Dear ESIG Members:
Recently there has been interest expressed by USCIS to meet with our membership to offer our guidance with their “eAdjudication” initiative. I have outlined the events leading up to this request below to bring you all up to speed:
Since the most recent posting in the ESIG list serve, which you may remember indicated that our new contact person at USCIS would be Morrie Berez. Tracy Renaud, our former contact and Director of Modernization Services was transferred to the USVISIT program. Her assistant, Lori Petropauli, replaced Tracy as Director and rightly determined that we would be more helped and better served by working with Morrie who at the time had a key position in the early stages of their eAdjudication program. Lori, in Modernization Services, took over the management of eFiling which, for 3rd party technology providers is not as relevant as eAdjudication. It took many months for me to finally connect with Morrie (who, by the way, has been reported to be the person behind SEVIS technology). He was very interested in ESIG, saw value in developing the relationship and was very helpful. Unfortunately there was not much information to get at that time as the eAdjudication initiative was not yet underway. A month ago Sam Udani told a few of us that Raj Devireddy was appointed Director of eAdjudication, that he was interested in talking to us and that he was going to get in touch with us. I spoke to Raj Devireddy briefly, he stated the USCIS interest in working with ESIG in the eAdjudication initiative. We agreed to exchange some information and pursuant to that agreement I sent him our 2 positions papers and our response to the eFiling regulations.
I received the following in an email from Raj a few days ago:
Thanks for the information below. USCIS is ready to move forward and would like to start with an exploratory meeting to formulate the steps. As far as the governing structure is concerned below is the model, we are thinking off. We can flush out the details during our exploratory meeting. I suggest we have this meeting Friday at 11 AM EST. I request that we have sufficient participation from the ESIG community. Please relay this message to all the members of ESIG and please let me know the participants who will be as quickly as possible. I am also forwarding this e-mail to other members who have expressed interest in third party filing. We hope to make this a reality as soon as possible, especially with the Temporary Guest worker program announced by our President we will all be flooded with applications more than we can handle, and hopefully 'Third Party Filing' will alleviate some of the issues.
As for how I would approach forming such a group – it would need to proceed on three levels. A business process level would discuss operational concepts and high level requirements. These discussions would be led by the employers and attorneys who would use the service and the USCIS business people - perhaps operations and the forms people, technical folks would be in listen mode. A second level would be more technical with representatives from OCIO, our systems integrator as the USCIS developer and representatives from one or more vendors who provide case management software to the employers and attorneys, at this level the users would be in listen mode.
The third level would be a management level with representation from all three areas USCIS, developers and users, this group would think scope and phasing so that something useful could be developed quickly and extended in a couple more phases to a full functionality.
This could proceed pretty quickly if people are willing. An exploratory meeting could be followed by a couple of days of all day facilitated meetings to get the ops concepts laid out. Next would be a purely technical session to define the interfaces at a high level - a one day session could do that. Then we would decide on phasing and do the details on requirements and interfaces for the first phase and do estimates and schedules, and proceed to a project scope/plan review to get approval. I would hope that the ESIG folks would be able to designate a steering committee that could make binding decisions and that USCIS could do the same.
Please let me know if an exploratory meeting to do some setting of expectations is possible before we go off and write papers. An hour or two of discussion - perhaps with each team presenting a short briefing of high level thoughts would make the papers much more likely to hit the mark. We can also get a start faster if we don't waste time guessing.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Raj Devireddy (PMC)