It has been a busy and exciting season of transition for our IT Division. In addition to the road log inventory system transition that I shared last month, we have also been working on moving to a combined and improved platform for electronic reporting and project management.
Our agency is tasked with ensuring the success and accountability of our state's 39 county road departments and overseeing compliance requires collecting a wide range of data from across the state. We are committed to making that process as efficient as possible for our county partners and we couldn't do it without our suite of software applications.
County staff have long been familiar with the CRAB Annual Reporting System (CARS), our web application for electronically submitting compliance information for all of the annual reports required throughout the year. Additionally, counties receiving funds through our Regional Arterial Program (RAP) use our portfolio application, RAP Online, for communicating and updating our agency on project progress, funding status, change requests and voucher submissions since 2010.
While these two applications have served us well, our agency has strategically sought to move from applications developed in-house to SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solutions.
Practically, this strategy allows us to reduce required development resources, increase software update delivery times, and to replace legacy systems. On a larger scale, it allows us to stay in front of cybersecurity threats and provides integration opportunities for improved data-driven decision making and transparency.
This fall, we will transition from CARS and RAP Online, replacing them with an established, all-in-one SaaS solution called SmartSimple.
Our staff has completed a vendor service contract for much of the initial configuration of the application and is working hard migrating the data over from the outgoing programs. The anticipated go-live for compliance reporting (formerly done through CARS) will be in September to allow plenty of time ahead of the December deadline. The go-live for RAP program reporting is anticipated for October, ahead of the 2025-27 preliminary prospectus call.
Training materials, resources and events are being developed for county staff - be sure to stay tuned for future roll out announcements!
I want to give special thanks to the Washington State Association of Counties and Washington State Association of County Engineers for financial support via grant funds, our vendor partners, and the many agency staff who’ve collaborated over the last twelve months to make this transition happen!