News Release

July 24, 2013      

For Further Information Contact:
Colleen Pillus
(845) 486-2000
E-mail: cpillus@dutchessny.gov

Dutchess County Nationally Recognized for Use of Technology
County ranked in nation’s TOP 5 for fifth straight year

Poughkeepsie... Dutchess County Government has again been recognized as one of the leading examples in the country for its use of information and communications technology, ranking 2nd in the nation in the 2013 Digital Counties Survey for counties with population size between 250,000 – 499,999.   This is the fifth consecutive year Dutchess County has secured a national Top Five ranking in the Digital Counties Survey.  Dutchess has ranked in the nation’s top ten for the last decade, one of only six counties in the nation to be ranked for ten consecutive years.

“Dutchess County remains a leader in the innovative use of technology to expand public engagement and access to information and services,” said Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro. “We are making it easier than ever before for residents to get involved and be informed about county government. Whether providing news and updates directly to them through DutchessDelivery, making our county website easier to navigate or seeking public input through online surveys, we are reinventing democracy in new and exciting ways. Congratulations to the entire OCIS team and all of the county departments working to use technology to better serve our residents.”

The Digital Counties Survey is conducted jointly by The Center for Digital Government, Government Technology and the National Association of Counties (NACo). The 2013 Digital Counties Survey top-ten ranked counties effectively and efficiently used computer technologies to serve their citizens, align with county priorities, streamline operations, achieve cost savings and demonstrated collaboration within and outside of county government. “Counties found innovative ways to save money where they can by simplifying their information technology infrastructure and sharing systems with other governments,” said Center for Digital Government Director Todd Sander.

Streamlining operations through collaboration and innovation has been a major focus for Dutchess County Government.   In 2013, Dutchess County’s Office of Central and Information Services (OCIS) was one of several departments to undergo consolidation as part of a multi-year transformation of county government.    The Office of Computer Information Systems merged with Central Services, providing broader, more cost effective services to county departments and external agencies.   This merger is projected to save the County nearly $2 million over the next five years. OCIS has been actively promoting shared service partner opportunities to local municipalities. More than 30 of these shared service opportunities are highlighted on OCIS’ newly created Shared Services Website Directory which can be viewed at
http://www.dutchessny.gov/CountyGov/22380.htm

In addition to this consolidation and collaboration, Dutchess County’s award winning place submission focused on the role of Information Technology (IT) in a broad range of cost saving and citizen engagement initiatives including:

  • NEW COUNTY WEBSITE - The redesigned County Website, dutchessny.gov, was launched in August 2012 and expanded citizen engagement through new innovative public outreach services including DutchessDelivery service that allows users to subscribe to more than 50 broad ranging topics and have updates delivered directly to them via email or in some cases text message. This public outreach is coupled with on-line services such as the County Clerk Document Search System and ParcelAccess GIS service. The County Clerk Document Search System allows users to search and view images of 1,300,000 filed land and legal documents as well as download documents for a modest fee. Nearly 780,000 documents have been downloaded since the system’s introduction in 2012. ParcelAccess offers a wide variety of property data from numerous sources in one online portal, allowing users to conduct address searches, estimate taxes, access appeal information and much more. In 2012, there were 6.8 million pages served and average of 10,340 unique users/month for ParcelAccess.

  • BUDGET SURVEY – In 2012, OCIS worked with the Budget Office to create an on-line survey to provide residents with information about how County property tax dollars are spent and sources of the revenues to fund the budget. The survey also gave residents an opportunity to provide feedback about programs and services that are important to them. More than 2000 residents participated in the 2012 survey. OCIS is currently working on a similar survey to be conducted later this year.

  • ENTERPRISE CONTENT MANAGEMENT system. The County recently invested in an enterprise content management system to organize, manage, store, share and retrieve documents and other data information electronically, allowing County Government to streamline operations, improve service delivery and significantly reduce costs. The new system is expected to be fully implemented over the next two years and is expected to save nearly $6 million over a five year period. County Executive Molinaro noted, “Dutchess County Government has reduced its workforce by more than 300 employees over the last six years.  Applications such as the enterprise content management system are essential to speed processes along and help increase staff productivity.”

Dutchess County Legislature Assistant Majority Leader Angela Flesland noted, “Congratulations to the entire OCIS team for continuing to provided technological innovation that enable county employees to do their work more productively and allow residents to be more engaged with county government. These innovations have saved our taxpayers millions of dollars over the years and have made information more transparent and accessible for all.”

OCIS Commissioner Timothy Mahler said, “This annual survey provides us with a good barometer to gage how well the County is doing in providing on-line services for our residents and automation tools for County staff. It’s gratifying to see we’re on the right track and that our great staff has been recognized each of the past ten years for outstanding work and innovation.”

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    Last Updated: 7/24/2013