Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Partnering to Bridge the Digital Divide

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Partnering to Bridge the Digital Divide

Article excerpt

Oklahoma can be proud of its county clerks who are working together to modernize their public offices, while saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

I am talking about the Oklahoma County Clerks' Software Sharing Project begun in 1999 as a partnership between myself and Mark Mishoe, the Canadian County Clerk. Originally we thought we needed to band together to avoid any Y2K calamities, but soon realized this teamwork could revolutionize Oklahoma's county filing offices -- real estate/registrar of deeds and Uniform Commercial Code filing offices. We have worked hard to share public resources between entities and are excited by the growing participation, as many of Oklahoma's smaller counties look to participate.

Currently, Oklahoma County, Canadian County, Comanche County and Washington County have integrated this $1 million system in their county clerk offices and are reaping the rewards -- greater public access, minimized development costs, enhanced system functions, Internet access for the public, modern filing systems that offer `paperless' systems, disaster recovery and reliable archival methods.

As you read this article, members from Oklahoma's Software Sharing Project will be in Philadelphia at the National Association of Counties' Annual Meeting as a chosen workshop presentation highlighting ways to partner with modern technology and save millions in taxpayer dollars. We are very proud of receiving this national recognition and I am hopeful that Oklahoma is proud of the cooperative work between its public officials that are breaking new ground for this state and across America.

In 1998, Oklahoma County spent nearly $1 million developing an imaging system to modernize its public filing offices. The Oklahoma County Electronic Document Management System allows our county to image, index, store and retrieve virtually any document involved in a legal transaction. This custom-developed computer application is used primarily in the county clerk's office and consists of seven separate, but integrated applications -- two point of sale applications, two scanning and data entry applications, two administration tools and one public access tool.

This system has allowed Oklahoma County to modernize its filing offices while reducing costs in operation and storage. The Oklahoma County clerk's filing offices are now "paperless" and provide greater access to the public documents via this Web-based system, while saving thousands of dollars each year for the taxpayer.

Since its inception, the Oklahoma County's Software Sharing Project has been breaking new ground in Oklahoma. …

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