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Mission Statement

The mission of the Office of Public Information (PIO) is to provide timely, accurate, and effective communication with the public, the County Executive, departments and agencies, media, County employees, the County Council and other elected officials, businesses, civic groups, and every other segment of the Montgomery County community through the mass media, social media and Internet, presentations, publications and graphics, cable television programming, and telephone and electronic requests for information and assistance via the MC311 Customer Service Center.

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Budget Overview

The total recommended FY19 Operating Budget for the Office of Public Information is $5,361,431, an increase of $282,080 or 5.55 percent from the FY18 Approved Budget of $5,079,351. Personnel Costs comprise 93.79 percent of the budget for 64 full-time position(s) and one part-time position(s), and a total of 50.50 FTEs. Total FTEs may include seasonal or temporary positions and may also reflect workforce charged to or from other departments or funds. Operating Expenses account for the remaining 6.21 percent of the FY19 budget.

Linkage to County Result Areas

While this program area supports all eight of the County Result Areas, the following is emphasized:

  • A Responsive, Accountable County Government

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Department Performance Measures

Performance measures for this department are included below (where applicable), with multi-program measures displayed at the front of this section and program-specific measures shown with the relevant program. The FY18 estimates reflect funding based on the FY18 approved budget. The FY19 and FY20 figures are performance targets based on the FY19 recommended budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY20.

MeasureActual
FY16
Actual
FY17
Estimated
FY18
Target
FY19
Target
FY20
Internal County staff satisfaction with PIO services (scale of 1 [lowest] to 4 [highest])3.233.223.233.243.25

Accomplishments

  • Enhanced MC311's service capabilities by interacting directly with residents through community engagement team events held within the community. In addition to educating residents of the 311 business process through face-to-face interactions, MC311 team members are able to submit requests for service in real time by leveraging technical upgrades, using laptops and hot spots in the field. Residents visiting MC311 community engagement booth are provided the opportunity to submit service requests onsite or receive hands on instructions on navigating the MC311 Web Portal.

  • To assure readiness for winter and summer storms, MC311 Customer Service Representatives work from home on a regular basis to assure readiness in the case of a natural disaster or public safety event.

  • MC311 created over 4,400,000 requests for service since it's launch on June 17, 2010. Customer satisfaction overall remains high.

  • MC311 recently implemented Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking. Not only has SIP Trunking contributed to cost savings, it provides a much higher voice quality and allows MC311 to scale up quickly by adding additional phone lines easily, without incurring high costs. As a result, MC311 can better plan for spikes in call volumes for weather events such as snow storms, or incidents that require an immediate increase of lines to the call center.

  • Improvements were recently made to the MC311 home page by offering translations in seven different languages, to make the page more user-friendly.

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Initiatives

  • MC311's quality assurance manager increased the pool of respondents to the MC311 bi-annual customer satisfaction survey, by offering both English and Spanish language versions. Additionally, questions were presented in a multiple choice range format to provide for more honest and unambiguous responses, over other single answer type questions. This revised method ensures more accurate and targeted results to capture a broader sampling.

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Innovations and Productivity Improvements

  • MC311 is providing alternate ways of connecting with County Government programs and services. Service requests are received from customers via Twitter (@311MC311), Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM, and will soon begin to accept photos through that channel. Messages regarding County events, and promoting County services are pushed to a growing list of Twitter followers.

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Collaboration and Partnerships

Wheaton Redevelopment Project

The Office of Public Information has been working with other departments including Transportation, Finance, and Recreation to inform businesses in the area that they could be eligible for the County's Small Business Assistance program during the 3-year construction of the new 14-story County office building in Wheaton, which is part of the Wheaton Redevelopment Project begun in June 2017. PIO is undertaking a major, multi-faceted effort to keep residents updated on the project's progress and to make them aware that businesses are open during construction.

Partners

Department of Finance, Department of Recreation, Department of Transportation

 
Washington, DC Metro Area Regional 311 Group

MC311 initiated a Regional 311 Group that includes other call centers on the East Coast to share ideas and learn from each other in order to improve MC311 programs.

 
MC311 and County Stat Office: Collaboration for Improving Customer Service

The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) service continues to provide collaboration with CountyStat and County offices and departments to improve business operations and service delivery for customers. This ranges from regular review of service level agreement time frames; event updates and guidance and strategic planning. Examples include: the Department Health and Human Services working with MC311 regarding dissemination of information and operation of a Family Reunification Center (FRC), in the event a FRC is needed in the wake of an emergency or other catastrophic event. MC311 was instrumental in getting out information to the public regarding a property tax credit for seniors and military retirees who qualify for property tax credits promulgated under Bill 13-17E.

Partners

Office of the County Executive, Department of Finance, Department of Health and Human Services

 

Program Descriptions

  Web Content and Graphic Management

The four major functions of this program include: Providing creative and technical support to Public Relations, Cable Programming, MC311, and to departments. Developing and overseeing the County's graphic identity program to ensure consistency in the County's printed communication for the public. The program develops printing guidelines for...

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  Public Relations

Under this program, the Office of Public Information: Educates and informs residents about County issues, programs, and services through press releases, media advisories, news and public events, the County website, e-mail and online newsletters, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Works directly with media organizations to ensure that reporters and...

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  MC311 Customer Service Center

MC311 is a key strategic, enterprise-wide initiative that provides the public with a single three-digit number (311) to call for County information and service. In addition, it provides the County with a sophisticated ability to count, track, and respond to resident requests. MC311 provides the general public with...

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Budget Trends
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Program Contacts

Contact Leslie Hamm of the Office of Public Information at 240.773.3565 or Jane Mukira of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2754 for more information regarding this department's operating budget.

Related Links
Budget Summary
TitleActual
FY17
Budget
FY18
Estimate
FY18
Recommended
FY19
%Chg
Bud/Rec
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
EXPENDITURES
Salaries and Wages3117181.003203727.00 3484788.00 3805609.0018.8
Employee Benefits1028692.001034566.00 1139739.00 1222832.0018.2
County General Fund Personnel Costs4145873.004238293.00 4624527.00 5028441.0018.6
Operating Expenses1019622.00841058.00 364546.00 332990.00-60.4
County General Fund Expenditures5165495.005079351.00 4989073.00 5361431.005.6
PERSONNEL
Full-Time60.0063.00 63.00 64.001.6
Part-Time0.000.00 0.00 1.000.0
FTEs42.1044.90 44.90 50.5012.5
County General Fund Revenues0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
FY19 Recommended Changes
TitleExpendituresFTEs
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
FY18 ORIGINAL APPROPRIATION507935144.90
Changes (with service impacts)
Add: Part-Time Visual Information Specialist Position [Public Relations]507600.50
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Technical Adj: Shift funding from Operating Expenses to Personnel costs for Four Customers Services Representatives I Positions [MC311 Customer Service Center]2948044.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY18 Personnel Costs2905691.00
Increase Cost: FY19 Compensation Adjustment1180750.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY18 Lapsed Positions323840.00
Technical Adj: Adjust FTEs by .10 [MC311 Customer Service Center]66620.10
Increase Cost: Retirement Adjustment13940.00
Increase Cost: Printing and Mail4450.00
Decrease Cost: Motor Pool Adjustment-23260.00
Decrease Cost: Charges Back to OHR for Calls Taken [MC311 Customer Service Center]-45000.00
Decrease Cost: Reduction in Operating Expenses [Public Relations]-97870.00
Decrease Cost: Reductions in Operating Expenses [MC311 Customer Service Center]-2015960.00
Technical Adj: Shift funding from Operating Expenses to Personnel costs for Four Customers Services Representatives I Positions [MC311 Customer Service Center]-2948040.00
FY19 RECOMMENDED536143150.50
Program Summary
Program NameFY18 APPR
Expenditures
FY18 APPR
FTEs
FY19 REC
Expenditures
FY19 REC
FTEs
Web Content and Graphic Management1402501.001466871.00
Public Relations10442357.1513570478.65
MC311 Customer Service Center389486636.75385769740.85
Total507935144.90536143150.50
Charges to Other Departments
Charged DepartmentCharged FundFY18
Total$
FY18
FTES
FY19
Total$
FY19
FTES
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
Human ResourcesEmployee Health Self Insurance00.0045000.00
Health and Human ServicesGeneral Fund1539971.801420951.60
Permitting ServicesPermitting Services2332562.902450642.90
Housing and Community AffairsMontgomery Housing Initiative679260.90623040.90
Solid Waste ServicesSolid Waste Disposal3434804.653666934.75
Solid Waste ServicesSolid Waste Collection931651.25969681.25
Cable Television Communications PlanCable TV7717786.607993816.60
Total166360218.10171700518.00
Future Fiscal Impacts ($000s)
TitleFY19FY20FY21FY22FY23FY24
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
EXPENDITURES
FY19 Recommended5361.0000005361.0000005361.0000005361.0000005361.0000005361.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Labor Contracts0.00000069.00000069.00000069.00000069.00000069.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures5361.0000005430.0000005430.0000005430.0000005430.0000005430.000000