The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is rolling out a commuter program to deliver transportation savings to employees. Through a partnership with WageWorks, Inc., headquartered in San Mateo, CA, the USPS will offer the program to more than 700,000 career employees across the country.
Thanks to the WageWorks Commuter Program, employees can use pre-tax dollars to pay for public transportation, parking, and vanpool expenses, realizing a savings of up to 40 percent.
The program also offers a fast and convenient way to order transit passes. Employees can place orders online or by telephone, and then
receive the passes mailed to their homes. The process eliminates the need for employees to visit specific locations or wait in line to purchase transportation tickets.
“One of the strategies of our Transformation Plan is to build a highly effective and motivated workforce,” reports DeWitt Harris, USPS Vice President of Employee Resource Management. “The Commuter Program will help retain employees who have been considering other agencies because they offer incentives for using public transportation, and it also will appeal to potential candidates when they compare the Postal Services with other public and private-sector organizations.”
An interagency agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation helped the USPS provide the program to employees.
At the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, a content management solution will expedite access to park records.
City officials selected an image management system developed by Stellent, Inc., Eden Prairie, MN, to digitize and organize an extensive Park Property File, which contains records for approximately 1,900 parks of all types and sizes.
The system will enable the department to scan a variety of records, including property descriptions, maps, copies of park laws and resolutions, and acquisition documents, into a single, Web-based repository. By using a Web browser, the records can then be readily and conveniently accessed by park staff, other government agencies, or the public.
To ease data retrieval, the image management system will also allow the parks department to index rec-ords by park name, property number, block and lot identifier, document type, and other variables.
The City of Vancouver, WA, has approved a $1.5 million contract to implement utility billing software developed by Hansen Information Technologies, Sacramento, CA.
Implemented software will help city workers enhance the servicing of an estimated 160,000 sewer, water, and drainage billing accounts. For employees, the software will provide online work queues that streamline business processes and eliminate cumbersome, paper-intensive processes.
Customer benefits include online access to accounts; the ability to pay utility bills electronically; and a reduction in handling time for requests placed to the utility department’s call center.
The project was initiated through an extensive Request for Proposal (RFP) process, by which the City of Vancouver sought to replace its outdated legacy Customer Information System with integrated software.
In the State of Maine, a state-of-the-art voter registration system will be implemented by the end of this year. To spearhead the upgrade, Maine’s Secretary of State’s Office awarded a $4.5 million contract to Covansys Corp., Farmington Hills, MI. The company will work with various subcontractors to integrate election management software with database capabilities.
State officials can use the new system to generate voter lists, capture voter history information, detect duplicate registrations, manage petitions, provide digitized signature support and scanning of voter registration cards, and much more.
In addition, the system will enable officials to share voter registration data with municipalities, as well as promote information sharing among other state agencies (such as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles).
For voters, the system will increase customer service by standard-
izing and centralizing the registration process; ensuring accurate and consistent registration practices throughout the state; and streamlining procedures for absentee ballots.
“This voter registration system will enhance the integrity of Maine’s electoral process by improving the quality of Maine’s voter registration list, introducing an efficient and uniform voter registration process, and helping election administrators safeguard voters’ rights,” says Matthew Dunlap, Maine’s Secretary of State.
Of key importance, the technology will help Maine’s 503 municipalities meet mandates set forth by the Help America Vote Act. The legislation requires that all states have a centralized and interactive statewide voter registration system that will be defined, maintained, and administered at the state level by January 2006.
Two transit authorities recently ordered vehicles made by Optima Bus Corp., Wichita, KS. The Des Moines (IA) Metropolitan Transit Authority ordered six, low-floor Opus buses to supplement its fleet.
The Transit Authority of River City, in Louisville, KY, enhanced its trolley fleet with five, new American Heritage streetcars to handle increased passenger volume.
A Federal Supply Schedule contract for canine detection services was recently awarded by the U.S. General Services Administration to American Detection Technologies, Inc., based in New York City.
To enhance homeland security, the company uses specially trained dogs, handlers, and ION scanners to pinpoint explosives or narcotics in areas ranging from ports to public buildings. The company also develops response plans for handling positive identification of contraband.