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Best of Texas Awards 2017 - Winners Announced

In its 16th year, the Best of Texas Awards program recognizes public-sector professionals and local government organizations for their dedication and contributions through information technology to public service in Texas.

Tech-savvy Texas Agencies Recognized with 2017 Best of Texas Digital Government Awards

June 8, 2017 -- The Texas Veterans Commission, the Texas Office of the Attorney General and the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County were among the agencies honored at the 2017 Best of Texas Awards presented by the Center for Digital Government at the annual Texas Digital Government Summit this week in Austin.

"Government leaders in Texas are leveraging technology to make government services more accessible and easier to use for the Texas residents that want and need them," said Todd Sander, executive director of the Center for Digital Government.  “Making government services easier to access and use helps improve residents' lives and creates efficiencies and cost savings for the agencies involved.. Congratulations to this year's Best of Texas Award winners!"

Highlights from the 2017 Best of Texas winners include:

  • The Texas Veterans Commission and the Texas Department of Information Resources were recognized for their redesign of the Texas Veteran's Portal, which made the site mobile accessible and user-friendly and includes features important to the state's 1.6 million veterans. Collaboration led by a multi-agency advisory committee and the University of North Texas team, and participation by veterans during testing efforts, was crucial to the website's success.
  • The Texas Office of the Attorney General was honored for creating a mobile-accessible site and enabling kiosk access for their Child Support Interactive web portal. Both the website and the kiosks offer the same user experience and customer service options. The kiosks, in department lobbies throughout Texas, provide a secured network for customers who might not otherwise have access to a computer, mobile device or printer to access and print case forms.
  • The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) was recognized for implementing a "social media customer care" agency strategy. METRO combined an open source software module with a user interface built in-house to enable their social media specialists to post and manage real-time service alerts for patrons. The new interface allows them to post the exact same alert to Facebook, Twitter, the website, Google and the METRO trip-planning mobile app simultaneously. The social media specialists can also now respond to 90 percent of submitted queries within 15 minutes.
The Best of Texas Awards program recognizes public-sector professionals and local government organizations for their dedication and contributions to advancing information technology in Texas. Winners are selected based on a number of criteria, including collaboration among agencies, innovative use of technology, economic benefits and improving public services and business processes.

2017 Award Recipients:

Demonstrated Excellence in Project Management
Karen Lewis, ITS Project Manager
Texas Education Agency

Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations

  • Texas Veterans Portal, Texas Veterans Commission and Texas Department of Information Resources
  • Dallas, Tarrant and Travis County Prosecutor, Defense Attorney and Local Law Enforcement Portal
Best Application Serving an Agency's Business Needs

  • El Paso County E-Bond
  • Harris County Law Enforcement Network Search
  • Treasury Offset Program - Benefits Project, Texas Workforce Commission
Best Data Analytics/ Business Intelligence Project

  • Houston Community College Academic Dashboard
Best Application Serving the Public

  • Comptroller.Texas.Gov Website Rebuild, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
  • Texas Career Check, Texas Workforce Commission
Best Mobile/Wireless Project

  • Child Support Interactive Mobile Web and Kiosk Project, Texas Office of the Attorney General
Most Innovative Use of Social Media/ Citizen Engagement

  • City of El Paso Zoo Webcams
  • Houston METRO Service Alerts, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County
For the story on the winners, please CLICK HERE.

During the reception, the 11 Outstanding IT Service and Support Awards (listed below) were also presented to those dedicated to Texas public service. 

Outstanding IT Service and Support Award Recipients:

Recognizing the dedicated work of public servants who work day after day - as team members, team leads, IT project leads and managers - upholding the highest standards of public service:

  • Dave Childers, Applications Services Supervisor, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Paul Cook, Business Process Consultant Senior, City of Austin / Communications & Technology Management
  • Karen Garcia, Team Lead IMD Procurement, Texas Department of Transportation
  • Suzanne Hays, IT Human Resources Manager, Texas Workforce Commission
  • Veda Hickman, Systems Analyst, Texas Lottery Commission
  • Dustin Johnson, Manager of Business Analysis, Texas General Land Office
  • Zhi Lin, IT Tools Team Lead, Texas Education Agency
  • David O'Hara, TXCSES 1.0 Mobile and Portal Supervisor, Texas Office of the Attorney General - Child Support Division
  • Leonel Ramirez, Server Administrator, Texas State Office of Risk Management
  • Teri Shade, Systems Analyst Business Solutions, Texas Department of Information Resources
  • Layla Young, Information Technology Services Development Manager, Texas Department of Insurance

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on technology policy and best practices in state and local government. The Center provides public- and private-sector leaders with decision support and actionable insight to help drive 21st-century government.

The Center is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.

For more information, please contact:
Janet Grenslitt, Director of Surveys and Awards