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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. PIO works with 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. PIO provides information through the mass media, social media, 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 approved FY20 Operating Budget for the Office of Public Information is $5,369,312, an increase of $7,881 or 0.15 percent from the FY19 Approved Budget of $5,361,431. Personnel Costs comprise 96.45 percent of the budget for 70 full-time position(s) and one part-time position(s), and a total of 52.60 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 3.55 percent of the FY20 budget.

County Priority Outcomes

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

  • Effective, Sustainable 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 FY19 estimates reflect funding based on the FY19 approved budget. The FY20 and FY21 figures are performance targets based on the FY20 approved budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY21.

MeasureActual
FY17
Actual
FY18
Estimated
FY19
Target
FY20
Target
FY21
Internal County staff satisfaction with PIO services (scale of 1 [lowest] to 4 [highest])3.233.223.253.253.25

Accomplishments

  • Increased direct communication with residents, businesses, and partner organizations through social media sites: YouTube; Facebook; and Twitter - expanded Twitter to more than 73,500 followers and expanded distribution lists for electronic publications such as "The Paperless Airplane" which now reaches more than 240,000 households. MC311 collaborates with the Public Information Office to respond to resident requests for services and information via phone, email, and social media.
  • The MC311 Customer Service Center has shown continued growth in online presence and on social media: 12.58 percent increase in web-based requests for service over FY17.

    Eight percent increase in social media requests for service (Twitter) over FY17.

  • The MC311 Customer Service Center implemented an enhanced protocol to address departmental needs for Siebel service request and dashboard management training. An online registration process through Siebel has streamlined the request and scheduling process for the three multi-skilled level classroom training sessions. Service requests can be submitted on line 24 hours a day/7 days a week using MC311's online web portal. The change has increased training attendance and improved responsiveness and tracking.

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Initiatives

  • The Public Information Office (PIO) installed digital displays in the Executive Office Building (EOB) cafeteria in addition to the EOB Lobby, Regional Service Centers, and the Takoma Park/East Silver Spring Center to provide information about County Government events, programs, and services. During FY20-FY22, PIO plans to install 145 more digital signage screens in 75 County facilities.

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Innovations and Productivity Improvements

  • The Public Information Office interacts with residents about County issues, programs, and services through press releases; media advisories, on line chats, town hall meetings, news and other public events, the County website, email and online newsletters, English and Spanish radio shows, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, Periscope, Twitter and Nextdoor. PIO's sustained interaction with residents, businesses, and other stakeholders through these vehicles helps ensure message proliferation and feedback, which factors into the improvement of future communication efforts.

  • MC311 has a robust "Work From Home" program for eligible customer service representatives. The program allows the call center to quickly activate during weather or public safety events to assure staff are available to handle incoming calls. In addition, it increases productivity and boosts employee morale. Customer Services Representatives are also able to create service requests remotely when they attend community events. It allows customers to create service requests on the spot.

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Collaboration and Partnerships

County's Small Business Assistance Program

The Public Information Office and the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee have been working with other departments including Transportation, Finance, Recreation, and the Mid-County Regional Services Office, to inform area businesses of eligibility for the County's Small Business Assistance program during the construction of the new 14-story County office building in Wheaton. PIO is undertaking a major, ongoing, multi-faceted effort to keep residents in the community updated on the project's progress, and to make them aware that businesses are open during construction.

Partners

Community Engagement Cluster, Department of Finance, Department of Recreation, Department of Transportation

 
Montgomery County Services

MC311's Community Engagement Team has partnered with multiple County departments to educate County residents of the wide range of services offered through Montgomery County Government. MC311 has implemented strategies to engage customers through face-to-face meetings, public forums, and social media. By utilizing partnerships with libraries, home owners associations, neighborhood associations, and other similiar entities, the Community Engagement Team has taken the "311 experience" to the community.

Partners

Community Engagement Cluster, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Public Libraries

 

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, public events, the County website, e-mail and online newsletters, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Works directly with media organizations to ensure that reporters and editors...

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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
FY18
Budget
FY19
Estimate
FY19
Approved
FY20
%Chg
Bud/App
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
EXPENDITURES
Salaries and Wages3466122.003805609.00 3803109.00 3881740.002.0
Employee Benefits1118274.001222832.00 1216778.00 1297218.006.1
County General Fund Personnel Costs4584396.005028441.00 5019887.00 5178958.003.0
Operating Expenses588739.00332990.00 260494.00 190354.00-42.8
County General Fund Expenditures5173135.005361431.00 5280381.00 5369312.000.1
PERSONNEL
Full-Time63.0068.00 68.00 70.002.9
Part-Time0.001.00 1.00 1.000.0
FTEs44.9050.50 50.50 52.604.2
County General Fund Revenues0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
FY20 Approved Changes
TitleExpendituresFTEs
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
FY19 ORIGINAL APPROPRIATION536143150.50
Changes (with service impacts)
Enhance: Shift funding from Operating Expenses to Personnel Costs in FY19, to support two Customer Service Representative I Positions [MC311 Customer Service Center]1433132.00
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: FY20 Compensation Adjustment1464330.00
Re-align: Increase due to reduction in chargeback to HHS (0.10 FTE) [MC311 Customer Service Center]121740.10
Increase Cost: Retirement Adjustment93910.00
Increase Cost: Motor Pool Adjustment6770.00
Re-align: Shift funding from Operating Expenses to Personnel Costs in FY19, to support two Customer Service Representative I Positions [MC311 Customer Service Center]-1433130.00
Decrease Cost: Annualization of FY19 Personnel Costs-1607940.00
FY20 APPROVED536931252.60
Program Summary
Program NameFY19 APPR
Expenditures
FY19 APPR
FTEs
FY20 APPR
Expenditures
FY20 APPR
FTEs
Web Content and Graphic Management1466871.001541991.00
Public Relations13570478.6514026428.65
MC311 Customer Service Center385769740.85381247142.95
Total536143150.50536931252.60
Charges to Other Departments
Charged DepartmentCharged FundFY19
Total$
FY19
FTES
FY20
Total$
FY20
FTES
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
Human ResourcesEmployee Health Self Insurance45000.0045000.00
Health and Human ServicesGeneral Fund1420951.601378241.50
Permitting ServicesPermitting Services2450642.902609992.90
Housing and Community AffairsMontgomery Housing Initiative623040.90660920.90
Solid Waste ServicesSolid Waste Disposal3666934.753845864.75
Solid Waste ServicesSolid Waste Collection969681.25989831.25
Cable Television Communications PlanCable TV7993816.608371726.60
Total171700518.00179015617.90
Future Fiscal Impacts ($000s)
TitleFY20FY21FY22FY23FY24FY25
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
EXPENDITURES
FY20 Approved5369.0000005369.0000005369.0000005369.0000005369.0000005369.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Labor Contracts0.00000071.00000071.00000071.00000071.00000071.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures5369.0000005440.0000005440.0000005440.0000005440.0000005440.000000