will receive an award at the annual conference of the National Association of Counties next month for its innovative use of information technology.
The award recognizes Placer Countyfor being among the nation’s leading counties in the use of information technology to improve service delivery to residents.
“It is truly an honor for Placer Countyto be recognized with this award," said countyDirectorof Administrative Services Clark Moots. “Over the coming months, additional website features will be implemented, which will give our citizens even easier ways to find out information and to utilize county services on a 24-7 basis."
Each year, the association teams up with the Center for Digital Government to survey counties on their use of information technology. The goal of the Digital Counties Survey is to honor the hard work and innovation of the nation’s leaders.
In the 2006 survey, Placer Countytied for ninth place with Howard County, Maryland among counties with 250,000 to 499,999 residents.
In April, the association and center invited each county in the United Statesto participate in the 2006 survey.
Participating counties responded to questions that provided more than 100 measurements for evaluating online service delivery, infrastructure, architecture and governance.
In a press release announcing this year’s winners, the association and center emphasized that technology is essential for effective, efficient government in today’s world- and that many counties are finding new and innovative ways to improve service delivery.
Last month, Placer Countyrolled out an updated web page design that takes advantage of new technology to improve customer service.
The Community Development Resource Agency’s website, for example, now has many interactive features. Anyone with a computer can look at a specific parcel in an unincorporated area and actually see it on a geographic information system, or GIS, map. With minimal information, one can find the zoning, parcel number, and which school and supervisor’s districts a property is in.
For people building houses, the new website will allow them to check the progress of building permits.
The new web design also allows the county to provide more online information about meetings. The Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, for instance, has long posted agendas for board meetings on the county’s website, but now is able to put full agenda packages- including staff reports and other background information- for board meetings online.
Another change that is in the works is the addition of Web pages where members of the Board of Supervisors can keep constituents up to date on what’s happening in their districts.
Fifth District Supervisor Bruce Kranz already has his Web site up and running.
“We're creating a clearinghouse for information in the 5th District by continually updating the information so that every time you visit my site, there will be something new," he said. “Information will be available on special districts, fire districts, newspapers, schools and everything else in the 5th District. We're going to update it regularly for meetings and announcements and set up e-mail lists so interested parties can be notified of what's happening.”
Based in Folsom, the Center for Digital Government is an institute that studies the information technology policies and practices among state and local governments.