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Pitt County recognized for digital efforts

080917digitalawards

Michael Taylor, Pitt County deputy county manager and chief information officer, received the Digital Counties Survey at the recent National Association of Counties annual conference.

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By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Two national organizations recently recognized 50 U.S. counties, including Pitt County, for using technology to improve services and to save tax dollars.

The Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties announced the winners of the 15th annual Digital Counties Survey during the association's national conference last month.

This is the first year Pitt County participated in the survey, said Michael Taylor, Pitt County deputy county manager and chief information officer, and it placed ninth in the 150,000-249,999 population category.

The Center for Digital Government is a research and advisory organization the examines information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.

The center conducts a yearly survey in partnership with the National Association of Counties to see how counties use technology to enhance services and benefit people while being responsible stewards of tax dollars.

“Because of the intensity, scope and objective nature of the award, it wasn’t certain Pitt County would place,” Taylor said. “The process provided validation of things the county is doing well and highlights areas for growth.”

The survey identifies best technology practices such as initiatives which streamline the delivery of government services, encourage collaboration and shared services and enhance cybersecurity.

The survey review stated the county's plans for enhancing services such as having information technology workers setting up “a next-generation 911 system” and improving the functionality of the county's food inspection tool.

It noted that in the coming year the county plans improvements to aid in economic development.

The county also has allocated mobile devices to several of its departments so employees do more work in the field.

The survey also noted the county places its budget documents and presentations online.

The county is improving its cybersecurity by offering security awareness training along with hiring a security services vendor.

The county also is emphasizing problem-solving and analytical skills over system-specific knowledge in its new IT hires. An example is a new employee with a master’s degree in analytics using her skills to dig for correlations among food safety-related data sets.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570. Follow her on Twitter @GingerLGDR.

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