Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang and the Office of the Assessor have been named by the National Association of Counties (NACo) as the winners of two 2019 Achievement Awards for the development of cutting-edge information technology systems.
To enhance accuracy and efficiency, Assessor IT experts designed and developed the Mobile Assets Tracking System (MATS) and Train Tracks, with the latter being a collaborative effort between Assessor staff and students from the University of Southern California (USC).
“As a public agency, it is imperative that we continually identify potential efficiencies; but we must also ensure we maintain the expertise which is at the core of our mission to value property in a fair and accurate manner,” said Assessor Jeff Prang. “These awards highlight the ability of the dedicated, hard-working professionals of the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office to fulfill both goals.”
The deployment of MATS in spring 2018 has provided the Assessor’s Office with a real-time asset inventory mechanism, replacing a paper-based system that risked failing to capture equipment moves across numerous locations. It was developed in-house without assistance from external vendors and has produced significant time savings due to its user-friendly design, mobile capability, real-time reporting, and improved audit compliance.
As with MATS, Train Tracks was developed by the Assessor’s Office. It was first implemented as a pilot in February 2018 to track required education and training for licensed appraisers in order to ensure these experts retain their certification by the state. This continued education and training is particularly crucial in Los Angeles County, where the number and complexity of properties require that appraisers stay current on appraisal techniques and regulations. In addition to homes and businesses, the 2.57 million properties across the County comprise complex commercial properties and unique sites such as refineries, stadiums, and theme parks.
Train Tracks now includes over 630 appraisers and saves more than 1280 personnel hours, translating to an estimated $70,000 in annual cost savings. Furthermore, the system can be adapted for use by other county departments where professionals are required to undergo regular training to remain certified in their respective trades.
The NACo Achievement Awards are the latest in a series of recognitions of Assessor Prang’s success in the technological and administrative reforms of the nation’s largest local property assessment agency.