Tech SWAT Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about New York State Technology COVID-19 SWAT team.

What is the Tech SWAT Team?

A first-in-the-nation service partnership with leading technology companies to support New York State’s response to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. SWAT teams will support our response efforts by utilizing digital expertise and mobile/web applications and content, data analytics, operations, and other areas as needs arise. Almost every facet of the response effort has a technological component that we’re supporting or leading.

Who is organizing this effort?

New York State’s Office of Information Technology Services and the Department of Financial Services; however, the SWAT team projects will support important projects across NYS agencies, including those being implemented by the Departments of Health and Labor.

Why does the State need to work with volunteers on technical projects?

The present crisis has created an unprecedented need for new software and application development for the State on very accelerated timelines. New York State employees have risen to the challenge, but the current demand has exceeded workforce capacity. By partnering with volunteers, we are adding capacity, completing projects more quickly, and doing so while leveraging the outpouring of good will for the State in this time of crisis.

How are you choosing which companies to work with?

We have a webform at that allows companies to express interest in volunteering to support the State in its response and specify their area(s) of expertise. We are using the State’s novel Coronavirus response effort priorities to match those companies to projects and begin dialog about a possible partnership.

How can companies identify if they are a good fit for the team?

We recommend companies fill out the webform if they believe they can contribute to the SWAT effort. If we believe we have a match we will reach out directly to talk through details and see if the company is interested. Filling out the form does not commit a company to participating, nor does it commit the State to accepting the offer.

Are companies being paid for their SWAT Team efforts?

The SWAT Team is a way of engaging companies on a strictly pro bono, volunteer basis. Some portions of projects may have a procurement component, but that component is separately negotiated and vetted.

What kinds of projects is the Tech SWAT Team working on?

The priorities of the state change rapidly in response to the conditions on the ground. Some include helping individuals find testing, supporting better communications to residents who have questions, reinforcing the reliability of the digital public services residents are relying on in wake of COVID, and supporting the technological backbone and data tracking efforts for existing/new hospitals and testing sites.

Are there projects already underway and/or awaiting teams?

The first cohort of projects have been scoped and are in flight or about to start. Going forward, we’ll identify new projects based on our needs on an ongoing basis. The COVID response, management, and recovery effort will unfold over the next several months and we’re anticipating projects being scoped and launched throughout.

How is the Tech SWAT Team handling data collection and sharing?

Private companies work with or access specific data necessary for a project and do so in tight compliance with all applicable federal and state laws, regulations, policies and standards. We make every effort to limit any data collected to that necessary to the services provided.

How long do you anticipate the SWAT Team initiative will last?

Initially, we anticipated that each engagement would last approximately 90 days, but we continue to evaluate the situation on a weekly basis. As long as the crisis continues and our partners are willing to help, we will use this initiative to help the people of New York. The SWAT Team is designed to help not just with COVID response, but also with COVID management and recovery efforts.