May 2, 2012 By Colin Wood
Chesterfield County, Va., is upgrading county infrastructure and citizen-centric services in an attempt to continue the county’s critically acclaimed success of the past few years. The county placed first in 2010 and third in 2011 in its division of the Digital Counties Survey, which annually ranks participating governments on their usage of technology to achieve outcomes. County CIO Barry Condrey said gaining recognition took time, but he encourages underdogs to not be deterred.
Through the awards, Chesterfield County was commended for its commitment to citizen service and the efficiency of its investments — two areas the county began focusing on six years ago, Condrey said. “We began looking at our technology money as investments, not just cost items,” he said. “We came up with an investment model, which gives us scoring criteria and involves looking at [county] departments from the lens of efficiency, effectiveness, citizen service — six or seven different criteria. That provides a scoring model for how to assess these projects.”
That change in philosophy, combined with an emphasis on enterprisewide systems and transparent government, was the starting point for the success that followed for Chesterfield County, Condrey said.
The county updated its website to be more user-friendly and transparent, receiving a rare grade of A+ from a government transparency clearinghouse called the Sunshine Review. The county also began offering services requested by
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.