Albemarle Ranked Fourth in Nation for Developing Digital Services
A new nationwide survey out Monday ranks Albemarle County one of the most cutting-edge communities for providing services to taxpayers online. Albemarle is fourth in the nation for communities of its size in the 2013 Digital Counties Survey.
That ranking puts Albemarle top in Virginia. The recognition comes from the Center for Digital Government and National Association of Counties.
Albemarle moved up two spots from last year's sixth-place ranking among communities with populations of 150,000 or less. A panel judged those counties for how they use innovative technology to deliver high-quality digital services to their customers.
Albemarle's website features a tab users can click on to track building permits and site plans, pay tax bills online, and listen live to Board of Supervisors' meetings.
"Think about the amount of staff time that is saved having people be able to do that work themselves online - huge operational efficiencies," said Lee Catlin, Albemarle County spokesperson. "And, the other piece is customer service and customer convenience to have a lot of those services 24/7 online."
Albemarle has placed in the top 10 on this survey for the past 11 years.
Albemarle County Economic Development Press Release
For the eleventh year in a row, Albemarle County has been named among the top ten most technologically advanced, cutting edge county governments of its size in the U.S. by the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties (NACo) in their 2013 Digital Counties Survey. Albemarle County ranks fourth in the nation in utilizing information technology to deliver high quality service to its customers and citizens based on a population category of 150,000 or less, the highest ranking ever received by Albemarle. Albemarle County is the highest-ranking Virginia locality, ahead of Roanoke, Franklin and Gloucester Counties.
"We are delighted to be included in the elite communities across the country that are receiving national recognition for providing quality information technology services to their citizens," said County Executive Tom Foley in response to the county's ranking. "This award, which puts us at the forefront of Virginia localities, reinforces our emphasis on using information and communication technology to create operational efficiencies and provide quality service to county residents."
The 2013 Digital Counties Survey is an annual study conducted by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) and Government Technology — divisions of parent company e.Republic Inc. — in partnership with the National Association of Counties. The survey evaluates entrants on their ability to demonstrate successful outcomes through the strategic use of technology.
Ten winners were named in each of four population-based categories. The winning counties carried out strategies with measurable benefits that aligned with county priorities. Successful programs also showed progress over the previous year, utilized innovative solutions, and revealed a commitment to collaboration within and outside of their organization. The self-reported survey is judged by a panel of experts.
"This year, 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 Executive Director Todd Sander. "That is why we highlight their efforts and share their success stories with others."
"Counties across the country are aligning technology initiatives with executive strategic priorities to provide vital cost savings and administrative efficiencies," said NACo Executive Director Matthew D. Chase. "The Digital Counties Survey identifies best practices and innovative uses of technology crucial with today's constrained budgets to maintaining and even improving service levels."
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