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Best of California Awards 2012

New in 2012, the Best of California People’s Choice Application Contest highlights the best applications in two categories: those developed by city, county and state government entities and those developed by private industry in service to government.

California technology leaders, projects, and new awards - People’s Choice Apps - honored by Center for Digital Government

The Center for Digital Government honored public leaders and agencies for their work in information technology (IT) at the 2012 Best of California awards ceremony.
The Best of California awards program recognizes public sector professionals and local government organizations for their dedication and contributions to IT in California. Winners are selected by a panel of judges based on a number of criteria, including collaboration among agencies, innovative use of technology, economic benefits and bettering services and business processes.

New in 2012, the Best of California People’s Choice Application Contest highlights the best applications in two categories: those developed by city, county and state government entities and those developed by private industry in service to government.  Winners were voted on and chosen by GTC West attendees.

“The awards reflect the vision, innovation and accomplishments of California government IT leaders,” said Todd Sander, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Government.  “New technologies and use of mobile devices and social media are improving government interaction with citizens, delivery of services, and sharing of information. The Center enthusiastically recognizes the excellence and inspirational achievements of all the winners.”

2012 Best of California Awards

Demonstrated Leadership in Management of Information Technology

Harold Tuck, Chief Information Officer, County of San Diego
Harold Tuck, CIO for the County of San Diego since 2008, oversees the largest municipal government which has outsourced all IT functions to the private sector. As a member of the County's executive team, he worked closely with the county’s five business groups to establish an IT strategic plan. Mr. Tuck has ensured that IT initiatives align with the County’s strategic business initiatives and that IT investments are prioritized and transparent.

Demonstrated Excellence in Project Management

Karen Ruiz, Pension System Resumption Project Director, California Public Employees Retirement System
Karen Ruiz is the Project Director for the CalPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System) $500 million pension and health system consolidation and modernization project - the Pension System Resumption (PSR) project. The system, launched in September 2011 on the day it was promised, replaces over 49 legacy systems and 60 support systems and serves as the single point for managing pension and health benefits for 1.6 million public employees.

Best Application Serving an Agency’s Business Needs

Accessibility Assessment Solution, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Accessibility Assessment Solution combines ‘in the field’ capabilities of Android mobile tablets loaded with codes, regulations and applicable laws with the enterprise features of SharePoint technology; in order to assess properties for accessibility in high-security locations. The months-long back-office processing is completely eliminated saving thousands of hours and improving data integrity.

Best Application Serving an Agency’s Business Needs

Integrated Justice Information System (IJIS), San Joaquin County Information Systems Division
The Integrated Justice Information System (IJIS) provides a Web-based system that links over 6,600 internal users, 18 agencies county-wide, and other national law enforcement systems. New capabilities include integration with state and federal systems in real time, mobile interfaces for police vehicles and call centers, and a secure self-service citation system for residents. Benefits include 25 percent more efficiency for officers with improved data-access.

Best Application Serving the Public

MyFTB Account for Businesses, California Franchise Tax Board
MyFTB provides an online system for California business taxpayers and tax representatives to access account information and self-service tools, reducing calls to the Franchise Tax Board by 77 percent and allowing callers with more complex tax problems access to services that result in more accurate tax returns.

Best Application Serving the Public

Redlands311, City of Redlands
Redlands 311, a smartphone application for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows, allows residents to submit to city staff in under one minute pictures, videos, audio and comments or complaints that are spatially identified through the phone’s GPS system.

Best IT Collaboration among Organizations

Routing on Empirical Data (RED) Project, California Technology Agency
The RED Project, a collaboration among more than 500 state, local and private stakeholders, created a Web-based system that used the location of a wireless caller and the cell tower to determine jurisdiction for the emergency, improving caller access from 57.6 percent to more than 98 percent and saving $21.4 million.

Best In-House Developed Application

Online Water Ordering System (OWOS), San Diego County Water Authority
The Online Water Ordering System (OWOS) is an online application developed “in-house” with no-cost, open source database and Web development software. 24 member agencies make their three-times-daily orders through the portal for both treated and untreated water at 98 facilities, meeting the needs of three million retail customers, saving ratepayers over $69,000 in development costs alone.

Best Mobile/Wireless Project

Mobile Device Management (MDM), California Department of Health Care Services
The Mobility Device Manager (MDM) allows the Department of Health Care Services employees to access work information on personal mobile devices, saving an estimated $262,000 on formerly state-issued mobile phones.
Most Innovative Use of Social Media

DMV Social Media, California Department of Motor Vehicles
DMV’s social media strategic plan uses Facebook and Twitter to engage in two-way communication with customers increasing followers on Twitter nearly three times to 2,300 and Facebook “Likes” increased four times to more than 5,500. DMV’s guideline of response to all social media inquiries within two hours sustained the inertia.

The Green IT Award

Cloud Applications for Local Sustainability Programs, City of Thousand Oaks Public Works
The city’s Green Business Certification Program used the cloud to develop a series of sustainability applications for 4,000 eligible local businesses, including reduction of carbon footprints, energy efficiency and water conservation upgrades, purchase of ‘greener’ products, and assistance with state and federal grants. The city credits the applications with a 25 percent reduction in energy use, a 15 percent reduction in water consumption, a 10 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, and 95 percent reduction in paper use.

The Green IT Award

Data Center Retrofitting and Modernization Project (RaMP), California Technology Agency
The Retrofitting and Modernization Project (RaMP) deployed energy-efficiency measures at the Gold Camp Data Center benefitting 160 state and 1800 local government entities using the facility. $360,000 in annual energy savings financed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a no-cost loan managed by the state) is now available for other green energy-efficiency projects.

People’s Choice Awards

Best Public-Sector App

Enhanced HealthCare-Associated Infections Recording System, California Department of Public Health

Best Private-Sector App

“Where are the Jobs?” by Symsoft Solutions

Outstanding IT Service and Support Awards

Recognizing the tireless work of those who work day after day - as team members, team leads, IT project leads and managers - upholding the highest standards of public service.

Outstanding IT Service and Support Award Winners:

  • Ignacio Estevez, City of Sacramento
  • Kim Heartley-Humphrey, Office of Systems Integration
  • Gary Data, Department of Consumer Affairs
  • Antonio Vispetto, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Kenny Moore, Department of Public Health
  • Mathew Decker, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Alicia Bugarin, Office of Systems Integration
  • David Matteoli, CalPERS
  • Stephen Crandell, CalPERS
  • Syed Hamid, CalPERS
  • Bradley Behrens, Dept. of Insurance
  • Joe Rackelmann, CalFire
  • Dan Marksbury, CalFire
  • Joe White, California Conservation Corps
  • Helen Chau, Department of Water Resources
  • Ray Kataoka, Department of Water Resources
  • Atlas Hill, California Natural Resources Agency
  • Pam Wales, Franchise Tax Board
  • Alisa Claypool, Employment Development Department
  • Mike Baker, Office of Technology Services
  • Jerry Henson, Department of Health Care Services
  • Donna DiClementine, State Controller’s Office
  • Bruce Gauthier, Information and General Services, Nevada County
  • Tran Ngo, Department of Finance
  • Derek Chan, Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Shakir Awan, San Joaquin County

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.  See

The Center for Digital Government is a division of e.Republic, a national publishing, event and research company focused on smart media for public sector innovation. See

For the awards article see

For more information, please contact:

Janet Grenslitt, Director of Surveys and Awards