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News Release

July 15, 2011      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Dutchess County Shines in National Spotlight
Ranked Top Ten for Technological Advancement

Poughkeepsie... “For the eighth consecutive year, Dutchess County Government has been nationally recognized as one of the most technologically-advanced county governments in the nation,” announced Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus.  Dutchess County again captured the #5 ranking in the 250,000-499,999 population category in the 2011 Digital Counties Survey conducted jointly by The Center for Digital Government, Government Technology and the National Association of Counties (NACo). Dutchess County Government has held a top ten national technological ranking every year since 2004.

“These challenging economic times have made it more important than ever for us to be innovative and find new ways to use technology to keep up with the needs of our residents and businesses,” said County Executive Steinhaus.   “We have kept a sharp focus on technological initiatives that support our County mission and deliver cost effectiveness for our county property taxpayers.”  

The Digital Counties Survey recognizes leading counties using information and communication technology.    Best electronic practices among counties nationwide are identified by the Center for Digital Government in partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo).    This year’s survey focused on results achieved by county governments through the use of technology- in terms of both operating efficiencies and realizing strategic objectives.

“The Digital Counties Survey identifies the very best examples of how counties are aligning technology to support strategic priorities and create crucial operational and administrative efficiencies,” said NACo Executive Director Larry E. Naake. “Especially important during these tough economic times, counties across the country are using innovative technologies to reduce county operation costs and enhance service delivery.” 

Dutchess County Government has been uniquely successful in bringing together county departments as well as other municipal agencies to develop project initiatives that deliver operational efficiencies and cost savings.   Some of the examples included in Dutchess County’s award winning submission include:

  • Changes in the county’s computer infrastructure which now include fiber optic lines among county buildings, centralized shared disk storage and the deployment of a concept called “server virtualization” to reduce hardware costs. These changes and others have allowed for the integration of new technologies in applications and have resulted in a reduction of overall Computer IT costs by 23% since 2007.

  • Electronic payment availability for department operations and website ( applications. Currently, the public can sign up for Civil Service Exams and make Parks Reservations on-line and pay on-line via credit card.  A series of projects are in development to improve the County Clerk’s on-line and counter services including the acceptance of credit cards.  The use of electronic payments benefits the public and streamlines the county’s financial processing.   Dutchess County is one of very few New York State counties with electronic payment initiatives underway.

  • Investment in new network infrastructure will integrate county voice and data services. As part of this, an Internet Protocol (IP)-based Unified Communications System (UCS) will replace an outdated/expensive Private Branch Exchange (PBX)-based phone system. This includes integration of email and voice mail as well as future video conferencing. This collaboration between the Office of Computer Information Systems (OCIS) and the Department of Central Services will result in staff efficiency improvements as well as provide net savings of nearly $2.4 million to county property taxpayers.

  • One of Dutchess County’s most far-reaching initiatives is the 100% in-house developed GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Suite available online at no cost to municipalities, public safety agencies, businesses and residents of Dutchess County and beyond. These include applications such as PARCELACCESS, ARCSTUDIO and GEOACCESS.  In 2010, there were more than 71,000 different users of county GIS applications; with an astounding nine million pages served.  The GIS applications suite has resulted in calculated cost savings of more than $14 million annually to municipalities, businesses and the public. This initiative is an ongoing joint venture between OCIS and various county departments and divisions such as Real Property Tax (RPT), Emergency Response, Health Department, Planning & Development, Public Works and Water Resources.

  • The OCIS team recently completed development of a new Environmental Document and Information Tracking System (EDITS).   This internal use application will provide staff efficiencies by incorporating RPT data, County Clerk File Maps, document images and email notifications.   This in-house collaboration between OCIS and the Health Department provided a development savings of $300,000 as compared to external vendors.

  • The county’s website,, is one of just a few in the nation that is fully voice-enabled and has real-time translation into dozens of languages.  This provides access for underserved populations including those who are sight impaired or have difficulties with the English language.

“It’s gratifying to continue to be recognized for the work we do and for collaborations with many departments” said OCIS Commissioner Timothy Mahler.  “I'm so pleased and grateful for the ongoing team work by our staff which allows us to improve and expand computer services throughout the county.”

“Dutchess County continues to find innovative ways to expand services to the public,   increase employee productivity and at the same time reduce operational expenses.   We could not achieve this without an impressive group of employees who continue to look for new ways to work smarter and deliver more to our residents.    Thanks to their continued hard work and dedication, Dutchess County continues to shine in the national spotlight,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.

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