SGIA Award Winning Projects- 2015

*Minnesota Board on Aging- Helping People Return to the Community from a Nursing Home

Return to Community, was developed based on research by Dr. Robert Kane at the University of Minnesota and others. The Minnesota Board on Aging and Department of Human Services worked closely with the researchers to develop a fiscal model to generate savings to the state and federally Medicaid program. The service, which focuses are helping individuals of all ages, passed the legislature in 2009. The service helps people who are in a nursing (who are not yet on Medicaid) by targeting those who should have left but have not, using the research criteria.Targeted candidates are visited by SLL Community Living Specialists and asked if they want to return home. The SLL Specialists work with the nursing facility staff closely to help make the discharge successful. Upon returning home, Specialists do follow-up for 5 years. State funding is $2.4 million which generates savings making this a cost saving measure.


*Minnesota Department of Transportation- Larpenteur Avenue over I-35E Slide-in Bridge Construction

The two-span Larpenteur Avenue Bridge over Interstate 35E (highway interchange reconstruction) was designed and constructed as part of the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (MnDOT’s) $98 million “MnPass” project on I-35E. Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) was implemented by the contracting team, Ames Construction, to reduce closure time of the Larpenteur Avenue Bridge (on a county road), minimize disruption to I-35E traffic, and meet project schedule constraints. The slide-in bridge construction technique was used to accelerate the bridge reconstruction.


*Minnesota State Community and Technical College- Mobile Classroom Training in West Central Minnesota

Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State) serves students in a region spanning 19 counties and 20,000 square miles. M State has campus locations in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead, and Wadena. Throughout our region, the unemployment rate is low and the need for incumbent worker training is high. To meet the industry training needs in our large region, and to provide education to a group of incumbent workers who were not likely to enroll in on-campus or credit based courses, M State developed a mobile classroom to deliver welding training to industry and partner sites. The twelve station mobile classroom is equipped to train in: Gas Metal Arc Welding, Fluxed Cored Arc Welding, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, and Thermal Cutting. The classroom was designed to provide process theory and application, print reading, weld symbols, basic math and AWS code capabilities. The curriculum is customized to meet the needs of the industry partner or job site partner.


Department of Human Services - Disability Services Division- MnCHOICES Initiative

MnCHOICES is a change in both tools and process, to determine the need for long-term services and supports (LTSS). It replaces three assessments with one comprehensive assessment and process for individuals of all ages, disabilities and financial statuses.

MnCHOICES uses a person-centered planning approach to help people make decisions about long-term services and supports while promoting equal access across populations and geographic areas. This amazing application assists certified assessors with conducting assessment and support planning for Minnesotans in need of services. It assists assessors but does not replace their professional knowledge or skills.


Minnesota Judicial Branch-Conservator Account Auditing Program (CAAP)

The Conservator Account Auditing Program (CAAP) is a nation-leading initiative to protect the assets of vulnerable individuals – persons with developmental disabilities, Alzheimer’s dementia, or traumatic brain injuries – for whom the court has appointed a conservator to manage the individual’s financial affairs. The program aims to combat the alarming increase in the financial abuse of elderly and vulnerable individuals.

Through CAAP, the Minnesota Judicial Branch has modernized and improved the way the state oversees the work of conservators. This includes implementation of a first-of-its-kind online accounting system for conservators, as well as the establishment of a centralized conservator account auditing center.

Today, CAAP monitors the assets of 4,600 vulnerable individuals, with assets totaling more than $720 million. In almost 14% of audited cases, auditors have found concerns of loss, inappropriate loans or expenditures, or commingling of funds. These findings have resulted in discharge of conservators, repayment of funds, and criminal prosecution.


Minnesota DNR, Parks and Trails Division-I Can! series of outdoor skill-building programs

I Can Camp! and the other programs in the I Can! series aim to attract new visitors to Minnesota state parks and trails, particularly young families and racially diverse audiences, who are currently underrepresented. The programs introduce participants to camping and other outdoor activities by providing equipment and hands-on instruction for free or at a “family friendly” price. Current programs include I Can Camp!, I Can Paddle! (canoeing, kayaking, sea kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding), I Can Climb!, I Can Fish!, I Can Mountain Bike! and Archery in the Parks. Programs are offered at Minnesota state parks and state water trails throughout the state. Marketing and public relations efforts target adults (primarily moms) ages 25 to 49 with school-age children in their homes.

The I Can! programs are made possible with funding from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment that citizens approved in 2008. The budget for FY15 was $203,600.


Minnesota Management and Budget-TransparencyMN

Minnesota Management and Budget operates TransparencyMN, a website that provides checkbook-level information on government spending to the public. TransparencyMN contains information on state agency budgets and payments, state employee salary information, information on Minnesota tax expenditures, state agency audits, state financial reports, and information on local government and school district finances.

Since the launch, we’ve been enhancing the site by adding innovative features and data sets to give the public more (and easier) access to monitor how Minnesota allocates resources. We added visualization tools including maps, graphs, and a taxpayer “receipt” that explains how a citizen’s tax dollar is distributed to different state spending functions. Unlike other states that use transparency portals simply to make data available, TransparencyMN focuses on creating a useful and engaging experience for the public. TransparencyMN was even recognized by United States Public Research Group for providing transparency in government spending in a way viewers could understand.


Minnesota Department of Revenue- Electronic Certificate of Real Estate Value

Minnesota requires that all real estate transactions over $1,000 file a Certificate of Real Estate Value (CRV). Implemented in 1978, filing a CRV used a four part paper form. The form was filled out by anyone who executed real estate transactions, and was then submitted to the county. The county reviewed the form and then transferred it to the state. In the paper forms 36 year history users expended effort, time, and money to print, complete, and file the form 5.2 million times.

Seeing a need to streamline the process, the Minnesota Department of Revenue became the first agency in the nation to create an electronic Certificate of Real Estate Value (eCRV). With the new system, users can complete the form any time and from anywhere they have an internet connection. The change has made the process more convenient, secure, accessible, transparent, efficient, and storable while also saving money


Minnesota Department of Agriculture- Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program

The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a novel program that recognizes farmers for, and increases adoption of, practices that decrease their risk to water quality. Farmers that achieve certification receive regulatory certainty for the duration of their ten year certification which stipulates that they are deemed to be in compliance with new state laws and rules that take effect during the certification period. In addition, they receive access to dedicated financial and technical resources and promotional tools, such as signs, logos and media kits. To become certified, farmers are paired with local conservation professionals in the Soil and Water Conservation Districts and undergo a whole farm assessment. The assessment includes verification that they are meeting existing laws regarding water quality, a site-specific assessment tool to help determine the robustness of their water quality management and a field verification to find and address additional risks.


Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs-Minnesota Homeless Veteran Registry

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) and MN.IT Services, Minnesota’s information technology agency, developed and launched the Minnesota Homeless Veteran Registry to identify and house Veterans experiencing homelessness. This initiative is part of MDVA’s efforts through Governor Dayton’s Cabinet-level Minnesota Inter-agency Council on Homelessness to end Veteran homelessness this year. The Registry works by connecting federal, state, county and non-profit partners. Using a case management approach, these partners provide needed services and create sustainable housing solutions on a Veteran-by-Veteran basis. A team of 20 staff from a dozen agencies convene every two weeks to develop housing plans for each Veteran and their family on the Registry. The Registry also identifies landlords interested in housing Veterans, springing from an idea proposed at a Hack for MN “hack-a-thon” technology innovation event organized by MN.IT Services. The Registry also provides crucial data for monitoring Minnesota’s progress toward ending Veteran homelessness.


*Award winners received a professional video highlighting their project, pictured on the left.  

SGIA: Return to the Community

SGIA: MN State