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The RFP and IT Logistics For Washington's "Pot Czar"

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the not-the-best-resume-builder dept.

IT 117

Esther Schindler writes "Last fall, the state of Washington passed a marijuana legalization referendum, and needed to acquire an outside consultant to run the program. 'As it normally does, the state put out a request for proposal for a consultant to run the new legal marijuana program,' writes Ron Miller. 'As word leaked out that there was an RFP open for what essentially was a "pot czar," the floodgates opened. It would be the most popular RFP in the state's history. The Liquor Control Board needed a way to process these requests quickly and cheaply.' In a typical RFP scenario, they would get maybe half a dozen responses. This one got close to 100. Miller writes about the cloud workflow required to solve the task: 'He chose these particular tools because they all had open APIs, which allowed him to mash them together easily into the solution. They were easy to use, so reviewers could learn the system with little or no training, and they were mobile, so users could access the system from any device. In particular he wanted reviewers to be able to use the system on a tablet.' I suppose this could have been written about more mundane RFPs, but I bet you'll find this more interesting than most."

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cnc router ,laser machine, (-1, Offtopic)

xjrouter (2884765) | about a year and a half ago | (#43343765)

www.xjrouter.com ,www.xjrouter.es ,cnc router ,laser machine,plasma metal cutting machine

100?? (2)

2.7182 (819680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43343867)

So big deal, 100... It is not uncommon for a science dept at a university to get 400 applications for a tenure track position.

Re:100?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43344183)

What does your post have to do with the parent post? Idiot!

Re:100?? (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344197)

Just find somebody who says "dude" every time he starts a sentence, and bro at the end. Make sure he dues it consistently or he might be a faker. Bam, there's your pot czar.

Re:100?? (4, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344277)

Dude, 100 applicants? Fucking out of this world. Hell ya, dude, dude!!!!! I got the greatest fucking idea of all time. Quit camping on the bowl, give me a hit. Thanks dude.... What were we talking about? No, I hadn't seen the that cat video, no, dude, wait, the Pot Czar applications. You get them all in a room, and smoke out. Fuck ya, dude, I'm talking smoke out of the century. The last app standing gets the job. Fuck I'm a genius. WTF dude? don't spill the bong...

Re:100?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43350351)

yeah dude, cuz all marywanha heads talk like that MIRITE guys??!!??!!?

Re:100?? (3, Insightful)

jspoon (585173) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344337)

So big deal, 100... It is not uncommon for a science dept at a university to get 400 applications for a tenure track position.

Or even as many as 420.

Re:100?? (1)

niftydude (1745144) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345199)

Heh - recently in the UK - 1701 people applied for 8 barista jobs. [guardian.co.uk]

*sigh* Another czar (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43343991)

Where are these guys [sodahead.com] when you need them?

Thank goodness for spammers. I can threadjack without feeling guilty.

Re:*sigh* Another czar (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344191)

Haha. Sadly, the bureaucracy outlasted them.

As of a few years ago, a few of them were still producing comedy recordings. But they are not as easy to find as they once were.

WE Offer... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43343779)

energy efficient solutions for retroactively monitoring cascading diodes

Re:WE Offer... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43343895)

energy efficient solutions for retroactively monitoring cascading diodes

Isn't that what caused the Black Mesa incident?

Re:WE Offer... (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344611)

If you are to spam around as anonymous, at least provide a link to your product! It looks like you used to much of, oh wait, it's 4:20... what was I saying? Oh yeah, you qualify to be the new czar (whatever that means).

Probably not just about pot (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43343787)

I imagine this was so popular because of the chance to run a pot legalization program as a consultant. This would be a multi-year job, but Washington State will likely not be the last state to implement this. The consultancy who wins this bid can then bid to help other states in the future, with the only credible claim of reliable experience with this issue. Being the winner of this project would be akin to striking oil.

Re:Probably not just about pot (4, Insightful)

swb (14022) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344141)

I can't help but think that the pot business now is something like the Internet was circa about 1991. There was a sense it was going to be a big deal and there was going to be a lot of money made, but nobody quite knew how to do it right away.

And like the Internet, I'll be looking back 20 years from now amazed at how much money has been made off it and how it's universally accepted, just like the Internet.

Re:Probably not just about pot (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344157)

"There was a sense it was going to be a big deal and there was going to be a lot of money made, but nobody quite knew how to do it right away."

I think it's pretty obvious that a lot of people still don't know how to do it.

Re:Probably not just about pot (4, Interesting)

pspahn (1175617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344203)

Indeed. A friend of mine interviewed with a local dispensary (Colorado) a couple of weeks ago, she would be doing the books.

Granted, this is a medial dispensary, and not the type of "pot shop" that would come as the result of legalization, but I imagine the two won't be far off...

So, as I was saying, she interviewed and, since she's smart, she was asking specific questions about how they operate. Apparently, part of her job would involved making cash deposits to the bank via an ATM at the mall. Yes. That's how they are doing it right now... cash deposits to an ATM at the mall.

The ATM in this case belongs to Bank of America, and they are chosen for the account precisely because they do not have a presence in Colorado (other than ATMs). I'm not really sure the rest of the details, but it is clear that there are plenty of methods, especially in regards to how dispensaries run their finances, that need to be refined.

Re:Probably not just about pot (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344227)

"Indeed. A friend of mine interviewed with a local dispensary (Colorado) a couple of weeks ago, she would be doing the books."

Haha. I meant the internet, but I didn't make that very clear. But this, too, for sure. I won't argue with you there.

Re:Probably not just about pot (3, Informative)

swb (14022) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344417)

There was a story about this exact kind of thing on NPR's Planet Money:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/12/04/166514067/episode-420-the-legal-marijuana-business [npr.org]

They talk to legitimate business people trying to run a dispensary and handling money is a huge problem for them. It's almost nearly impossible to get a commercial bank account and really complicated to try to run it on a cash basis. The banks are paranoid because its illegal at a Federal level and there's all kinds of ways for the Feds make pain -- money laundering laws, revoking Federal bank charters, seizing assets, and so forth. Suppliers, landlords, employees, the government, customers -- everybody wants to get paid and cash is really clumsy and sometimes not an option.

And of course, they want to be consumer friendly and take plastic, but good luck without banking. I may be remembering this wrong, but they use the gimmick of the low-rent cash machine which will also do purchases-as-cash-advance-for-a-fee so credit card users can "buy" without a cash advance from the credit card company's perspective.

At the end of the day, a pot dispensary should be no different than any other specialty retailer -- doing payroll mostly electronically with printed checks for those who want them, a line of credit at the bank, and various accounts to park cash in or fund check writing, and taking all the usual plastic money from customers.

Re:Probably not just about pot (1)

cffrost (885375) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344523)

The banks are paranoid because its illegal at a Federal level and there's all kinds of ways for the Feds make pain -- money laundering laws, revoking Federal bank charters, seizing assets, and so forth.

HSBC's not paranoid.

Re:Probably not just about pot (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345249)

HSBC's not paranoid.

That doesn't mean the fed's aren't following them.

Re:Probably not just about pot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345011)

doing payroll mostly electronically with printed checks for those who want them

I'm being mildly amused by your 70's way of paying wagges. Checks.. haven't seen those for 30 years. No no, i'm sure it's a great system. It's not like you have a global electronic network that you could use to make bank transfers directly to someones account. I mean, if you had, you'd make the banks to use it, so that they would save assloads of money by not handling checks, right? Hey, you might also use it to pay your rent and other big things like that.

I just don't get it. You were the first ones to get a network, yet you still write checks? There must be a reason? Do you just like them? Or paying for the overhead cost of handling them? Or is it because you simply refuse to regulate your banks so that you require them to harmonise their systems enought for "eChecks"? And the banks themselves don't see the cost savings?

Re:Probably not just about pot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43348501)

What the fuck are you talking about? Yes, most banks do electronic deposit, but if the customer doesn't want that, they can still get checks. Its up to the customer, which in this case is the person being paid - its their money, not the banks and not the employers. If they want it in check form then that's what they get. Or are you saying you know best what the customer should be 'allowed' to ask for?

Re:Probably not just about pot (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345501)

Then they should use Credit Unions. Those are local businesses, not banks, and most Federal bank rules do not apply.

Re:Probably not just about pot (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346391)

Credit unions in the United States, at least those which back deposits with a federal faith and credit guarantee, fall under the purview of the NCUA [wikipedia.org] . Management of the board is a matter of federal appointment, and be assured that federal law can and will be applied at the whim of the Senate and executive administration. All this said, I "bank" with NFCU, and generally find my history with them to be much more pleasant than prior experience with banks.

Re:Probably not just about pot (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347959)

I did not claim they weren't under Federal control. But my point was that it is a different level of control. They aren't BANKS.

Re:Probably not just about pot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43351147)

why do you say that? all the drug dealers i know make ludicrous profits. the only reason legal dispensaries are having a tough time is because weed isn't *fully* legal like other cash crops. once more states legalize this will be less of a problem.

Re:Probably not just about pot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345023)

I really doubt marijuana will be universally accepted. Decriminalized drugs have been a disaster wherever they are trialed. Portugal did it, and they have the single largest body of people in rehab of any country on Earth now. Amsterdam did it and it caused drug tourism where degenerate freaks (e.g. typical drug users) would come in and cause crime in drug fueled rampages, leading them to restrict marijuana sale strictly to locals as a desperate measure to curb drug tourism.

Legal drugs are being experimented with in NZ very soon, and we'll see how that goes. 12 years of decriminalized drugs in Portugal didn't fix anything, and however many years of legal weed in Amsterdam didn't fix anything. People are still getting wasted, spiralling out of control, and letting drugs run their life. Maybe it's with cleaner, government sanctioned dope, but an addict is an addict in the end.

We can act like legal drugs will fix all our problems, but everyone who's tried it has not had any success. Then we have places in Pakistan where they have had unlimited free access to opium and entire towns are drug addicts, with every last man, woman, and child (literally, children) being addicted to opium. It's been like that for years and they haven't benefited from a legal free drug utopia either.

For every tattood up twentysomething hipster stoner that can smoke pot recreationally, there are many, many, many more people who's lives are seriously impacted by drugs. I don't mind preventing a idiot hipster from having a good time if it saves many others from battling drug addiction. So I really hope drugs are never the new normal, because those will be some very dark days for all of us.

Re:Probably not just about pot (2)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345687)

I must be a fairly unusual individual because I don't care for pot. Yes, I've tried it many times over 30 years, but apparently it doesn't work for me like it works for other people because I don't find the experience at all pleasurable. Maybe I'm disabled in some way. I don't have a problem with other people liking it or using it and I never did. I think it should be legal. It's just not for me.

That said, of all the people I know well enough to know if they use pot (or something equally illegal), almost all of them do. It's always been that way. Now that I live in a state where it's legal random acquaintances and even strangers are trying to push the stuff on me like I've never seen it before and just need to be convinced to join their club. Look at me. I have grey hair. I am obviously from the '60s. Are you stupid?

Yeah, I get it. It's legal now. Party time. Woohoo! Knock yourself out. You got a beer?

Re:Probably not just about facts (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345843)

Wow. You've cornered the market on information, evidently. My brother has been living in Arnhem for a couple decades, and I asked him recently about that failure in Amsterdam to which you refer. Apparently not so well-publicised in the Netherlands as he had not heard anything.
I have to say, banning tourists from a coffeeshop sounds deranged, but then it is tourists we're talking about.

Re:Probably not just about pot (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346165)

Portugal did it, and they have the single largest body of people in rehab of any country on Earth now

You say that as if it's a bad thing. Portugal shifted from regarding drug addiction as a crime to regarding it as a medical condition, and now they have the largest number of people with this condition receiving treatment. And you think this is bad? Meanwhile, the USA has the largest number of people of any country in the world (more than the USSR at its height) in prisons. The majority of these are for drug-related offences. How's that working out as an alternative?

Re:Probably not just about pot (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346569)

So you're saying it's a good thing that so many people are strung out on drugs and unable to be productive that the taxpayers have to pick up the tab to try and break their habit so they can be productive again.

And this is different from taxpayers paying to put criminals behind bars, how?

Re:Probably not just about pot (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346825)

So you're saying it's a good thing that so many people are strung out on drugs and unable to be productive that the taxpayers have to pick up the tab to try and break their habit so they can be productive again.

I'm saying that it's a good thing that people whoa re strung out on drugs have the opportunity to get help and become productive members of society.

And this is different from taxpayers paying to put criminals behind bars, how?

Seriously?

Re:Probably not just about pot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43350111)

Here's a clue, fellow -- there were more alcoholics during Prohibition than before, and far more alcohol related deaths than before. How'd that Prohibition thing work out? Al Capone, St Valentine's Day Massacre, etc?

Here's another clue -- people (not all, of course) get out of drug treatment and become productive members of society, but nobody has ever gotten out of prison and stayed away from drugs. Your emotional reaction is completely illogical and irrational and looks at no facts whatever.

As to cost, drug treatments take a few months at most, with prison you're paying for them fof years. Again, Spock, how is that in anyway logical, or even sane?

Re:Probably not just about pot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43350903)

there are lots of people strung out on drugs NOW.

that's the point virtually all prohibition proponents seem to miss - all the problems they warn us will happen after legalization are already happening right now! it's just hard to get drug addicts the help they need because their drug of choice is illegal, so they go to jail instead.

Re:Probably not just about pot (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347105)

Portugal did it, and they have the single largest body of people in rehab of any country on Earth now.

Better than having the single largest body of people in prison of any country on Earth.

Re:Probably not just about pot (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347249)

nobody quite knew how to do it right away.

What's to know how to do? We know how to grow corn and sell it. Just do the same with Cannabis. There's no reason it has to be more complicated than that.

Re:Probably not just about pot (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347693)

I can't help but think that the pot business now is something like the Internet was circa about 1991. There was a sense it was going to be a big deal and there was going to be a lot of money made, but nobody quite knew how to do it right away.

And like the Internet, I'll be looking back 20 years from now amazed at how much money has been made off it and how it's universally accepted, just like the Internet.

The way to make lots of money off drugs is for them to stay illegal and to be a drug producer/distributor.

Once pot is legal, it's just another crop, and by all accounts it's quite easy to grow so I don't see anyone growing rich from it.

That was harder than it should have been... (2)

Daetrin (576516) | about a year and a half ago | (#43343807)

They actually used "request for proposal" in the blurb before they started throwing "RFP" all over the place, but because of the lack of capitalization it still took me a minute or two to figure out =P

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43343953)

Almost anyone (of importance) has done government work or worked for a government contractor and knows what RFP means.

Children... pffft.

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43343989)

Except people from outside the US, or people who don't primarily speak english, or people who are much smarter than you but work in different fields.

AKA go fuck off you stupid fuck, typical American who thinks the world revolves around him.

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344177)

I'm a Canadian and the acronym RFP is used here as well. Judging by a quick search it's also uses in the UK (ie. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/fundingopportunities/funding_calls/2012/07/goldoa.aspx [jisc.ac.uk] ).

  What we can thus gather from this is that you're an ignorant fucking retard.

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43344729)

I've worked all over EMEA and APJ and RFP is common terminology in IT bids (gov, telcos, finance, etc) across both regions. Obviously assuming you speak English, and since the article summary is in English, seems a reasonable assumption to make.

Seems like you're the ignorant stupid fuck.

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43344829)

Fuck off yourself and create your own goddamn website. As has been stated over the past 15 years, Slashdot is primarily a US based site with US based news and readership.

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344871)

Aussie here, if you don't know what RFP means then there is a very good chance you have no significant experience dealing with corporate/government clients. If you think that is an insult that warrants a verbal assult then you will probably never gain said experience.

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344093)

Funny, i work for a government contractor and i had no idea what it means. Of course i'm just a programmer, people in other departments actually talk to the government agencies and deal with the bidding.

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43344539)

Funny, i work for a government contractor and i had no idea what it means.

It's right in the summary.

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344643)

"request for proposal (RFQ)" is that so hard to stick with editorial standards? This kind of flimsy editor job is what makes Slashdot merely a poor agregator with interresting comments.

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (1)

real-modo (1460457) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345353)

RFQ? Uh, that's "request for quotation".

Also, ROI is "registration of interest", RFT is "request for tender"--but that's usually just expressed as "putting out a tender".

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345427)

[sound of me dropping the ball] :-P

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about a year and a half ago | (#43348747)

It's right in the summary.

Which i said right in my first post. Apparently we both have trouble catching things on the first read, i just took the time to correct my mistake before posting about it. Otherwise i would have complained about it not being in the summary and looked like a real fool when someone pointed it out to me.

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (1)

maroberts (15852) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346059)

Funny, i work for a government contractor and i had no idea what it means. Of course i'm just a programmer, people in other departments actually talk to the government agencies and deal with the bidding.

As a programmer, you should be familiar with Request For Comments (RFCs) [ietf.org] . It doesn't take a rocket scientist to replace the "C" with a "P" and do some logical thinking. Hell even a programmer could do it.... :-)

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346497)

So it was a request for programmer? If they're just looking for someone 'to run the new legal marijuana program' then it sounds like they should have put out an RFO, to find an operator instead of a programmer.

Re:That was harder than it should have been... (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about a year and a half ago | (#43348681)

Yeah, i figured it was "Request For" something right away, but my brain had just skimmed over the lower case "request for proposal" a line or two before they started using "RFP". I spent a bit trying to figure out what the "P" would be on my own before thinking to go back and reread the first part slowly and more carefully.

Huh? This was a problem? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43343859)

Receiving less than a hundred proposals was a problem? Reading simple documents on a tablet and submitting responses was a problem? I fail to see how this required anything more than email and a simple spreadsheet, database, or website.

Re:Huh? This was a problem? (1)

cosm (1072588) | about a year and a half ago | (#43343873)

Mod parent +1 End of Conversation No Need For More Comments.

Re:Huh? This was a problem? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344217)

Feynman said that?

Nazi analogy (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345785)

Did Halliburton submit an RFP?

Re:Huh? This was a problem? (1, Funny)

The Rizz (1319) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344125)

Reading simple documents on a tablet and submitting responses was a problem?

When you're high? Yes.

Re:Huh? This was a problem? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347531)

Yeah, this is nuts.

I could see needing software to sort out 100 RFP responses for a fighter jet (where each response is 100,000 pages including gigabytes of engineering data/diagrams).

This is basically like getting 100 CVs for a job posting. You don't even need a secretary to handle that unless you post something like this every week.

Alternate headline (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43343913)

Search for Pot Czar Requires Cloud Workflow

Re:Alternate headline (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345235)

Joint pot czar cloud workflow leaves $7800 up in smoke.

$7800 (3, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#43343917)

Did they really need to create a $7800 (not including license fees) RFP review system when there were only 100 applicants? And now the company that was paid to create it is selling it to other agencies.

Re:$7800 (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344165)

"Did they really need to create a $7800 (not including license fees) RFP review system when there were only 100 applicants? And now the company that was paid to create it is selling it to other agencies."

My thought too. Looks like Washington is not immune from the typical State bureaucracy syndrome. My guess would be that at least 80% of the responses would weed themselves out in the first couple of paragraphs, which might take maybe a day to go through.

The rest might need more thorough vetting, but hell, that's only 20.

Re:$7800 (2)

cffrost (885375) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344573)

[...] 80% of the responses would weed themselves out [...]

Heh... Nicely done. :o)

Re:$7800 (1)

olsonish (2526782) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344923)

I'm thinking $7800 may have been a lot cheaper than what the pension and hefty administrative salary would have cost for the new extra government employee that would have been hired instead. Even if it were a low wage admin position it would have costs well over double and state bureaucracy syndrome would have been on display many times over by comparison. Just's a different point of view, I could be totally off from reality and not realize it, but I think what they got for $7800 and in the time frame that it was executed, that was a pretty good deal.

Re:$7800 (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345437)

I'd say it probably is too. Even if they didn't need to hire someone else, the amount of time saved by having an efficient system developed instead of going through them by hand can be staggering.

Re:$7800 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345285)

"Did they really need to create a $7800 (not including license fees) RFP review system when there were only 100 applicants? And now the company that was paid to create it is selling it to other agencies."

My thought too. Looks like Washington is not immune from the typical State bureaucracy syndrome. My guess would be that at least 80% of the responses would weed themselves out in the first couple of paragraphs, which might take maybe a day to go through.

The rest might need more thorough vetting, but hell, that's only 20.

"Weed themselves out" Brilliant!

Re:$7800 (4, Insightful)

turp182 (1020263) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344283)

Can it be used for all future RFP requests? Do the users like it better (more convenient, easier)?

For $7,800, that would be incredible ($10,000 limit I understand, not much for such a project in my opinion). Think about what corporations spend on small IT projects (internally or externally developed).

I'm assuming the developer was familiar with all of the tools and already had ample experience piecing them together. The time frame makes it so.

RFP Request For Pot (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43343947)

Where can I score?

4 & 7

Re:RFP Request For Pot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345293)

See RFC (Request for Cannabis) 420 and RFC 1149 [wikipedia.org] .

so, they used the 'cloud' (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43344029)

so the feds can come in and obtain the data without a warrant, then arrest anyone that might use or have used pot.. before or after the state law changed... because it's still a violation of *federal* law regardless.

potczar (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43344061)

There's a tag now, forever in slashdot. For potczar.

Missing 0s? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43344095)

Nothing about this makes sense... 100 applicants shouldn't requiring building new infrastructure and building out specialized infrastructure to handle a one time moderate load makes no sense. If your going to go ahead and do it anyway "works on my iPad" is not a legitimate requirement. The only question... who's friend/family member got to stick their paw into the tax-payers pocket to build this?

Clloud is irrelevant here (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344101)

Cloud usage is irrelevant here. The thing could have been done quickly in-house with any CMS, provided knowledgeable people are available.

What would have been interesting is the HR side of the story: how did they choose among 100 applicant for an unusual position?

Lazy (2)

Khyber (864651) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344229)

You're telling me these people couldn't be bothered to personally read all 100 or so applications?

Re:Lazy (3, Insightful)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344473)

An RFP for a complicated consulting job can be 50 pages long or more with additional addendums and appendixes.

I wrote an RFP for a project with a medical device company and it was 30+ pages.

These are dense pages also. We're basically talking about a draft project plan or business plan. Milestones, deliverables, ROI calculations, tables of data, lists of requirements, software, hardware, etc

100 applications would be at minimum 1000 pages of details.

Re:Lazy (1)

Khyber (864651) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345081)

Good, and they need HUMANS to read, discuss, and talk points/advantages/disadvantages.

I wrote the RFP for my former UK investors for a fairly large research facility for massive-scale crop production. 75 pages, NOT including the added pages for certification and regulation in other countries.

Letting a computer do it seems pretty damned lazy, considering the utter scale of such a project. Humans should be HEAVILY involved in every step of the way.

Re:Lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345355)

Humans were involved. They wrote the code.

Laziness is a virtue in programmers. We are the kind of people who will spend 3 days to write a program to save an hour's worth of work.

Any repetitive work can and should be automated.

Re:Lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345497)

Indeed; I sincerely hope you copied and pasted those aphorisms.

Re:Lazy (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345901)

An RFP for a complicated consulting job can be 50 pages long or more with additional addendums and appendixes.

That's not even a complicated one, more like a medium size one. Big consulting jobs typically have a prequalifier where you only accept a handful of detailed submissions because they can run into hundreds or thousands of pages. It's good business for both parties because the cost of writing and losing offers are baked into the consulting price, being one in hundred means ninety-nine of them will walk away with a loss while if you're one in three everybody knows you have a good shot at winning. Likewise, time is money on the buyer's end too so you don't want to spend too much time evaluating offers.

Re:Lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346499)

I wrote an RFP for a project with a medical device company and it was 30+ pages.

100 applications would be at minimum 1000 pages of details.

Are you saying that you don't think anyone was obligated actually to read your 30+ page bid and evaluate the merits of your proposal relative to its competitors? That automated buzzword screening is a reasonable way to make first-pass cut through a thousand pages of documentation?

GP had it right: lazy. Managers, whether private or government, at the level of bid review are supposed to be hard jobs. They're supposed to involve careful consideration of the options and alternatives. That's the reason they pay better than filing clerk (does that job even exist anymore?). Read-comprehend-evaluate. They call it work for a reason.

Wonder if the position is drug tested? (2)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344281)

That would be very funny. You'd have to past a drug test to be the Pot Czar. =)

Re:Wonder if the position is drug tested? (1)

twistofsin (718250) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344513)

That would be very funny. You'd have to past a drug test to be the Pot Czar. =)

I live a state over (Idaho) so this whole process has been on the local news a lot. Applicants cannot have any history at all of illegal drug use, so I wouldn't be surprised if (initial at least) drug screening is required.

Re:Wonder if the position is drug tested? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345301)

Imagine if applied this to prescription drugs.

Re:Wonder if the position is drug tested? (1)

EGenius007 (1125395) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344631)

If your urine tested negative for THC would you consider that a pass or a failure in this case?

Re:Wonder if the position is drug tested? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346373)

What if when you pissed, weed smoke came out?

Re:Wonder if the position is drug tested? (1)

ixidor (996844) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347203)

yes but if pot is now legal in that state, can they toke up and pass the drug test?

Also, lower barrier to entry for applicants (1)

muhula (621678) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344287)

The article mentions the electronic process being easier for reviewers to go over the application, but the numerous applications might have been related to not having to file things on paper in multiple forms and simplifying the process. I'd wager that my eye insurance co avoids moving claims online to reduce their payout rate.

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43344323)

I really like this post.
indeed provide positive benefits ..
thank you ..

RFP == Business Plan (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344517)

This is not soliciting resumes people. It's a business plan RFP to run the program.

It will have a budget, a hiring plan, a schedule with milestones and target goals. There will be a pro forma p&l to show how the budget will work and what the taxpayers will have to pick up the tab for. It will also have to work within the legal guidelines, which complicates things a lot.

Re:RFP == Business Plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43344583)

And you can't attach all of those documents to an email because...?

Re:RFP == Business Plan (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344885)

It sounds like this was a structured data review system which has little if anything to do with the format the plans came in. It's very likely that each reviewer did in fact read the proposals. Then instead of sitting together and trying the debate the merits of each they instead used a review system to grade them for some set of criteria.

They expected a lot more (1)

EngnrFrmrlyKnownAsAC (2816391) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344623)

Well, at least us Washington residents expected there would be many more than 100 applicants, especially considering that a criminal background didn't immediately bar you from consideration. The state probably expected more as well and hired a consultant accordingly. There's some tidbits in the article that stand out to me:

He created an intelligent form in Google Docs for the review form.

He ensured the security of the system by giving the users each a unique ID (e.g., Reviewer1, Reviewer2, etc.) and password, which protected the system integrity and maintained the anonymity of each reviewer

Uhh... doesn't using Google Docs negate the anonymity? Personally, I wouldn't consider it 'secure' either (if Google implodes, can /you/ restore your data?).

The system design cost just $7800 to put together. License fees for Box and DocuSign were not included in the total cost because the Liquor Control Board bought those separately.

Translated: The system design exceeded $10,000 so the Liquor Control Board started parallel, separate purchases of Box and DocuSign licenses to avoid the bid requirement.

It worked so well, cloudPWR is selling the solution to other governments processing RFPs.

Considering the level of investment (and that it's already paid for), I wonder what they will be charging. The website is one big contact form but maybe they just haven't decided. Personally, I think if WA hadn't procrastinated to a 10 day deadline, they could have afforded to hire someone who would use open-source tools.

That article just left me curious who the first Cannabis Commissioner will be! (Pot czar is so ugly; it reminds me of Gil Kerlikowske [whitehouse.gov] .)

Slashdot--several weeks behind the curve again.... (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347159)

That article just left me curious who the first Cannabis Commissioner will be!

Wonder no more:

http://www.thedailychronic.net/2013/16413/washington-state-names-ucla-professor-pot-czar/ [thedailychronic.net]

http://www.thedailychronic.net/2013/16401/mark-kleiman-wins-washington-marijuana-legalization-implementation-contract/ [thedailychronic.net]

They've already selected their "pot czar" (5, Informative)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year and a half ago | (#43344893)

This wasn't mentioned in the article or the summary, but Washington State has apparently already completed the selection process. The contract was awarded to BOTEC Analysis [bizjournals.com] , a consulting firm run by drug policy analyst and blogger Mark Kleiman. You can watch a CNN interview with Kleiman here [cnn.com] . Kleiman's blog posts on drug policy are archived here [samefacts.com] .

With all of these Czar posts, get a new icon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345319)

And make it Cesare please. Maybe even the little Cesare's mascot in due fact that Czars are a useless bunch.

Buzz (1)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345815)

At least the summary is fully buzzword compliant.

Czar = monarch (1)

qaz123 (2841887) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345859)

The word czar is from Russian and means monarch. (Originated from the name Ceasar)
Pot Czar = King of Pot ? Sounds funny

Wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346375)

Somebody got paid almost $10,000.00USD to setup a Drupal site in less than ten days to handle a bunch of PDFs and comments? WTF? Any open souce content management system with file upload and a forum to handle reviewer comments could handle this. Are the government workers behind this smoking pot on the job? Their internal IT dept. could set that up in a day, or less!

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