NACo has released a new report highlighting how America's large urban counties are joining forces with private-sector firms to improve government operations, generate new solutions and reap valuable cost savings.
The report Partnering in Government Innovation: County Leadership in Action is released as NACo's Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) kicks off its annual Leadership Symposium in Ramsey County, Minn., on October 15.
Large urban county governments provide essential services to more than 130 million residents each day, spanning from transportation and infrastructure to public safety and public health. In an era of increasingly limited funding, an ever-growing demand for public services and a strong imperative for efficiency and transparency in government, counties are collaborating more than ever with the private sector to better deliver essential services to keep our communities healthy, safe and thriving.
The report features 11 case studies, reaching across sectors such as technology, health care and infrastructure development. For example:
To engage residents in a two-way conversation and provide timely responses to pressing needs, the City and County of San Francisco worked with SalesForce to coordinate social media platforms, resulting in greater government transparency, better responsiveness to community issues and enhanced quality and efficiency of government services;
Broward County, Fla., contracted with a professional services firm, Parsons, to manage a complex runway expansion and terminal reconfiguration project at the county-owned Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, enabling better process coordination and workflow procedures for this massive infrastructure project;
With support from PayPal, Cobb County, Ga., upgraded the county's tax collection services to enable electronic payment, records keeping and mobile payment, thus improving processing speeds, streamlining operations and creating safer work environments for county employees;
Allegheny County, Pa., moved its civil commitment records from a paper-based to web-based system by adapting an application developed by Thomson Reuters, which has increased the accuracy and availability of time-sensitive information, saved money and reduced burdens on staff time; and
Salt Lake County, Utah, formed a collaborative partnership with Optum Health to redesign the county's approach to behavioral health care delivery and improve care coordination and outcomes to promote and sustain wellness and reduce recidivism.
County leaders are faced with both challenges and opportunities to sustain responsive and effective solutions and services. Together with private sector partners, county leaders are making important breakthroughs in advancing exemplary models of government innovation to create more agile, competitive and economically resilient counties and communities.