sheri Hofer. Hofer, speaking at the Best of California conference in Sacramento, Calif., knows a bit about innovation, as working on tight budgets and short time lines has forced her to think of new and different ways to do things.

In 1994, … Megan's Law was enacted in that state [New Jersey] in her name. A year later, federal legislation was passed and each state was responsible for the procedure by which information on the location of registered sex offenders was made available to the public.

The California DOJ was tasked with putting together an online directory of registered sex offenders written in 12 languages, complete with a map and photos. … they did come across one company, named ProMiles, which tracked and mapped low-cost fuel for truckers. This company said they had the technology to implement the project, to do it under budget and within the time frame.

"It's probably something we would have never had done or considered had we had $2 million to implement this project [and it] turned out to be one of the best companies we've ever dealt with," said Hofer. The resulting California Megan's Law site is a very successful application and is the DOJ's first Web 2.0 project, with the public being able to contribute information to the site.

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