Clerk's Land Records System Wins a 2010 NACo Achievement Award
June 15, 2010
The Office of the Westchester County Clerk’s new land records system was recently named a winner of a coveted 2010 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The Clerk’s Property Records Electronic Portal (PREP) System was recognized by NACo as an example of promoting “quality, efficient, and responsive management and administration.” Launched on January 1st of this year, PREP helps users create tax forms and cover pages for documents, such as deeds and mortgages, which are submitted to the county clerk’s office for recording. The system will save $700,000 a year in personnel costs for the county.
Upon being notified of the award, Westchester County Clerk Timothy Idoni remarked, “Receiving this award is the culmination of a process that began four years ago. I came into office and immediately saw that we needed to do more to improve services and increase staff productivity.” PREP is just one of a number of technology projects his office has rolled out which have saved tax dollars, increased intergovernmental efficiencies and moved the clerk’s office firmly into the 21st century.
For 41 years NACo has given Achievement Awards to county governments which develop innovative and efficient systems of government that benefit the people they serve. “In this day and age, doing more with less is no longer an option. Rather, it is a mandate for each of us in public service to provide responsible government,” stated County Clerk Idoni. “By making government easier in the way documents are submitted to our office, we have saved hundreds of hours of staff time each month and hundreds of thousands of dollars annually,” concluded Idoni.
The success of PREP in Westchester, only the second government (New York City) in the state to develop a mandatory web-based system, was also made possible by Idoni and his staff working with the county’s Office of Technology to create and implement the system. In addition, valuable feedback was received from a pilot program launched last fall that provided hundreds of users including land title companies, assessors and real estate attorneys, with free on-site and offsite trainings on the system and follow-up support.
The County Clerk’s office has several new technology projects onboard for the coming months that will further improve efficiency and service. In addition, Idoni is seeking the passage of eRecording of land records legislation recently introduced by Governor Paterson. The legislation is supported by the New York State Association of County Clerk’s eRecording Committee, of which Idoni is co-chair.