Westchester residents have plenty of gripes—from high taxes to lack of mass transit and questions of overdevelopment to other hyper-local concerns—but apparently, lack of digital savvy in our local government shouldn’t be one of them. That’s because for the 10th time and third consecutive year, Westchester County has been named one of the top 10 digital counties in the United States by the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties.
What does that mean? That the county performed swimmingly (finishing 9th overall out of thousands of counties) on the 2015 Digital Counties Survey, which considered citizen engagement, policy, operations, and technology and data. The survey was conducted by The Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute focused on technology policies and best practices in state and local government, and the National Association of Counties.
(Left to right): John McCaffrey, Westchester County Chief Information Officer; Scott Fernqvist, Special Assistant to the Chief Information Officer; County Executive Robert P. Astorino; Greg Nellis, State and Local Government Account Executive at CDW-G; Dave Heizman, Public Sector Account Manager at CDW-G
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“I am proud that Westchester County continues to be recognized for leveraging technology to deliver efficient and effective services to all of our residents,” said Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino in a statement. “The results delivered by our technology team go a long way toward saving taxpayer money at every level of local government and they deserve our thanks.”
Astorino lauded John McCaffrey, Westchester County’s Chief Information Officer, and the entire Department of Information Technology (DoIT) staff, not only for this year’s results but also for being named to the list of top digital counties 10 times since 2005.
Some of the county’s digital accomplishments that led to inclusion on the list include:
- A redesign of the county Web site to be more mobile responsive.
- The launching of Homeseeker, a comprehensive one-stop resource for anyone looking to buy or sell fair and affordable housing.
- REACH Westchester, an automated application system that has transformed the county’s paper recertification process for Temporary Assistance customers into a more efficient, streamlined process.
- The Criminal Justice Data Warehouse, an investigative tool that allows local and state law enforcement, including the New York State Police Department and New York State Division of Parole, to quickly search over a million data entries from agencies throughout the county to track down suspects and get them off the street.
- A growing number of shared services to municipalities and schools offered by the Westchester County Department of Information Technology, such as digital printing, network and office systems services, geographic information systems (GIS), emergency support, and no-cost licenses to cyber security software.