We’ve been talking about the concept of “partnership” a lot at Thomson Reuters lately. I was at a recent conference built around the notion that in order to confront the issues we face as a society, public and private organizations must be able to work together.
Granted, much of what we discussed at the conference was related to “big picture” issues – global finance, international drug trade, etc. But a comment from one panelist stood out to me, and I paraphrase: in order to confront these bigger issues, our state and local governments must be able to effectively meet the daily challenges of the community.
To put another layer of difficulty onto this, I’ll add that our state and local governments must do this while acting as responsible stewards of tax dollars. Simple enough, right?
The fact is that we see amazing examples from individuals and jurisdictions all the time that utilize unique, and sometimes ingenious methods, to better serve their communities. Creating a forum where these stories can be shared and affect change elsewhere – that’s the core of the SYNERGY Aumentum User Groups Conference.
Take the case of our 2015 Public Sector Champion Award winner for Jurisdiction of the Year. Okanogan County, Washington suffered the largest wildfire in state history in 2014, damaging 4,800 parcels of real estate and destroying approximately 300 buildings.
County officials were able to act quickly, developing an initial damage assessment spreadsheet so those who lost everything could be served sooner. A process was also developed to adjust land value, processing 3,800 tax roll corrections within months of the blaze, thereby ensuring that impacted citizens wouldn’t have to pay for anything they might’ve lost in the fire.
Recovering from a disaster of that magnitude is challenging enough in its own right, but to do so quickly and efficiently while maintaining “business as usual” is a feat.
Other agencies at the SYNERGY conference spoke about how their use of Thomson Reuters CLEAR investigative resource helped them recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in homestead exemption fraud.
To put it plainly, counties work hard to serve the public, who in turn expect these services to be there when they need them. In most cases, the public only becomes concerned when public services fail to meet their expectations. We help our government partners prevent that from happening with tools like Aumentum, CLEAR and our other Government solutions, delivering efficient and accurate information when they need it most.
At Thomson Reuters, we’re grateful to play a small role in helping our public sector partners at all levels of government meet their mission objectives. From the courts, to law enforcement, to human and social services, to effective tax administration, we help our customers find answers, the answers they need to ensure the continued safety, security, and prosperity of their hometowns across America.
This post was written by Rob Russell, senior director of Government-Federal for Thomson Reuters.