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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Technology and government efficiency

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nebraskans deserve a government that utilizes technology to better serve the people. As an elected official, I have always looked for ways to save money and to accomplish more with less. I firmly believe that use of technology goes hand-in-hand with government efficiency.

My office has made the transition to a vendor payment system using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. We have partnered with Nebraska Information Systems, and Nebraska Administrative Services to increase the use of electronic payments made to state vendors. This has made our office significantly more efficient and cost effective. We have found we save close to $0.55 per payout since switching to this electronic method.

Our State Disbursement Unit, which handles State Child Support, now emails billing statements to non-custodial parents. Sending statements electronically is not only more convenient, but also highly efficient. Last year, nearly 63% of all Child Support payments in the state were made electronically. This puts Nebraska's electronic Child Support collection numbers in the country's Top 5. We also find ourselves in the nation's Top Five for electronic Child Support Disbursement. In 2009, we distributed over $270 million in Child Support throughout the state. A remarkable 95.43% of that disbursement was done electronically.

Our Unclaimed Property Division has gone to great lengths to return property to its rightful owners. We utilize skip tracers to find owners of Unclaimed Property. This is the same locating technology used by debt collectors to find the names and addresses of debtors, but our office is using it for virtually the opposite purpose. Here, skip tracers are used to find individuals who have ownership of lost or abandoned money, stocks, bonds, vendor payments, gift certificates or any other assets of value, and to ensure that those individuals receive what they are owed.

The Unclaimed Property Division also uses genealogical research to locate family members or ancestors of those with Unclaimed Property. We have an active Ancestry.com account to find valid census information, and can accurately search for owners of Unclaimed Property by name, address, and social security number.

Utilizing modern technologies has allowed us to streamline and increase efficiently. We have set records by returning more than $45 million in Unclaimed Property; established the most efficient Child Support Disbursement Unit in the Country, and our Treasury Management Division won the 2008 Marquis Award. It is through thoughtful efficiency that we have been capable of such accomplishments. I am proud and grateful to my motivated and proficient staff for all their dedication to a more accountable and efficient state government.

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