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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 FY22 Operating Budget for the Office of Public Information is $5,956,194, an increase of $491,426 or 8.99 percent from the FY21 Approved Budget of $5,464,768. Personnel Costs comprise 92.22 percent of the budget for 71 full-time position(s) and one part-time position(s), and a total of 53.70 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 7.78 percent of the FY22 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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Program 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 FY21 estimates reflect funding based on the FY21 approved budget. The FY22 and FY23 figures are performance targets based on the FY22 approved budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY23.

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Initiatives

  • Progression of MC311's customer-centric business approach for improving service delivery. Plans focus on deepening the collaboration with multiple business units within the departments of Permitting Services, Health and Human Services, Finance, and Human Resources to: reduce call handling complexities by streamlining the database of information about County services (Knowledge Based Articles - KBA - reduction); eliminate internal call transfers within MC311 and non-value additional contacts with the customer (abolish Tier II's and transfers to Department voicemail); change Department websites to be more self-service oriented (IT involvement); and increase CSR's ability to recognize calls that need to be answered by departmental experts (training). Measurable Goal: 20% reduction in call handling time for these departments.




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Innovations and Productivity Improvements

  • MC311 moved all business functions and approximately 50 employees to 100% telework status on March 17, 2020. This seamless transition at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was only possible due to prior years of emergency preparedness planning and simulations that mirrored public safety agency readiness/contingency planning. This process included redesigning the Customer Service Representative (CSR) training program and implementing new technologies.

  • In early 2021, MC311 implemented early in 2021 a phone-based messaging option that informs callers inquiring about Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) information about online resources. This self-service feature on MC311's welcome message diverted more than 750 calls from the queue during the first month.

  • MC311 early in 2021 implemented an online chatbot pilot to answer the top 24 services requested at MC311.com. This feature will soon be multi-lingual. Usage is starting at roughly 50 interactions a week, and this number is expected to increase.

  • Service requests handled via MC311.com increased 22% per month so far in FY21 (from 7,600 to 9,250) and an upward trend is expected to continue.
  • FY22 Recommended Budget provides for one new Merit Full-Time Customer Service Representative I (Grade 13) position; and funding for temporary contractors for six months. MC311 Management plans to hire multi-lingual candidates with an emphasis on Spanish speaking call takers. These personnel hours are expected to decrease the average call wait time, increase the number of answered calls, and decrease the call abandonment rate.

Program Descriptions

  Public Relations

Under this program, the Public Information Office: 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 have accurate...

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  Web Content and Graphic Management

The Web Content and Graphic Development Program has four major functions. 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...

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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 a higher...

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Budget Trends
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Program Contacts

Contact Ohene Gyapong of the Office of Public Information at 240.777.6537 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
FY20
Budget
FY21
Estimate
FY21
Approved
FY22
%Chg
Bud/App
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
EXPENDITURES
Salaries and Wages4109340.003994815.00 4087853.00 4178667.004.6
Employee Benefits1348618.001276402.00 1284405.00 1314375.003.0
County General Fund Personnel Costs5457958.005271217.00 5372258.00 5493042.004.2
Operating Expenses184474.00193551.00 910008.00 463152.00139.3
County General Fund Expenditures5642432.005464768.00 6282266.00 5956194.009.0
PERSONNEL
Full-Time70.0070.00 70.00 71.001.4
Part-Time1.001.00 1.00 1.000.0
FTEs52.6052.70 52.70 53.701.9
County General Fund Revenues0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
FY22 Approved Changes
TitleExpendituresFTEs
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
FY21 ORIGINAL APPROPRIATION546476852.70
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: Customer Service Representative and Funding for Temporary Staff for Six Months [MC311 Customer Service Center]3414311.00
Increase Cost: FY21 Compensation Adjustment1346620.00
Increase Cost: Mid-Year Action - Create Manager II Term Position [Public Relations]659381.00
Increase Cost: FY22 Compensation Adjustment587670.00
Increase Cost: Retirement Adjustment49680.00
Technical Adj: Workforce Adjustment [Public Relations]0-1.00
Decrease Cost: Motor Pool Adjustment [Public Relations]-150.00
Decrease Cost: Print and Mail Adjustment [Public Relations]-480.00
Decrease Cost: Annualization of FY21 Personnel Costs-1142770.00
FY22 APPROVED595619453.70
Program Summary
Program NameFY21 APPR
Expenditures
FY21 APPR
FTEs
FY22 APPR
Expenditures
FY22 APPR
FTEs
MC311 Customer Service Center409580242.95432207843.95
Public Relations12073838.7514725398.75
Web Content and Graphic Management1615831.001615771.00
Total546476852.70595619453.70
Charges to Other Departments
Charged DepartmentCharged FundFY21
Total$
FY21
FTES
FY22
Total$
FY22
FTES
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
Cable Television Communications PlanCable TV8321286.507987446.50
Permitting ServicesPermitting Services2728322.902755582.90
Housing and Community AffairsMontgomery Housing Initiative692620.90694080.90
Health and Human ServicesGeneral Fund1456111.501446131.50
Human ResourcesEmployee Health Self Insurance00.0000.00
Recycling and Resource ManagementSolid Waste Disposal4120484.754152894.75
Recycling and Resource ManagementSolid Waste Collection1068831.251075521.25
Total183876417.80181116417.80
Funding Parameter Items ($000s)
TitleFY22FY23FY24FY25FY26FY27
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
EXPENDITURES
FY22 Approved5956.0000005956.0000005956.0000005956.0000005956.0000005956.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Elimination of One-Time Items Approved in FY220.000000-270.000000-270.000000-270.000000-270.000000-270.000000
Items recommended for one-time funding in FY22, including funding for 10 temporary staff for six months and operating expenses for one new staff, will be eliminated from the base in the outyears.
Labor Contracts0.000000112.000000112.000000112.000000112.000000112.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures5956.0000005798.0000005798.0000005798.0000005798.0000005798.000000