August 22, 2003
Contact: Anne Martens
Saber Consulting to Build Voter Registration
Centralized Voter Registration System to be Developed by Oregon Companies
SALEM - Secretary of State Bill Bradbury announces the selection of Saber Consulting, in conjunction with two other Oregon companies, to build an Oregon Centralized Voter Registration ("OCVR") system by 2006. OCVR will consolidate the voter registration lists currently stored separately by the 36 counties into one single centralized database.
Required and funded by the federal Help America Vote Act, OCVR will be a single, centralized, interactive and official database system with all the names and addresses of Oregon's registered voters. OCVR will not change how you vote or how you register to vote, but it will provide a secure and reliable centralized system for keeping track of registered voters.
Saber Consulting, a Salem based corporation, works solely with the public sector to offer long-term large systems solutions. The State of Oregon has worked with Saber on several large and complex document management and data warehousing projects and has been pleased with both the working relationship and the results. Saber developed the Business Registration and U.C.C. systems for the Secretary of State's Corporation Division, and maintains the existing state Elections system, in addition to projects for the Legislature, the Department of Administrative Services, the Liquor Control Commission and the Employment Department.
Saber partners with Helion Software, with offices in Salem and Dallas, and Chaves Consulting, based in Baker City, to deliver on OCVR. Together, they have provided technology solutions to over twenty Oregon counties. "This project is about Oregon companies delivering world class value to Oregon clients for the citizens and taxpayers of Oregon," said Nitin Khanna, Saber CEO. "Chaves and Helion bring both credibility with and specific knowledge of the counties so that we can do our job better."
Scott Smith, the Secretary of State's Chief Information Officer, along with Julie Pearson, Barbara Conway and Leonard Higgins make up the OCVR project management team - all four are state certified project managers and collectively boast over 60 years of project management experience. "We're very pleased with both the selection process and the outcome," said Smith. "We have worked with Saber before to build a complex business registration system. We were on time and on budget for that effort, and I expect we will have the same results in this project. Saber is one of the most honorable contractors I have ever worked with."
Oregon began planning and designing an OCVR system in 1995, well before the Help America Vote Act required and provided funds for the project. Because much of the preliminary work was already done, Oregon was the first state to release a Request For Proposals for a centralized voter registration system, and is the first state to select a vendor. Impressed with Oregon's RFP, several other states have adopted parts of it to help with their vendor selection.
The vendor selection process included meetings with every county's elections officials to gather information on requirements and keep them apprised of progress. The selection committee also included four county clerks and two county information technology specialists. The high level of county interaction resulted in very vocal county participation and widespread satisfaction with the process. Counties will continue to be involved throughout the development and implementation of the project.
Saber emphasizes their focus on customer service, their commitment to using only highly skilled staff, their considerable experience in developing public sector solutions and their well-planned methodology in their ability to meet the needs of the Secretary of State, elections officials, and the voting public. "This will be an extremely stable and secure system," said Khanna, "installed in multiple sites with a long-term local support plan to ensure that the system is working and the information is protected."
Saber beat out proposals by Diebold and Accenture for the OCVR contract. Saber's bid of $10.5 million includes a full five years of complete support; the next lowest bid was $17.2 million. Rather than send $17.2 million to an out of state company, the choice of Saber keeps $10.5 million in Oregon for the creation and retention of Oregon jobs.
Saber estimates that the OCVR project will create $800,000 in new information technology jobs in Oregon, and maintain $1.5 million in existing jobs.
"We have had universally positive experiences with Saber," said Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, "and we are completely confident that they are the right team to build a uniquely Oregon voter registration system."
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