Report 2016-129 Recommendation 9 Responses

Report 2016-129: K-12 High Speed Network: Improved Budgeting, Greater Transparency, and Increased Oversight Are Needed to Ensure That the Network Is Providing Reliable Services at the Lowest Cost to the State (Release Date: May 2017)

Recommendation #9 To: Imperial County Office of Education

To reduce the risk of having to react to large increases in network traffic, ICOE should formalize a process to include input from network site administrators during network upgrade planning.

1-Year Agency Response

Consistent with the new process to meet with K12 Node site leads during the first half of the year, in 2018 K12HSN staff met with node site staff members in April and May to ensure that input from the field was collected for consideration. These meetings permitted K12HSN staff to seek support and prioritization on their part for the new data inputs into DataLINK, which will inform the Circuit Evaluation template used in recommendation #6. New data components have been included in DataLINK seeking district level input from all California school districts including county offices of education. New data fields include peak utilization, anticipated growth in utilization in the coming year, device counts, and information on which cloud-based services are utilized by the districts. These additional fields will provide important new information on the rate of growth that can be expected at districts and at the node sites that serve them. Additionally, over-subscription rates are being reviewed and compared to historic information to inform the upgrade planning. The new review process by the Network Implementation Committee (NIC) of potential upgrades has been developed so they can weigh-in on the proposed list of upgrades.

  • Completion Date: May 2018
  • Response Date: May 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented

In addition to the expanded data collection tool referenced in our assessment of ICOE's six-month response to this recommendation, ICOE has now provided evidence of incorporating the collection of information from site administrators as part of its K12HSN regular node site meetings. ICOE also provided evidence of attempts to solicit equivalent information from the school district level, as well as initial data regarding the prevalence of changes in individual sites' bandwidth capacity. We expect to see ICOE use the information gleaned from these efforts as part of implementing the formal network upgrade methodology we referenced in recommendation #6.

6-Month Agency Response

ICOE agrees that factors related to "downstream traffic" play a role in predicting growth rates and planning for capacity changes. In order to add context to the review of current use, historic use and growth trends, ICOE is in the process of increasing data fields collected from California county offices of education, schools and school districts. These additional fields will provide important new information on the rate of growth that can be expected at districts and at the node sites that serve them. ICOE will continue to meet with Node site administrators after the April data collection period concludes. The new review process by the NIC of potential upgrades has been developed so they can weigh-in on the proposed list of upgrades.

  • Completion Date: November 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

ICOE has expanded the tool it uses to collect data from school districts to include questions about districts' planned network-related activities and other online initiatives for the coming year, which can be used to help ICOE project utilization of K12HSN network circuits. ICOE is still preparing for its first round of collecting this data, which it will conduct between January and April 2018 to conform to the broader network planning timeline. We will reassess the status of ICOE's response to the recommendation after ICOE distributes these requests for information and begins to collect the data.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

60-Day Agency Response

At all times prior to 2016, the annual effort to collect updated information on district and school level data for its DataLINK database included the request that anticipated "downstream" upgrades be reflected in the newly installed data. The request for this data was commonly given less priority than other components of the requested information.

As mentioned before the Network Implementation Committee (NIC) is being called upon as an advisory panel to guide the effort to formally collect information on current utilization and anticipated growth over the next 6, 12 and 18 months. In addition to the support of the NIC, at the K12HSN annual node site meeting staged at the annual conference for technologists, ICOE will communicate to all node sites how and why the program will be expecting fuller and deeper reporting from them related to downstream traffic and planned initiatives in the districts they serve. Where available, ICOE will collect links to any URLs available for monitoring usage. The entire effort will be documented in a written methodology which will be publicly available.

In addition, in a future iteration of the DataLINK system, ICOE will be refining the data components to be solicited in order to support the ease and simplicity of this element of the data collection.

  • Estimated Completion Date: November
  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented

ICOE demonstrated the use of its DataLINK database to collect information on network upgrades. Full implementation is pending ICOE's inclusion of the integration of this information into the formal network upgrade methodology outlined in Recommendation #6.

All Recommendations in 2016-129

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.