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11th Annual Digital Counties Survey - 2013 Results

Digital Counties Survey CDG Homepage Promo
Survey Finds U.S. Counties Leading the Way with Open Government, Citizen Engagement and Transparency

July 18, 2013 - The Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties (NACo) have announced the winners of its 2013 Digital Counties Survey.  Many of the winners found ways to provide better information security, transparency, and citizen engagement with innovative uses of social media and advanced decision support tools.

The annual survey, which recognizes leading examples of counties using information and communications technology, chose winners that overcame tough fiscal barriers to improve government services and efficiency. Here are some highlights from this year’s first-place winners.

  • Montgomery County, Md., launched major open data initiatives that provide constituents with access to a variety of county information and established a formal innovation program and appointed a chief innovation officer.
  • Chesterfield County, Va. expanded its Wi-Fi network, with almost 90 locations available to citizens. Chesterfield started four social media outlets and other avenues for interacting directly with citizens.
  • Catawba County, N.C. has leveraged partnerships with local governments to procure technology products. In continued efforts to maximize resources, the county is forging new public-private partnerships to recycle raw materials for energy production.
  • Charles County, Md., implemented a new content management open source system that improved internal workflows. Charles County also reduced software costs by eliminating duplication in software functions by merging systems.
The survey, conducted by the Center for Digital Government and Digital Communities program, in partnership with the National Association of Counties, identifies best technology practices among counties nationwide, regardless of size, in four population categories.  

“This year, counties found innovative ways to save money where they can by simplifying their information technology infrastructure and sharing systems with other governments,” said Center for Digital Government Executive Director Todd Sander.  “That is why we highlight their efforts and share their success stories with others.  “Congratulations to all!”

"Counties across the country are aligning technology initiatives with executive strategic priorities to provide vital cost savings and administrative efficiencies," said NACo Executive Director Matthew D. Chase. "The Digital Counties Survey identifies best practices and innovative uses of technology crucial with today's constrained budgets to maintaining and even improving service levels."

This year’s survey was underwritten by CDW-G, Dell, EMC, McAfee, and Sprint.

Congratulations to the 2013 Digital Counties Survey Winners!

500,000 or more population category:
1st Montgomery County, MD
2nd Hennepin County, MN
3rd County of San Diego, CA
3rd Fairfax County, VA
4th King County, WA
4th Oakland County, MI
5th Fulton County, GA
5th Prince George's County, MD
6th Sacramento County, CA
6th Westchester County, NY
7th Baltimore County, MD
7th Snohomish County, WA
8th Wake County, NC
9th County of San Joaquin, CA
9th Orange County, FL
10th Tarrant County, TX
10th Tulsa County, OK

250,000-499,999 population category:
1st Chesterfield County, VA
2nd Dutchess County, NY
3rd Loudoun County, VA
4th Douglas County, CO
4th Washoe County, NV
5th Clackamas County, OR
5th Leon County, FL
6th Hamilton County, IN
7th Bell County, TX
8th Howard County, MD
9th County of Ottawa, MI
10th Cumberland County, PA

150,000-249,999 population category:
1st Catawba County, NC
2nd Arlington County, VA
3rd Lackawanna County, PA
4th Gaston County, NC
5th Dona Ana County, NM
6th County of Sussex, NJ
7th Clermont County, OH
8th Cabarrus County, NC
8th Davidson County, NC
9th Mohave County, AZ
9th St. Tammany Parish , LA
10th Boone County, MO

Less than 150,000 population category:
1st Charles County, MD
2nd Allegan County, MI
3rd Nevada County, CA
4th County of Albemarle, VA
5th Roanoke County, VA
6th Napa County, CA
7th Martin County, FL
8th Franklin County VA
9th Gloucester County, VA
10th County of Moore, NC

Selected Survey Findings:

How ready is the county to deal with the following IT challenges?

Consolidating services across agencies
68% - Fully Implemented

Use of mobile devices, e.g. tablets for government business
60%- Fully Implemented

Integrating internal applications with smart phones and tablets
42%- Fully Implemented

Telework and issues such as code changes
56% - Fully Implemented

Policies on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
46% - Fully Implemented

Measures to Deal with Economic Downturn

  • 92% of counties are pursuing federal stimulus, grants and fees to lessen dependence on the county general fund
  • 84% are consolidating data centers, servers, applications and staff
  • 80% are pursuing joint service delivery
  • 69% plan reductions in staffing and operating hours
  • 43% may have cuts in public service delivery
  • 59% are planning agency consolidation, mergers and/or elimination
The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.  The Center is a division of e.Republic, a national publishing, event and research company focused on smart media for public sector innovation.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is a full-service organization that provides legislative, research, technical, and public affairs assistance to county governments. Created in 1935, NACo continues to ensure that the nation’s 3,068 counties are heard and understood in the White House and Congress.

Center Contact: Janet Grenslitt 916-932-1363