Thursday, July 30, 2009

County Receives National Recognition for Records Project

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  

July 29, 2009                                                                   CONTACT:        Marcia Ventura (562) 462-2726 or                                                                                                                                                Eileen Shea      (562) 462-2648




Los Angeles County’s new “LA Vitals System” received national recognition from the National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks (NACRC) at its Annual Conference in Nashville, TN, this past weekend.  On July 25, 2009, Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) Dean Logan addressed conference participants and accepted the “2009 Best Practices Award” for Los Angeles County’s submission “LA Vitals System: Enhancing Customer Service While Saving Taxpayer Dollars”.

The “Best Practices Award” is awarded by NACRC to programs that deal effectively with the ever-changing demands and challenges to modernize records and that meet new standards through innovative and cost-efficient solutions without raising taxes.  The new “LA Vitals System” is a modern integrated computer database system that has enhanced the County’s capacity to archive, search, and protect the County’s vital records (e.g. birth, death, and marriage records) and will now help to streamline operations that file approximately 265,000 vital records and issue an estimated 700,000 certified record copies annually.  “Our Department is committed to providing the most efficient and effective service possible, including design and implementation of new technology as a solution, to enable us to meet the growing and complex needs of our customers who are seeking accessible and timely vital records”, said Logan.  “The “LA Vitals System” and NACRC’s recognition is a great example of our commitment and success to that end,” added Logan. 

Under the previous vitals system, staff handled manual/paper-based customer requests, utilized stand alone cash registers, processed 2,000 paper applications daily, and used outdated mainframe technology.  Inefficiencies in cash control and document processing, along with the availability of newer and more technically proficient upgrades, made the Department’s 20 year-old vitals system obsolete with limited functionality.  Vital records that were stored on film or paper format could take as long as 3 weeks to process. 

The new automation and use of modern technology now allows a more streamlined vital records ordering and delivery process for both public and staff end users through a virtually paperless system.  The “LA Vitals System” greatly improved all areas of vital record processing from providing customer copies via the web, counter or mail, to storage and retrieval of the images through the online program, to the electronic cashiering interfaces and to detailed reporting.

More importantly, the “LA Vitals System” was developed in-house by the RR/CC and managed to achieve a cost avoidance of more than 10 million dollars, by doing so.  “As our economy continues to change it is imperative that we seek out cost-effective solutions that allow us to work smarter while utilizing every available resource to save money,” concluded Logan. 

Highlights of the “LA Vitals System”
·       Major Technology Upgrade
·       Developed and maintained with the Department;
1       Low cost development $400,000;
2       Ongoing maintenance savings as proprietary system; and
3       Increased capacity to audit and archive Birth, Death and Marriage records.

·       New Modules and Functionalities
·       Customer Kiosk allows for online requests;
1       Electronic applications and signatures;
2       Automated cashier/copy process;
3       Mail tracking enhancements; and
4       Web based index viewing for customers.

·       New Efficiencies
·       Greater control of money collected with database driven cashier interface, linked to Finance for easy reconciliation and collections;

1       Detailed tracking of all requests and storage of customer data and signatures;
2       Electronic routing of requests allowing for efficient use of staff time;
3       Use of the Internet or Kiosk-based application request modules rather than having to fill out lengthy paper applications; and

4       Implementation of Credit/Debit payment method.

For more information about Los Angeles County’s “LA Vitals System” download the presentation and awards submission online at and click on the “Publications” tab or click directly onto the following links to view or download the “LA Vitals System” presentation and awards submission:

Persons requiring multilingual assistance in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, or Vietnamese can call (800) 481-8683.

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