Following California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order on Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) signed in 2023, the California Government Operations Agency has released procurement guidelines and a new toolkit for state agencies and departments as they consider and procure GenAI technology for state operations.

According to the agency, the new GenAI Procurement Guidelines will support state department teams to locate GenAI policies, resources, and training as they consider using the new technology. Additionally, the GenAI Toolkit provides tools to identify GenAI, understand the various uses, assess associated risks, and provide resources to support staff throughout the procurement process.

“The Administration is establishing a framework of required training and state policy guidance to inform, enable and support state workers in the ethical, transparent and trustworthy use of GenAI,” said Government Operations Secretary Amy Tong. “These guidelines provide best practices and parameters to safely and effectively use this transformative technology to improve services for all Californians.”

The procurement guidelines were developed in collaboration with procurement experts at the state’s Department of General Services. Teams from California Departments of Technology, Human Resources, and the Office of Data and Innovation were also involved in development of the guidelines and toolkit.

The guidelines will help state departments properly assess the risk of GenAI technologies throughout the procurement process as well as ensuring the new tools are used safely.  As part of the new Guidelines and GenAI Toolkit, the state has created a soft launch period to test the GenAI risk assessment process for moderate- and high-risk potential use cases to help determine a state entity’s GenAI readiness before proceeding with a GenAI purchase.

The state explained that departments must establish a GenAI-focused team responsible for continuously evaluating the potential use of GenAI and its implications for operations and program administration, including engagement with employees and stakeholders. State leaders further noted that state entities are ultimately responsible for evaluating and incorporating GenAI to support each entity’s unique structure and mission.

“Training state teams will be critical to the success of our use of this technology in the future so that everyone can benefit, including the state workforce,” said Monica Erickson, Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Human Resources.


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