WHITE PLAINS – For the fifth consecutive year, Westchester County has been named one of the top 10 digital counties in the United States by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACO).
“This award recognizes how the hardworking employees in our Information Technology department are leveraging technology every day to deliver critical services and improve the lives of our residents,” said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “I’m very glad to hear that Westchester County is once again a leader in its field, from cybersecurity to social media.”
Westchester has been named a top 10 digital county for 12 of the past 15 years thanks to the county’s focus on cost-saving initiatives, efficiencies, and shared services, added Astorino.
“For Westchester, this means strategic investments in a world-class telecommunications network, advanced applications and solutions to streamline the delivery of government services, and collaboration with local municipalities,” said John McCaffrey, Westchester’s Chief Information Officer. In addition to the county receiving the prestigious honor, McCaffrey himself has been named one of Government Technology’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers for 2017. Each year, the magazine selects 25 individuals or teams who move government forward, using innovative technology to solve public-sector challenges and improve the performance of critical programs. “It’s a tremendous honor, and I certainly owe a great deal of gratitude to the vision of county leaders who understand that innovation is central to running an effective 21st century local government.”
Successful initiatives over the last year include:
- Redesigning an entirely mobile-responsive county website that receives over 2,000,000 hits (on average) per month.
- First-of-its-kind video conferencing solution that provides the County Jail with a virtual visitation system, which was recognized with the prestigious “CIO100 Award” in 2016.
- Implementation of additional shared services to benefit municipalities, including 3D spatial modeling and access to cybersecurity products.
- Launch of an expanded version of the Westchester County Vendor Portal, a web-based software system that supports and streamlines the activities related to vendor contract processing.
- Improvement of REACH Westchester, an award-winning application that transformed the time-consuming paper process used to recertify the eligibility of people applying for Temporary Assistance into an automated system that collects more information and provides better customer service.
- Mobile Application Development Bowl in partnership with Pace University to show how mobile applications can be used to address real world challenges within the community. In April 2017 more than 350 students from over 40 high schools and colleges competed in the competition.
- Development and implementation of numerous customized applications in support of business continuity and disaster recovery efforts in the Departments of Emergency Services and Public Safety.
CDG is a national research and advisory institute focused on technology policies and best practices in state and local government. Along with NACO, they invited thousands of counties to participate in the 2017 Digital Counties Survey, which considered initiatives that save taxpayer dollars through newfound efficiencies, boost transparency, cyber security and engagement, or innovate through unique and exciting projects.