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BCG Response to Sandy Draft AAR

BCG Response to Sandy Draft AAR

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Published by jodato
State contractor's issues with Sandy reports
State contractor's issues with Sandy reports

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Published by: jodato on Mar 03, 2014
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04/06/2014

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BCG Response to NYSOEM Draft Sandy AAR
February 24, 2014
Executive Summary
 The Sandy After Action Report draft includes 6 major inaccuracies and falsehoods about the DLAN system that need to be specifically addressed. 1.
 
The report says that DLAN crashed during Sandy operations.
DLAN never crashed during Sandy
 
operations
. While there were some other issues with NYSOEM IT infrastructure that were beyond the control of BCG and may have temporarily prevented users from accessing the system for brief time periods, DLAN never crashed during Sandy. 2.
 
The report says that NYS is the only state to use DLAN and OEM is the only major emergency management agency at any level in NY that uses DLAN.
DLAN is used in 6 states and 9 counties within in NY, as well as numerous other locations across the US and Canada.
DLAN is in use by the State of Vermont, the State of MN, the US territory of Guam, the regions of Halton and Ontario Canada, and inumerous counties and cities in states throughout the country from New York to California. Additionally, within NYS DLAN is utilized by Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Niagara, Ontario, Rockland, Westchester, Livingston, and Orange counties, as well as the Seneca Nation of Indians and the NYS National Guard in  Albany. It is also important to point out that many, many more counties are trained in DLAN and have accounts on other county systems. 3.
 
The report says that DLAN is incompatible with other systems.
DLAN is fully NIMS-compliant and can communicate with any other system that complies with federal interoperability standards.
 DLAN is the ONLY Crisis Incident Management System to have passed every NIMS-STEP evaluation test for interoperability and NIMS-compliance. DLAN supports the CAP & EDXL data interoperability standards promoted by FEMA/DHS in addition to email and web services data exchange. BCG cannot speak to other systems ability to share information interoperability, but we have always made the effort to meet all interoperability standards. 4.
 
The report says that DLAN needs substantial on-site contractor support.
DLAN does not need substantial on-site contractor support. NYSOEM requested, and BCG provided around the clock on-site support during Sandy, the vast majority of which was not DLAN related.
 As noted in the report, NYSOEM is understaffed, and many key personnel were shifted to the ROC in NYC leaving the EOC even more shorthanded. BCG personnel have extensive state-wide activation experience and were able to help fill some of the gaps, providing just in-time training and assistance for out-of-state people both for DLAN and non DLAN-related areas. 5.
 
The report says that DLAN does not include a modern asset tracking system.
DLAN has a fully functional asset tracking and resources module and various iterations of these modules have been recommended to NYSOEM before, during, and after Sandy.
 Over the past several years, BCG has worked with NYSOEM staff to identify, design, and cost out the 1
 
“ideal” asset management system that could be used by their logistics staff. BCG provided NYSOEM with multiple cost-effective proposals, in advance of Sandy, that were not executed by the agency. 6.
 
The report says that DLAN is insufficiently understood.
BCG employees provided just-in-time training for those unfamiliar with NYSOEM procedures and policies as well as with DLAN.
DLAN is an extremely intuitive and easy-to-use system. The basic methodology for using DLAN can be explained in fifteen minutes or less. DLAN has been designed and configured to tightly integrate into NYSOEM operations and thus we do see value in including policy and procedure training along with DLAN software training - the two go hand-in-hand.  As seen in this short synopsis, the Sandy After Action Report draft included several inaccuracies and falsehoods about BCG and our DLAN product. BCG wishes the authors of the report had provided BCG with a prior opportunity to address how DLAN performed during Sandy and particularly gotten feedback from our personnel who, as stated previously, were an active part of NYSOEM’s response to Sandy. The lack of inclusion of any feedback from BCG in this report, the many mistruths about the DLAN product, and the final conclusion that DLAN should be replaced as NYS’ incident management solution bring the intentions of the author into question. The following pages address in detail the many false accusations laid against DLAN in this report and it is our hope that this information will give a more accurate assessment of NYSEOM’s response to Sandy and both DLAN’s use and BCG’s participation in this response. 2
 
Full Response
 As the vendor of the DLAN Crisis Incident Management System, BCG takes exception to many of the libelous and inaccurate assertions issued in the Sandy After Action Report draft. Having not been afforded the opportunity to participate in the AAR interviews to correct misconceptions or provide what we feel would have been important information, we will address the report’s inaccuracies below. Should any party be interested in discussing the issues with us, we would be happy to do so.
Report Assertion 1:
 “DLAN, the emergency management support software used by OEM to collect and fulfill resource requests, is insufficiently understood by many staff, requires substantial on-site contractor support, and is incompatible with systems used by other jurisdictions and agencies (including, prominently, New York City, Suffolk and Nassau Counties).”
Response 1:
 DLAN does not require substantial on-site contractor support. While it is true that NYSOEM requested, and BCG provided, around the clock on-site support for the first several weeks of the Sandy response, the vast majority of the support provided was not DLAN-related. After years of working closely with NYSOEM, BCG staff has an in-depth understanding of their operating policies and procedures. As noted in the report, NYSOEM is understaffed and BCG personnel were able to fill some of the gaps and provide services in a number of non DLAN-related areas. These included conducting daily orientations and trainings of EMAC support teams, general IT support and problem solving, and aiding in building out the IT infrastructure in the NYC ROC.
 Appendix A
 provides a list of the activities performed by BCG staff during Sandy. Just-in-time training on DLAN was also provided, as would be expected with any software system utilized by mutual-aid personnel unfamiliar with both the software and organizational operations. BCG is proud of the services and support we provided NYS during Sandy and cannot stress strongly enough that our provided support went far-and-beyond what level of support was required for DLAN. Regarding the charge that DLAN is incompatible with systems used by other jurisdictions, again we take exception. DLAN is the ONLY Crisis Incident Management System to have passed every NIMS-STEP evaluation test for interoperability and NIMS-compliance (see
 Appendix B
for a summary of FEMA’s report). DLAN supports the CAP & EDXL data interoperability standards promoted by FEMA/DHS in addition to email and web services data exchange. BCG will not comment on the ability or willingness of other systems to share information interoperably, but will assert our ability and willingness to do so. We should also point out that for several years, BCG has been working with Regional Logistics Program on a pilot project to share information, specifically resource information, with other systems in use throughout the northeast. DLAN has always been at the forefront of this information exchange effort. See
 Appendix C
 for more information on the IEM interoperability effort. While it is true that NYC, Suffolk and Nassau Counties utilize systems other than DLAN, many 3

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