DATE: August 7, 2013
CONTACT: Ric Barrick
Office of Public Communications
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla.- Broward County has received seven Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo), which recognize innovation in county government programs. The County was honored for programs in environmental stewardship and technology implementation. This follows a successful year of modernization and innovation from mobile capabilities to expanded internet access.
NACo is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States and recognizes county government initiatives that improve service delivery, achieve greater cost efficiency, provide enhanced customer service and help to develop a better-trained work force.
Awards are given in 21 different categories, including environmental protection, children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology among others. Broward County's award-winning programs for 2013 include:
Broward Mobile Application (Enterprise Technology Services and Office of Public Communications)
Users of the Broward.org Mobile App can connect to a wealth of County and County partner Web resources and content. It provides an enhanced experience on a mobile device by utilizing a logical path to areas of interest for the mobile user and offers streamlined access to both County and non-County digital services, including news, on-line bill pay, event research, public transportation options and public safety information. The App is currently available for Android devices at the Google Play store and users with non-Android devices can connect to broward.org/mobile.
Go SOLAR Rooftop Solar Challenge (Pollution Prevention, Remediation and Air Quality Division)
The Go SOLAR Broward Rooftop Solar Challenge program makes it easier, faster and more economical for residents and businesses to use solar energy. The traditional solar system permitting process varied across Broward County’s 31 municipalities and was a barrier to those interested in retrofitting their home or business. Broward County and 14 partner municipalities formed a Go SOLAR Team, received a rooftop solar challenge grant from the Department of Energy and addressed these and other barriers to solar energy. Contractors registered on Go SOLAR can now obtain a permit to install any one of several rooftop solar system options and select from a set of pre-approved design plans for that system within minutes.
Parks and Recreation Division Campground Public Wi-Fi (Enterprise Technology Services)
Broward County Parks and Recreation now offers free high-speed Internet service at its campgrounds thanks to the assistance of Broward County’s Enterprise Technology Services (ETS). The objective was to provide a Wi-Fi network throughout the campgrounds by leveraging the existing internet backbone connection from ETS’ network. This not only was a cost savings for County taxpayers, but eliminated the need for a separate, public-only network to support guest access. Campers can stay connected whenever they need to surf the Internet, pay bills online and check emails from the comfort of their RV.
Partnering to Promote Environmental Stewardship within Schools (Natural Resources Planning and Management Division)
Broward County’s Natural Resources Planning and Management Division and the School Board of Broward County have partnered for more than four years to provide a wide range of initiatives to improve environmental stewardship and sustainability. Activities included: developing school campus gardens; evaluating indoor and outdoor water usage; incorporating instructional lessons on natural resources, environmental issues, and stewardship; and providing training to more than 30,000 students and 600 teachers and school staff members. The partnership has resulted in a stronger commitment to environmental stewardship. As a result of the activities, more than 212 million gallons of water has been saved per year, translating into a year-round decrease in operational costs and an increase in energy savings.
Reduction in Force Job Placement and Support Services Program (Human Resources Division)
In 2007, Broward County Human Resources Division created the Reduction in Force Job Placement and Support Services program to help employees, managers and work units affected by reductions. The program also assisted employees in transition to secure alternative employment. Since then, the County was challenged with reducing 1,494 positions, of which 664 were filled. Due to the explicit provisions for layoff and displacements in the collective bargaining agreements, a total of 808 employees were actually affected, leaving only 16 employees to be laid-off (1.9 percent). It was noted that Broward County could not have been successful in mitigating the effects of on-going reductions during these difficult economic times without the forward thinking leadership of its legislative body, County Administration and County agencies.
RLI/RFP Supporting Documents Repository (Purchasing Division)
The Request for Letters of Interest (RLI)/Request for Proposals (RFP) Document Repository website was developed to make RLI/RFP electronic documents accessible for internal and external use. The Broward County Commission, County personnel and the public have enthusiastically welcomed the ability to search and view the documents online as an innovative way of providing open access to the County’s purchasing process. The web-based RLI/RFP Supporting Documents Repository system has drastically increased the speed at which information about RLI/RFP solicitation can be obtained. It provides a centralized location for storage of electronic documents, while eliminating mass production of copies of agenda exhibits for consumption. In addition, once the Commission takes action on an agenda item, the repository becomes an archival record for each individual procurement action.
Young At Art Museum/Broward County Library (Libraries Division)
The Young At Art Museum/Broward County Library is the result of a groundbreaking public/private partnership that merges art, education and literature while fostering learning and imagination. The Young At Art Museum/Broward County Library, which opened on May 2012 in Davie, is a sleek, modern 55,000-square-foot building, which includes a 10,000 square-foot, full-service Broward County Library fully staffed and operated by the Broward County Libraries Division. The family-friendly library has a collection of 30,000 items including books, CDs, DVDs and more, 23 public-use computers and Wi-Fi access throughout. The facility is envisioned as the first art museum/library experience for youth that creates an arts-based learning environment to transform how children embrace the arts while improving literacy, technology skills and creativity.