Oakland County programs win national awards

Seventeen Oakland County government programs have been named 2010 Achievement Award winners by the National Association of Counties (NACo). Winners were notified in a letter sent this month from NACo Executive Director Larry Naake. They will be recognized Sunday, July 18, during NACo's 75h Annual Conference and Exposition in Reno, Nev. In the 21 years Oakland County has submitted programs for consideration, it has received 173 awards. This year's winners represent 30 states and 109 counties.

"Oakland County takes great pride in its programming and we're honored to be recognized nationally, especially at a time when budgets are shrinking and we have to be more resourceful than ever," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "We're committed to developing innovative programs that serve our residents, visitors and the business community. I'm exceedingly proud of our employees who work very hard to ensure that Oakland County remains a vibrant and attractive place to live and work."

Facilities Management won its first-ever award for implementation of a county facilities "Green Team" to identify and implement energy efficient practices and technologies. The team is working to reduce energy consumption at county-operated facilities by 15 percent by 2015. The annual savings to taxpayers are projected to be $500,000.

The Department of Information Technology won awards for four programs:

* Personal Property eFile, which allows businesses to submit personal property statements online.

* Health and Human Services Communication Portal, which improves communications between county schools, hospitals, physicians and the Oakland County Health Division.

* Cross-Boundary E-mail/Texting Alert Network, which improves communication between local governments.

* Cost Reduction/Investment Blog, which encourages and facilitates collection, discussion and evaluation of cost-savings suggestions submitted by employees.

The Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs was recognized for three programs:

* Skills Needs Assessment Checklist Program, which was created by the Workforce Development division to provide a list of technical skills potential employees will need to qualify for Emerging Sector jobs.

* Design Assistance 2.0, which provides design and planning assistance to advance and promote the use of specific under performing properties to stabilize and benefit local communities.

* OC Business Center Venture Forward Series, a 10-week planning series to help small businesses expand and thrive.

The Sheriff's Office was recognized for Operation Medicine Cabinet, which provides citizens with a way to dispose of old or unused prescription medicine and the Human Resources Department won for its OakFit Wellness Screening program.

The Clerk/Register of Deeds office won six NACo awards:

* Election Network: a password-protected website to allow local clerks to share election-related information.

* Poll Worker training DVD: an instructional DVD for election workers.

* Mobile Office: Provides clerk/register of deeds services to outlying communities once a month for two hours.

* Online Campaign Finance System: Allows citizens to view and print political contribution records of local candidates and committees.

* Identity Protection Service: Streamlines the removal of sensitive information such as social security numbers from court documents filed before march 2006.

* Campaign to Consolidate School Elections: Urges school districts to hold school elections at the same time as municipal elections.

The Achievement Award Program recognizes counties for improving the management of and services provided by county government. Since the program's inception in 1970, it has honored hundreds of county government initiatives that have improved service delivery, achieved greater cost efficiency, improved customer service and helped to develop a better-trained work force.

Published: Thu, Jun 17, 2010


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