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Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office Honored for Digital Outreach, Online Opportunities, And Technological Advancements

Continuing its rich tradition of award-winning and exemplary work on behalf of the citizens of Orange County, the Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office (OCPA) has been recognized by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) with two awards for technological advancements: a Project Experience Award in the County Government category; and a 2020 FUTURE READY AWARD, sponsored by Google Cloud. Now in its 4th year, the CDG awards program recognizes the 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. Top government jurisdictions, agencies, and departments from across the country were honored during virtual ceremonies today. OCPA also won a Project Experience Award in 2018.

In its inaugural year, the 2020 FUTURE READY AWARD recognizes jurisdictions that are, “laying the foundation for the disruptive and converging forces that are shaping an uncertain future --through technology or process changes; innovation; engagement with partners; and by harnessing emerging technologies to solve problems,” according to the CDG. OCPA is one of only three honorees to receive this recognition.

“This is a huge honor for the OCPA team,” said Property Appraiser Rick Singh, CFA. “Upon my election in 2012, I made the decision to invest in technology so our work could be smarter, faster, and more accurate. Over the years, that evolved into expanding our connectedness to our taxpayers through social media, digital communications, and our highly regarded website. These awards are a testament to that commitment and to the hard work put forth every day by every member of the OCPA team.”

“Our state and local government winners this year demonstrated that focusing on the government experience provides a foundation that played a vital role in responding and adapting to the uncertainties and disruptions of 2020,” said Dustin Haisler, Chief Innovation Officer for the Center for Digital Government. “This year’s winners employed innovative methods and technologies to transform their government experiences, including leveraging citizen-centric platforms, employing AI to perform sentiment analysis on chatbots; and infusing digital services enterprise-wide for both internal and citizen-facing services.”

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on information technology policy and best practices in state and local government. The awards are judged on criteria that includes citizen experience and feedback, impact, and innovation. Four of OCPA’s technological tools stood out to judges for their pioneering implementation and benefit to the office’s service. These technologies included:

  • The Field Appraiser Survey Tool (F.A.S.T.), OCPA’s new cloud-based, AI-powered customer service survey tool, offers field appraisers a convenient way to gather customer feedback on the platform of the customer’s choice. The five-second survey can be accessed through several user-friendly channels, including QR code, text message questionnaire, SMS link, and email, and is offered in eight languages. The survey also provides a safe, socially distant tool for constituents to communicate their experience to OCPA.
  • The ‘Ask Rick’ Chatbot uses artificial-intelligence-based conversational analysis to offer constituents a convenient way to search the website and gain answers to frequently asked questions. Pre-pandemic, the chatbot connected customers with more complex questions to a live representative for a seamless, convenient experience. Throughout the pandemic, Customer Service representatives have manned the chatbot continuously during business hours to better aid constituents.
  • The OCPA App provides important information to constituents on the go. Taxpayers can access important news about the agency, register for upcoming events, and engage with the office at signature events through the polling and live feed features.
  • OCPA’s website offers several interactive tools and a searchable database that allows constituents to find the exact information they need. The website hosts a wide variety of data on properties across Orange County on an easy to use, convenient platform. Consumer can also search the site to access ultra-high-resolution aerial imagery along with ArcGIS mapping capabilities.