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Poughkeepsie… “As part of our multi-year transformation of County Government, we are strategically focused on cost efficiency, consolidation and shared services. Investment in an enterprise content management system will help us to achieve those goals,” said Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro.
An Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system organizes, manages, stores, shares and retrieves documents and other data information electronically allowing County Government to streamline operations, improve service delivery and significantly reduce costs. Dutchess County Legislators had the opportunity today to learn more about how investing in an ECM system will deliver productivity gains for County employees as well as expand on-line services and information access for the public, municipalities and local businesses through dutchessny.gov.
Under the direction of the Office of Central and Information Services (OCIS), the ECM system will be implemented over a two year period at a cost of $960,000. Savings in the first two years are estimated at $1.1 million, a complete payback on the investment. Savings for future years are conservatively estimated at more than $2 million a year.
OCIS Commissioner Timothy Mahler notes, “This ECM system is a proverbial ‘game changer’ that will enable county government to continue to provide high quality service to constituents under the constraints of dwindling resources and revenues.”
A study published by Public Sector Tech reported that 70% of government workers’ time is spent managing information. “If we can improve employee productivity by reducing or eliminating the need to spend significant time on low value tasks such as copying, printing and manually filing and retrieving documents, we can realize millions in long term savings,” said Mahler.
“Our 2013 adopted budget deleted more than 100 positions, bringing our total County workforce to its lowest level in 30 years. Enhancing employee productivity is more critical than ever before,” said County Executive Molinaro.
The ECM system will significantly reduce the volume of paper utilized throughout County Government. The digital document management component of the new ECM system will allow County documents to be archived in electronic format, rather than boxed up by departments and sent to the County’s Records Center for retention. Dutchess County’s Records Center is currently at 95% of its capacity, with more than 44,000 boxes of documents. The ECM will prevent the need for future expansion of the Records Center and eliminate time-intensive searches for physical records.
According to Dutchess County Clerk Brad Kendall, who oversees the County’s Records Management and will be a key partner on the ECM Project, the County’s Records Center also houses historical documents which date back into the 1700s. The preservation of these historical documents will be a key component of the ECM project. Once fully implemented, the ECM system will provide Dutchess County an on-line archive of these historical documents for archivists, local historians and the public. This online historical archive will put Dutchess County on the national forefront for historical preservation and public access. As part of the initiative, County Historian William Tatum is working on a New York State Archives’ grant application to fund preservation and digitization of a range of historical documents.
In addition to the online availability of historical documents, the ECM system will enhance and expand online information to the public through dutchessny.gov. Some of the projects that will be part of the two year implementation to improve services for the public, businesses and local municipalities include:
Dutchess County Legislator Michael Kelsey, Chairman of the Legislature’s Government Services and Administration Committee, said, “We must embrace smart strategies that allow county government to continue to meet the service demands of our residents with a smaller workforce. This ECM project is a critical initiative to help us do that, while expanding the availability of information to the public and encouraging citizen involvement in County Government.”
“This is a logical investment decision designed to improve employee productivity, enhance services and ensure accountability and transparency. The ECM system will provide critical cost savings over the long-term and will help us to provide useful, accessible information and services to our residents. We look forward to the Legislature’s support of this critical project,” concluded County Executive Molinaro.