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     MDH POLICY NUMBER02.01.03
    Cross-Reference: Information Resources Management Administration
    The Director, Information Resources Management Administration (IRMA), has the primary responsibility for coordinating and monitoring the acquisition and use of information technology (IT) resources within the Department. Heads of units that have or acquire IT resources are required to follow state and MDH policies and procedures regarding the proper utilization and security of the resources in their units. The Information Resource Management Administration has the responsibility for analyzing all procurement requests and for exercising approval authority or, if required, making recommendations on the acquisition and utilization of IT resources to the Secretary or designee. The Director of IRMA may further delegate procurement authority provided that IRMA provides periodic reviews of IT procurement activities to ensure department-wide compliance with information technology plans and procurement policies.

    The Department supports the acquisition of IT resources and the use of affordable information technology that measurably enhance the productivity, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of Departmental activities. IT hardware, software and services are valuable resources and, when properly coordinated, the total effect of these resources can be greater than the sum of the independent parts. Therefore, it is to the advantage of the Department to assure that IT resources that are obtained for the Department are best suited for the intended purpose, and for the Department as a whole. In order to provide MDH computer users with effective and efficient ways to communicate and share information, while providing quality support with limited resources, it is necessary to establish software and hardware standards.
    This policy recognizes the independent authority and responsibilities granted to the Health Services Cost Review Commission, Health Resources Planning Commission, Health Care Access and Cost Commission, Nursing Board, Board of Physician Quality Assurance, and Boards and Commissions, and is not intended to impede their independence.
    MDH Policy Number 02.01.03 supersedes and makes obsolete MDH 9190, Policy on the Acquisition and Utilization of Microcomputers, dated April 2, 1987.
    1. Information Technology Resources (IT Resources)- for purposes of this policy includes all hardware, software and related services.
    2. Hardware- any of the major physical components of a computer or telecommunications system, e.g., servers, personal computers, workstations, printers, routers, hubs, multiplexors, scanners; used synonymously with 'equipment'.
    3. Software- a series of a pre-composed instructions causing computer and telecommunication systems to perform specific tasks, e.g., computer operating systems, mainframe computer or client/server based off-the-shelf packages, and application systems computer programs and command language.
    4. Services- activity associated with the development and maintenance of automated application systems (analysis, design, development, installation, training, maintenance) telecommunications networks, and support services such as data entry, commercial telecommunication providers, Internet services providers, and maintenance of hardware and software.
    This policy does not pertain to paper, supplies, miscellaneous computer products, or small off-the-shelf software that have a purchase price of less than $2500.00, except for hardware and software comparable to that on the MDH standardized specification list, as discussed below in Policy Statement D. These items are to be obtained using State authorized credit cards.
    1. The Director of IRMA shall review all budgetary requests for IT resources and make recommendations to the Director, Budget Management Office regarding such requests, and shall ensure that each unit has prepared the MDH Information Technology Procurement Report (ITPR) for submission with proposed budget requests.
    2. The Director, IRMA or designee shall:
    a. Act as the Procurement Officer for the purchase/lease of all IT resources in the Maryland Department of Health.
    b. In coordination and cooperation with the Secretary or designee, plan and devise strategies for automation in MDH.
    c. Develop internal guidelines related to dealings with vendors, contractors, consultants or external agencies regarding the acquisition of IT resources.
    d. After consultation with IRMA staff, the head of the unit and/or user personnel, ascertain whether the needs of the user unit can be met with resources already available to the Department in lieu of the purchase of additional resources.
    e. As IT Procurement Officer for the Department, shall effect review and approval authority over all IT purchase requests over $2500 submitted by head of units. After approval of the Director, IRMA, the Chief, Budget Management Office, or designee, shall review all IT resource purchase requests and certify as to funding availability on the appropriate form.
    f. Forward approved solicitations and IT resource requests to Department of Budget and Management, for processing and serve as principal MDH liaison in all matters pertaining to such actions.
    g. Provide technical advice and guidance in accordance with the law and regulations of the State of Maryland on matters pertaining to the acquisition and utilization of IT resources.
    h. Have the final authority in deciding which bidders and offerors are 'responsible', as required by the Annotated Code of Maryland and as such 'have the capability in all respects to perform fully the contract requirements, and the integrity and reliability which will assure good faith performance'. The Director shall also have the final authority in determining which bids, offers and proposals 'conform in all material respects to the requirements contained in the solicitation'.
    i. Establish, implement and monitor security rules for safekeeping IT resources.
    In cooperation with the Health Information Coordinating Council (HICC), the Director of IRMA shall standardize the Department's computer hardware and software to the extent operationally practicable. Acquisitions will be made following standardized technical specifications for computer hardware and software, to be updated periodically by IRMA. Exceptions will be made only in extraordinary cases where justified and deemed essential to the Department's mission, and when approved by the Director, IRMA or his/her designee.
    The Director, IRMA, shall have the right and the responsibility to enter into, on behalf of the Department, appropriate contractual agreements for the maintenance, replacement and repair of equipment used across organizational lines and, where such agreements exist, provide a primary point of contact for coordinating service call placement, follow-up, and approval of vendor billing. Each unit shall bear its proportionate share of the cost of such contracts.
    The Director, IRMA, or designee shall:
    1. Develop internal guidelines to be followed in the procurement, transfer, and disposal of all IT resources in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws, policies and regulations.
    2. Be responsible for the coordination, consolidation and the submission of all reports and other documents required by State oversight organizations (e.g., DBM, Comptroller, Treasurer) relating to IT budgets, plans, procurement, security, disaster planning, etc.
    3. Serve or provide for IRMA participation on the Evaluation/Selection Committee for all data-processing-related project solicitations that exceed, or are expected to exceed, $100,000.00 in acquisition cost.
    The head of each MDH unit shall:
    1. Consult with the Director of IRMA or designee regarding the unit's needs and desires for the use of IT resources, including the proposed solicitation method to be used (e.g., Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Quotation (RFQ), Invitation for Bid (IFB), Purchase Order (PO), etc), prior to initiating formal solicitation action or the drawing up of any detailed plans or procurement forms.
    2. Comply with all manuals and guidelines promulgated by the Director, IRMA, pertaining to the acquisition and use of information technology resources.
    3. Ensure that the unit's Information Technology Project Requests (ITPR) includes information pertaining to the planned procurement, and make certain that all solicitations over $10,000 are identified in the ITPR.
    The Director, IRMA, shall issue implementing instructions, guidelines, and manuals based upon these policies.
    • State Finance and Procurement Article, Annotated Code of Maryland
    • COMAR Title 21, State Procurement Regulations
    • Memorandum dated December 14, 1994 signed by Robert Eastridge, Acting Secretary, Maryland Department of Health, concerning acquisition and utilization of Automated Information Processing Resources (AIPR) and data processing position.
    • MDH Policy On The Organization and Operation of the Maryland Health Information Coordinating Council, effective October 6, 1997.
    APPROVED: Martin P. Wasserman, M.D., J.D.
    Signature on File Effective Date: January 8, 1999​