On Feb. 22, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced that his administration will be implementing 23 new technology initiatives over the next six to eighteen months (as reported by GovTech.com).
“We delved into agency workflows and came up with ways to take advantage of technology to streamline our processes, reduce duplication of effort and provide instant access to information among related departments,” Kamenetz said in a statement.
While it is costing $5 million to begin these initiatives, return on investment is expected to be seen very quickly on several of the implementations.
The county purchased an enterprise learning management system, which will eliminate some of the remote training police officers must do annually. Although the application cost $500,000, the county will realize savings of $500,000 per year with the application and will see a return on investment this year.
Due to the nation’s weak economy, Baltimore County designed these technological initiatives as a fast-tracked solution to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Spanning county government, the initiatives include tasks such as automating work processes for faster turnaround times, improving information sharing and increasing public access to information, according to a press release by Baltimore County.
Kamenetz highlighted an array of improvements including an online constituent services portal; a broad computer platform to automate field inspections and licensing and 24-hour access for CountyRide scheduling requests; as well as the improvement of several internal functions involving employee training, desktop computing and pension management. The County Executive emphasized projects that will enhance public safety like providing the ability for police officers to submit reports and generate citations in the field and a multi-agency system to coordinate the booking and processing of offenders.
Two projects focus on improving citizen access to important land use functions. Next year’s 2012 Comprehensive Zoning Map Process will be easier and faster for citizens thanks to planned improvements to the online application. Plus, people with average computer literacy will soon be able to easily glean valuable data from the County’s GIS system because of a complete redesign of the County’s “My Neighborhood” web feature.
Some of the other 23 initiatives include: Automated Route Planning, iWatch (read MACo’s previous blog posting on iWatch), Electronic Citation, Field Based Reporting and many other technological solutions to county government management. To learn more about these initiatives, please read the Baltimore County Information Technology Innovation, Efficiency and Consolidation (IEC) Report or see the Baltimore County press release. You can also read MACo’s previous coverage of these initiatives here.