Tulsa County Department of Information Technology

Dan Pease

Carol Crowson Annex Building
633 W. 3rd
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74127

The Department of Information Technology under the Board of County Commissioners provides centralized data processing and communication services for connecting voice and data systems, design, development and support for technology products, local area networks and access to centralized sources of information for Tulsa County government offices; aiding them in providing quality service to the citizens of Tulsa County.

Our four primary functional areas are as follows:

Law and Justice
Includes the District Attorney, the Jail Inmate Management System, Inmate Information Center, VINE, the Family Justice Center, and the Court Services Programs. .

Land Record Management Information Systems (LRMIS)
Includes all property document filings, the computer assisted appraisal system (CAMA), the property database and the property taxation system. .

LRMIS (On-line Access)
Provides a subscription based Internet application for all land record information contained in the Tulsa County Clerk's, Assessor's and Treasurer's Offices. There are currently over 400 subscribers to this service. LRMIS is also available at no charge (free) at all Tulsa City-County Libraries and the Tulsa County Courthouse. .

Fiscal / Management
MUNIS is the County ERP system. MUNIS helps the County manage fixed assets, purchasing, human resources and payroll. Recently MUNIS has made significant enhancements for disaster recovery, government transparency, and employee self-service .

Tulsa County Information Technology Systems strategic directions and initiatives are further provided below:

Statement of Technical Direction
Keeping up with the pace of change in technology and using technology effectively to meet end-user requirements and expectations are still the most critical challenges facing the Department of Information Technology Advances in technology can enable the workforce to provide better and faster service at a reduced cost, but changes in technology can be expensive and complex. New technology must be adopted carefully and integrated wisely into the existing technology infrastructure of an organization in order to maximize the benefits in a cost-effective manner of tax-payer dollars. .

The following initiatives address our commitment to provide effective, efficient and customer-oriented access to data and services for residents of Tulsa County and for internal county employees:

Customer Relationship Management
There has been a gradual shift over the last few years in the way Tulsa County conducts business. The number of web based transactions, phone calls, e-mails, and faxes to the County has increased, while the number of onsite visits is beginning to decrease. Citizen and business expectations continue to grow for convenient customer service and accurate information. In response to this evolution of service, Tulsa County has successfully implemented new services to better address the needs of the public. Our Internet and Intranet sites are continually being reviewed to enhance information among users. Systems are being developed and modified to increase access to data from Internet applications. Jail inmate information is now available online. Citizens can pay their property tax online too. Our fee-based land records system will soon offer online imaging retrieval and electronic filing of legal documents will also become a reality.

E-mail and Internet access today are critical business functions. The evolution of these combined systems should offer more choices to citizens when needing to communicate with local government. It is not uncommon for questions by e-mail to be answered and returned the same day.

Our ultimate goal will be to provide as many services as practical by Internet or kiosk systems. County-wide civic broadband initiatives will further enhance available services. This collective effort will streamline processes, redirect county resources, and increase the overall efficiency of dealing with Tulsa County.

The e-Government initiative uses enabling technology for Tulsa County government to provide 24/7 access to many of our systems by the public. Our Tulsa County website is the primary source of this information. Vision 2025, the comprehensive 13 year and four part plan approved by taxpayers in September 2003, can be tracked and progress of various projects reviewed online. Tee time reservations at county golf courses can be conducted by computer and plans are near to provide online reservations of other Parks services such as baseball diamonds or picnic areas. All public meetings are posted with their agendas on our website and links to other important information such as emergency information, security alert status, and local weather is available. Most standardized inter-office forms and Personnel information are also available.

Online imaging for land records via the Internet adds further convenience in meeting the needs of the public. This effort merges old and new data systems together to provide news ways to share information important to the public and the operation of county government. Looking forward, our efforts for ongoing improvements to these systems will continue to add value to both the community and to the public.

Efforts continue to extend certain county services to all county facilities as the county’s computer network continues to expand. Increased access of these various systems from all branch libraries, parks, and other county government facilities continues as part of our strategic disaster recovery plan and expansion of our civic broadband initiatives. This will eventually offer the public added flexibility to access certain applications from multiple locations and not necessarily require driving to the courthouse or that they own a computer in their home.

We have established High Availability Internet Access for all Tulsa County users by adding two secondary backup paths to our existing high speed path to the Internet. Tulsa County is working with the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, Cox Communications, and Cherokee Connex to provide reliable broadband to all Tulsa County users. Additionally, we are creating a multi-homed inbound Internet presence that will allow uninterrupted Access to the Tulsa County websites, Electronic Filing System, VINES, Land Records and other critical services we supply to the public.

Tulsa County is also improving the network access by moving remote site facilities off dial-up connections to a DSL or Cable Internet connections. Facilities like the Bixby and Glenpool/Jenks Community Centers, The Juvenile Justice Center, and Family Safety Center are connected to the Tulsa County network via broadband access. These facilities are able to provide quality service and safety to the residents of Tulsa County via Secure VPN connectivity to the Tulsa County network and allow them to access the critical information needed to support constituents in a timely manner.

Document Imaging / Records Preservation
2004 marked the beginning of a multi-year, comprehensive effort to improve business workflows throughout Tulsa County and systematically implement online storage and retrieval of scanned documents. The resulting pilot project provided specific projects that reflected recurring types of needs found throughout Tulsa County. Since that time, the invoice automation of the Vision 2025 project has proven a great success. Personnel’s ability to track employee files will reduce photocopies and insure that everyone’s records are complete. Pending enhancements to this system will address part of the protest process through the County Assessor, County Treasurer, and County Clerk’s Offices as well as streamline records when making a payment to the Treasurer by check. Additional departments will be included as determined through a cost/benefit assessment and as budgeted funding becomes available.

Geographic Information System (GIS)
Floodplain maps were added to the Tulsa County website in 2009 for the benefit of the public. Tulsa County’s GIS continues to evolve while extending its’ growth internally among multiple departments within the county as well as sharing information securely with other outside agencies through the Internet. The increasing use of GIS among interagency relationships is an important goal of GIS and marks a natural evolution of collected data.

The Department of Information Technology is committed to increasing the use of GIS across the county; the number of applications using GIS; the production of mapping products from digital data; the amounts of GIS data available to county staff as well as to outside agencies; and expanding access of non-sensitive data to the public via the Internet where security is a non-issue.

We are in the process of initiating more interaction with county agencies to foster their development of GIS capabilities and integration into their business processes focusing initially on Engineering, Inspections, INCOG, and Assessor needs. The challenge now is to foster, broaden and integrate that growth with management involvement and support.

Additionally, there will continue to be emphasis on data quality, system reliability and connectivity as well as implementation of new GIS applications. These aspects are crucial to implementing GIS as a data utility across the county so that users at any county location can access their systems and have all the information readily available.

Informational Convergence (IC)
Technology has been implemented that modifies existing county systems to permit a merger of data sets among multiple platforms into one combined application for easing workflow in evolving environments. Specifically, a middleware solution has been implemented that enables populating and retrieving data from our mainframe, SQL, and .NET applications into one interface viewable through a local browser and providing secure data across the Internet.

This initiative ties directly with the ‘best fit’ approach to application development. Rather than require all systems to reside on the mainframe or strictly become client/server. Each need can be reviewed against existing systems and determine where the application belongs based on cost and benefit analysis.

Using this technology, data elements are combined among various systems but remain transparent to the user. For example, mainframe data continues to be entered and populated as before, but through a new screen using a browser friendly GUI interface that incorporates and updates information from an Excel spreadsheet or display a related photo or scanned image from a SQL database.

Results have provided a cohesive and flexible environment that takes advantage of economies of scale. Systems provide the exact information and fields required for those functions with fewer steps by the employee and realize overall increases in productivity.