First Quarterly Winners of Government Innovation Grant Award (GIGa) Announced
August 24, 2011 – The School of Government announces the first quarterly winners of a new technology-based innovation awards program, the Government Innovation Grant Awards (GIGa). The program, a partnership among the School, Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU), and North Carolina Local Government Information Systems Association (NCLGISA), is designed to spur and reward technology-based innovation by offering incentives to North Carolina local governments engaged in innovative, replicable endeavors that help improve citizen services.
City of Asheboro: Mobile 311
The City of Asheboro is being recognized for its Mobile 311 project, which has improved efficiency and reduced fuel usage on the city’s sanitation routes. The development of a mobile GIS-based tool allows sanitation workers, during the course of their daily routes, to mark locations of bulk items or brush piles. The information is collected using GIS coordinates. Bulk or brush truck operators then collect debris on a targeted run, rather than driving every street looking for items to collect. “Expending the funds to create a new product is always a risk, especially in tight budget years,” says Asheboro Planning Department marketing specialist Casey Fletcher. “We advise other jurisdictions to start slowly with a scalable project they can continue to develop, and to listen to the employees who will ultimately be using the product.”
Catawba County: Building Permit QR Codes
Catawba County is being recognized for implementation of a Building Permit QR (Quick Response) Codes system, whichprovides building contractors and inspectors with up-to-the-minute job site and inspection information at their fingertips, in the field. The county added QR codes to building services permit placards posted at job sites in order to quickly deliver data via use of a smart phone. The placard codes link to GIS information for the parcel of the building site, and to full permit information on the web. All data is live and dynamic. “Using QR codes on building permit placards has reduced the amount of staff time required by inspectors and permit specialists. And the process is easily duplicated in a number of areas,” says Steve Lackey, Catawba County systems analyst. “We now also use QR codes in job advertisements and in our libraries.”
Second Quarter Application Deadline: October 15, 2011
North Carolina local governments and K-12 school districts (LEAs) may submit applications for quarterly GIGa awards. The next deadline for applications is October 15, 2011, with winners to be announced on November 1. The application is available at www.cpt.unc.edu/giga.html.
All quarterly applicants are automatically eligible for annual awards of $10,000 (one award) or $2,500 (two awards). Annual awards will be announced at a banquet in early 2012.
The first quarter submissions will also be featured in an annual University of North Carolina e-publication, State of the State of Technology, which will include promising technology practices for local governments to model and implement.
“The projects submitted for this award from across the state are truly innovative,” says School of Government Dean Mike Smith. “We are pleased to recognize North Carolina local government information technology leaders’ daily efforts at improving the lives of North Carolinians.”