County Honored for Top-Notch Tech Efforts

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Lisa Massey, Marin County’s Chief Information Officer, holds the award for technological and cybersecurity excellence.

National agencies recognize Marin for digital upgrades and transparency

The County of Marin has cap­tured a national award for its ef­forts to digitize information for both residents and employees and to increase online interaction between those two groups.

Marin was recognized in the 2019 Digital Counties Survey, conducted by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) in partnership with the National As­sociation of Counties (NACo) and held during the NACo an­nual conference on July 13. The awards honor counties for programs that encourage gov­ernment innovation and col­laboration while demonstrating technological and cybersecurity excellence.

Marin’s Department of Infor­mation Services and Technology (IST) took fourth place out of entries from counties with pop­ulations between 250,000 and 499,999.

CDG and NACo said Marin IST, led by Chief Information Of­ficer Liza Massey, was “propelled by thoughtful IT and strategic planning, community engage­ment via well-designed tools and apps, and execution of a compre­hensive cybersecurity program connected across the enterprise.”

“This recognition is for the en­tire County, not just IST,” Massey said. “Our 37-page application included collaborative initiatives from across Marin. These inno­vations are driven by Marin resi­dents’ priorities and the County’s desire for community input, gov­ernment transparency, and infor­mation security.”

Deployment of Compass, a new organizational performance management program, was high­ lighted by CDG. Compass uses data to drive performance, with the goal of displaying it in dash­boards built atop the department’s existing data tools from Socrata Public and Tableau. This year, County departments are honing their missions, strategies, tools and processes to engage employ­ees, with the goal of showing data for all strategies via internal- and external-facing dashboards by April 2020.

The County’s 5 Year Business Plan and IST’s Strategic Plan are guiding Marin through 2020, but tech-forward business processes also are helping connect officials to the residents they serve. The County has worked since 2017 to make engagements mobile, paperless and citizen-centric, deploying texting alerts and elec­tronic signatures for County con­tracts to support internal digital document workflows. IST will be totally paperless this year for recruitment.

IST’s five-year plan centers on security and the department — re­organized last year — has tripled its security resources. With sup­port from the County’s Human Resources Department, IST has promoted its cybersecurity aware­ness and training platform and made annual information secu­rity training mandatory for all em­ployees. Internal monthly mock “phishing” campaigns continue, and employees can report sus­pected phishing via a tool imple­mented last year. An update to the County’s cybersecurity, incident and ransomware response plans will be completed by the end of 2019.

The Center for Digital Govern­ment is a national research and ad­visory institute focused on tech­nology policy and best practices in state and local government. The National Association of Counties, founded in 1935, unites America’s 3,069 county governments and advocates with a collective voice to promote exemplary leadership in public service.

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