Remote Services Program

2021 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Loudoun County, Va., VA

About the Program

Category: Information Technology (Best in Category)

Year: 2021

On March 12, 2020, Virginia enacted a state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, the Clerk of the Circuit Court identified the potential to offer virtual services to citizens. When the state of emergency limited the volume of visitors to government facilities, the Clerk directed immediate action to implement these virtual programs to ensure continuity of operations during a pandemic. The Clerk’s Office faced some challenges related to statutory, legal, and regulatory constraints when developing potential virtual services scenarios. Modification of current processes was essential to permit the integration of virtual legal programs. While a financial investment was necessary to deploy this new service, grant funding was available to finance the costs of this investment. Teamwork and collaboration with the local government’s information technology team and a private sector firm enabled the Clerk’s Office to launch these services at a time when the rate of COVID-19 cases was surging. The Clerk’s Office team was able to fulfill statutory, legal, and regulatory requirements related to verification of identification, legal document preparation, online payment, and issuance of proper legal documents. The program has been hugely successful as it permits the Clerk’s Office to provide essential services without requiring onsite visits by the clients, therefore, promoting public health during a pandemic. The clients praise this virtual service for its ease, efficiency, convenience, and flexibility. These remote service offerings will continue after the pandemic and will provide motivation to expand virtual service programs for other client services.