Fairfax County Wins Awards for Technology Excellence
Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
April 23, 2008
Fairfax County Wins Awards for Technology Excellence
Fairfax County has won two top honors, as well as an honorable mention, in the annual Public Technology Institute 2007-2008 Solutions Awards, which recognizes local governments for technology excellence. The PTI award competition rewards those local governments that can demonstrate how they apply technology to improve service delivery, reduce operating costs and create new revenue opportunities.
The county won top honors in the Public Safety and Emergency Management category for its All Hazards Special Needs Plan, which includes the newly created online special needs registry, and for the Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle Fleet Trial in the Sustainability category. Fairfax County also won an honorable mention in the Web Services category for its e-Government program. The county was recognized in three of the five award categories in the largest population group for jurisdictions with populations over 750,000.
“I am very pleased that Fairfax County has received three PTI Technology Awards,” said David J. Molchany, deputy county executive for Fairfax County. “All three are innovative programs that use technology in a unique way to improve the operations and services provided by the county.
“The special needs registry addresses the county’s commitment to the most vulnerable people in our community in times of emergency, and the plug-in hybrid vehicle fleet trial continues the county’s commitment to protecting and improving the environment. The e-Government program, which was launched in 1996, continues 12 years later to provide multiple electronic avenues for the public to access and use county information and services,” Molchany added.
The 2007-2008 Solutions Awards will be presented at the PTI 2008 Technology Leadership Conference & Exposition, May 6-8, in Miami, Fla.
Fairfax County’s Award Winners
The All Hazards Special Needs Plan is an enhancement to Fairfax County’s Emergency Operations Plan. It ensures that during emergencies the unique challenges presented by people with special needs are addressed by anticipating their needs for specialized communications, registration, transportation and shelter. The effort was championed by the Board of Supervisors, county executive and deputy county executives. The plan was a matrix-managed initiative that involved 18 agencies and more than 35 staff over a period of 18 months. Public input and comment was solicited on two occasions and input was incorporated in the plan. The special needs population was separated into two operational groups, those with medical needs and those with social needs. A tailor-made communication transportation and shelter plan was established to meet the needs of each group. A Web-based Medical Needs Registry and a Social Needs Registry were developed to assist the county in identifying, transporting and sheltering vulnerable, at-risk and hard-to-reach individuals and groups. All data collected is stored on secure county servers and will be used to generate reports and GIS maps for use by emergency managers to communicate with individuals during emergencies and to establish transportation routes and shelter locations.
The Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) Fleet Trial has the potential to vastly reduce consumption of oil and lower emissions of regulated pollutants and greenhouse gases than current vehicles. Fairfax County’s PHEV has performed well and reliably for more than a year with overall fuel economy the highest of any of the county’s fleet vehicles. Because of the county’s success with the PHEV, Fairfax County was invited by the Idaho National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy to participate in a project they were initiating to collect and analyze data on known fleet PHEVs and also was featured at the Green Car Pavilion at the 2008 Washington Auto Show. Most of the energy to operate a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle comes from the electrical grid instead of from petroleum fuels, but vehicle range is not restricted by the battery charge it can carry. Current production hybrids operate in a “charge-sustaining” mode – their batteries run down to a certain predetermined state of charge while delivering power to the drive train, and are frequently recharged by the gas or diesel engine driving the electric motor as a generator. The PHEV is an extension of the concept of these hybrid cars, but with much better emissions and fuel economy characteristics.
Fairfax County’s award-winning e-Government program addresses the digital divide for constituents and businesses through multiple access channels and has been successful in creating a “Government without Walls, Doors or Clocks.” The e-Government program utilizes multi-channel service delivery via the county’s Web site, 32 multi-media kiosks, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), mobile access and a cable TV government access channel. Using these service delivery channels, the county provides business transactions and information to residents, businesses and to all interested in Fairfax County. These initiatives comprise a multi-faceted strategy with a single goal – utilize the benefits of emerging technologies to extend and expand the ability of government to provide information and services to county residents, businesses, civic groups and other interested parties.
For more news and information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news.