2016 County Best Practices Award Winner: Travis County

 

 
​The County Best Practices Awards Program 
recognizes accomplishments and best practices in 
county government. The 2016 winners will be 
highlighted throughout 2017 in County magazine

In recent years, a rapidly growing population has posed multiple challenges for Travis County. Rising to the occasion, several county officials and departments devised creative, new ways to efficiently serve the growing populace.

These five innovative programs were honored with the 2016 County Best Practices Award:

Senior Fraud Prevention Program

Senior citizens, a growing demographic, are often the target of physical, emotional and financial abuse. When newly elected Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez was a county constable, she created a program that highlights the facts of senior abuse, as well as resources and strategies to prevent it. Partnering with organizations that work with seniors, the county created forums to deliver resources to seniors, include a placemat that features an image by a local artist on the front and a list of telephone numbers, helpful tips and other information on the back.

Travis County Text 2 Register

Millennials make up 27 percent of Travis County’s population, but this generation claims the fewest registered voters. To make voter registration easier, the county allows residents to text the word “REGISTER” to IVOTE, or 48683. They are then asked for their address. If the address is in Travis County, the resident will receive a voter registration form in the mail. If the registration form is not returned, the resident will receive a reminder text two weeks later. This program has resulted in an increase of registered voters.

Driver’s License Assistance Program

Criminal filings of Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) increased significantly due to surcharge legislation (see page __ for more information about this issue.) Travis County worked with the Law Library to help indigent defendants get an Occupational Driver’s License. This has helped low-income workers get and keep jobs that require a driver’s license while also reducing the court time spent proving information on Occupational Driver’s Licenses.

Criminal Attorney Upload/Interface

Travis County processed payments for indigent defense attorneys manually for years. Often this process resulted in double entries, hard to read handwritten invoices and extended payment timelines. A new electronic process was created to eliminate paper, increase accuracy and reduce the time to process payment. The new system has decreased the payment process from 12 days to four. The Auditor’s Office has also been able to reassign two full-time staff to other duties.

Digital Justice Court

With an estimated 110 people moving to Travis County each day, the strain on courts and court services is felt at every level. Wanting to increase time, money and resources, Justice of the Peace Court (Pct. 2) is using technology to help court staff and residents. Using electronic forms, paperwork is now done electronically and can be signed, email and filed online. This has resulted in a 50 percent decrease in paper consumption while increasing digital access to the court.

“Dedication to serving the public in a diverse and practical way is the common thread running through the five winners from Travis County,” said TAC Executive Director Gene Terry.

Creating programs that address the issues of a growing population is how Travis County continues to provide quality service to residents. Technological advances have allowed the county to reach and and serve the population in a way that was not possible just a few years ago.

The TAC County Best Practices Awards Program recognizes county innovation, inspires county leaders to develop improved programs, and creates an avenue for promoting replicable and proven solutions to common county concerns.


Want to find out more?

Senior Fraud Prevention

Program Contact:  Garry Brown, Community Outreach Director

(512) 854-2171  

Text 2 Register

Contact:  Amanda Katzer, Tax Office – Business Analyst II

(512) 854-3991 

Driver’s License Assistance Program

Contact:  Lisa Rush, RMCR Law Library & Self-help Center Manager

(512) 854-9290

Criminal Attorney Upload/Interface

Contact:  Nicki Riley, Auditor

(512) 854-9125

Digital Justice Court

Contact:  Nathan Armentrout, Executive Assistant for Judge Randall Slagle, JP2

(512) 854-6369

 

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