In September, the Center for Digital Government (CDG) bestowed prestigious Government Experience Awards on two of our customers, New Castle County (DE) and the City of San Jose, in recognition of “achievements and best practices of states, cities, and counties that are radically improving the experience of government and pushing the boundaries of how citizen services are delivered,” according to Janet Grenslitt, director of surveys and awards at e.Republic, CDG’s parent company— New Castle County earned first place in the Overall County Government Experience category, while San Jose took third in Overall City Government Experience.
As a proud partner of these two municipalities, we share their philosophy that a broader business strategy dictates technology procurement and implementation, not the other way around. Our no-code solutions have helped carry out their mission to make government more nimble, responsive, and easier to engage with for citizens.
We have seen the agility and foresight that helped these municipalities earn these honors firsthand. Last year, we helped New Castle County flip the switch on a digitized form and back-end process for reimbursing COVID-related expense requests out of new Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds in two days. The county had little time to waste as these funds expired in six months from the time the program went live.
SimpliGov’s platform integrated with Active Directory right out of the box, and within 48 hours of starting the implementation employees and citizens could fill out an intuitive digital form to get money back for pandemic-related expenses they fronted out of their own pockets. New Castle County showed its constituents that it could create and operationalize new programs in response to unprecedented external changes, and our technology was the only solution in the marketplace that can help launch such innovative services in such a short time.
Similarly, the sooner San Jose could stand up a digital version of its FEMA 213RR form, the quicker the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could reimburse its employees for personal protective equipment (PPE) outlays necessitated by the pandemic. It took SimpliGov and the city just a few weeks to incorporate the input of 30 stakeholders, customize an automated process to fit San Jose’s operations, integrate it with Active Directory and other legacy applications, activate an easy-to-use form, and streamline the associated processes behind the scenes.
Now, employees can get repaid for their coronavirus-driven mask, glove, and hand sanitizer purchases, and track inventory and approval status in a user-friendly dashboard. The digital FEMA 213RR form is one of dozens of SimpliGov workflows that are reducing administrative burden, increasing efficiencies, and impacting service to taxpayers for the better on behalf of the city.
For too long, it has been an accepted truism that government can’t keep up with new innovations in service delivery as fast as the private sector. However, as Government Experience Award winners like San Jose and New Castle County have demonstrated over the last year, forward-thinking agencies are proving that they can build new online employee- and citizen-facing processes and ramp them up and down quickly in response to sudden events and evolving consumer trends.
The SimpliGov platform’s no-code, cloud-based architecture and easy drag-and-drop functionality do more than just allow business owners to customize processes to fit their needs and those of the people they serve. They lay the foundation for government to meet residents’ expectations for a simple “Amazon-like” customer experience, with services that continually evolve to keep up with the times.
We help the leaders of public-sector entities like New Castle County and San Jose make an impact for citizens and governments when they carry the mantle—and maybe add a trophy to it, too.