Sunday, September 30, 2007

4.6 Million DCPS HR Records Digitized in 54 Days

In 54 days, OCTO digitized 4.6 million neglected District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) human resource records, allowing the District to avoid a CAFR audit. Prior to the start of production, the DCPS file room was managed by one full time staff person and over the past 10 years documents bundled by rubber bands or paper clips were transferred to the file room with a brief cover sheet or post-it note. When DCPS staff requested certain documents, they would have to sift through millions of loose pages. After the project, DCPS HR reported a 25% increase of productivity.

OCTO will continue to transform DCPS HR filing by automating all personnel documents and eliminating the need for a manual or paper file room. We will also provide online benefits administration and payroll processing by allowing employees to sign up for and change their benefits, enter their own time, view their earnings, and print their own W-2's. Subsequent efforts will automate performance management compensation history and allow for online job application/resume processing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mayor Fenty Announces Partnership With Google™

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Chief Technology Officer Vivek Kundra announced today that the District Government is partnering with Google Inc. to make it easier for residents to access information on government programs and services. The Mayor announced that the city's now powered by Google's search technology, making it faster and easier for residents to find the information they need. The partnership will also make available public information that was previously not accessible through and other search engines.

"DC is committed to 21st-century technology," said Mayor Fenty. “This will provide our residents with quick and intuitive access to DC Government’s online resources. “We’re excited to be partnering with Google to make it possible."

“Information technology is essential to the Mayor’s vision of positioning the District as a technology leader and innovator on a global scale,” said Kundra. “Google's search technology makes it faster and easier to accurately find the information that residents, businesses and visitors need."

The search function at is now powered by Google. Using the Google Search Appliance™ hardware and software, the website harnesses Google's search algorithms to index publicly available information and deliver relevant search results.

As part of this partnership, the District has also begun to implement a new technology known as the Sitemap protocol, which provides web search engines like Google the ability to index public databases. As a result, District residents can now more easily find public records such as contracts and procurements by the District Government.

"The best citizens are the most informed ones. Google is very pleased to partner with the District of Columbia to make it easier to discover and access public information and government services," said Vinton G. Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. "Google is dedicated to organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful. We feel very aligned with the District of Columbia in pursuit of this goal."

You can learn more at Visit to use the new search feature powered by Google.

Friday, September 21, 2007

DC OCTO Master Address Repository Wins Digital Government Achievement Award

Today the District of Columbia Government’s groundbreaking Master Address Repository (MAR) project will be acknowledged as a national Digital Government Achievement award winner at the Center for Digital Government’s 11th Anniversary Awards Gala in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Digital Government Achievement Award is a national program that recognizes outstanding agency and department websites and applications that enhance information interactions, transactions and/or services. The award categories include government-to-government, government-to-business, government-to-citizen, and government internal.

The District’s MAR project, created by the DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), won in the government-to-government category. The MAR is a comprehensive database of addresses, web services, and web pages for use by DC agencies and the public.

Addresses are the most common and important location key in government, and as a densely developed urban area, the District has a “many-to-many” relationship between addresses and properties. OCTO developed the MAR to promote property and address interaction and use regardless of the complexity of relationship between the two.

The MAR’s basic capabilities include address validation (confirming that an address exists in the District with correct spelling and formatting), geocoding addresses (locating addresses to specific structures rather than prorated along a street), and finding intersections. Its applications are many and varied: Today, the MAR is used by the general public and by over 15 District agencies to improve the speed and accuracy of numerous government services, and the MAR database gets approximately 2200 hits per hour. For example:

* 911 emergency dispatchers can find locations they couldn’t locate before.

* Parents can now use the MAR with the DC Public School Boundary Information System to find out which schools their children will attend—instead of calling the school system’s office and waiting for staff to manually research the information.

* Homeland Security managers use the MAR to verify and map locations during emergency planning events.

* Budget analysts geocode taxpayer addresses and then compare tax returns with land use trends to help predict future tax revenues.

* Firefighters geocode all their calls against the MAR, then use the data to measure their own performance.

* Social workers in various programs are able to identify common clients using their MAR-assigned address identifier and then collaborate in delivering services.

“The MAR is a perfect example of how we can use innovative technology to enhance the whole spectrum of government services,” said District Chief Technology Officer Vivek Kundra. “We’re proud to win this award and especially pleased that so many agencies are using the MAR to improve their services.”

The MAR cost the District about $400,000 to develop, and requires only one full-time and one part-time OCTO staff member to maintain. “The MAR is also a perfect example of how technology can leverage government dollars,” adds Kundra. “The return on our investment is almost unlimited.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

OCTO Introduces TechStat

Today OCTO introduced the "TechStat" program to find more effective, efficient solutions to improve government service delivery, lower the cost of operations and drive innovation. TechStat sessions provide a deep dive into a functional area within the government, leveraging best-practice research to understand how we can improve current operations and coordinate with other internal functions to better serve OCTO and the District. It originated with the CTO’s desire to review the efficiency and value of technology spend across the District. The program is modeled after the DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s CapStat program.

For one hour, the Chief Technology Officer convenes all responsible parties for improving performance on an issue, examines data, explores ways to improve services, and makes commitments for follow-up actions. The sessions include lively discussions on critical business issues, technology innovation, and strategic execution. TechStat allows directors to ensure their programs’ performance indicators are accurate and meaningful.