Pennsylvania Earns Two National Technology Awards

PennDOT and Dept. of Agriculture Selected by NASCIO; Office of Administration Runner-Up

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PennDOT and the Department of Agriculture have been recognized for outstanding achievement in state government information technology by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO).  The organization presented the awards during a ceremony last night at its annual conference. 

"The awards presented by NASCIO, along with consistently strong performances in the Center for Digital Governments' Digital States Survey and IDG's Computerworld Honors Program, further solidify Pennsylvania's position as a leader among states in the use of information technology to improve government operations and enhance the lives of citizens," Secretary of Administration Kelly Powell Logan said. 

Each year, NASCIO recognizes states whose information technology initiatives exemplify best practices, support the public policy goals of state leaders, assist government officials in innovatively executing their duties and provide cost-effective service to citizens.  NASCIO received more than 100 nominations for consideration for this year's awards and presented awards in 10 categories. 

"The projects recognized by NASCIO are just a few examples of the potential for technology to transform state government," said George White, the commonwealth's chief information officer.  "Through innovation and modernization, we can deliver services more efficiently and effectively than ever before."

The new PennDOT Highway Occupancy ePermitting process earned top honors in the Government to Business award category.

Each year, PennDOT issues approximately 15,000 such permits to businesses, utilities, developers, homeowners and municipalities wanting to complete projects that require access to state roadways. Until last October, permit applications were submitted by hand or mailed to PennDOT offices. Now the process is entirely electronic and applicants can easily check the status of their permit application online.  Permits that once took 30 to 45 days to review are now being returned to applicants in less than 10 days.

"This award represents the hard work and dedication of our employees who are driven to continually raise the bar on customer service," PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. "That is what our ePermitting system is doing. We are thrilled to be recognized by NASCIO for this prestigious honor."

The Department of Agriculture's food safety inspection system won the Information Communications Technology (ICT) Innovations category. 

The department is responsible for inspecting wholesale food production facilities, warehouses, and distribution centers.  It also shares responsibility with county and local entities for inspecting eating and drinking establishments.  The new food safety inspection system modernizes a previously paper-based process, resulting in greater efficiency, better quality and data for analytics.  Workers are able to complete 30 percent more inspections and the results of those inspections are available to the public at www.eatsafepa.com.

The Office of Administration received a second place recognition in the Enterprise IT Management Initiatives category for its automated user provisioning system. 

The system allows state agencies to more effectively manage the access privileges of employees and contractors to various applications and systems.  It has also automated the creation of email and other accounts for new employees and reduced help desk calls to reset passwords by 30-40 percent.  

To learn more about the NASCIO Awards and view all of the winners and finalists, visit http://www.nascio.org/awards/2012awards/.

Media contact: Dan Egan, 717-772-4237

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Administration



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