San Diego Receives Statewide Award for Innovative Approaches to Government

California League Of Cities Selects San Diego As 2016 Helen Putnam Award Winner

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – In recognition of an effort that Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer launched during his first year in office to make city government more efficient and effective, the California League of Cities yesterday honored San Diego with its prestigious Helen Putnam Award for the outstanding efforts of the Performance and Analytics Department.

The league selected the City of San Diego as the winner of the Internal Administration category, making it one of 12 winners out of 137 submissions.

“We created this performance team not only to bring more accountability and openness to government, but to make sure these values are built into the City's daily operations,” Mayor Faulconer said. “We're changing the culture so employees are empowered to be creative and find new ways to provide the best service possible to our customers, the taxpayers. This statewide recognition is a testament to the fact that San Diego's Performance and Analytics team is making our City better equipped to keep our neighborhoods safe, repair streets and infrastructure, and provide easy access to services in person and online.”

The Performance and Analytics Department combines open data, performance management and other operational excellence initiatives under one roof with a broad, yet simple, mandate: to turn the buzzwords of transparency, efficiency and accountability into reality. San Diego’s City government is undergoing significant transformation in part due to the implementation of new and innovative programs initiated by this department.

Mayor Faulconer created the department in June 2014. Since then, the department has spearheaded efforts that include:

  • Finding efficiencies to shorten 9-1-1 call wait times;
  • Development and launch of a web app that details road repair work and condition assessments for San Diego’s entire street network;
  • Creation of an open data portal which includes a variety of datasets that were prioritized for posting in part by public input;
  • Administration of a resident satisfaction survey that engaged San Diegans to share feedback with how the City is doing in effectively serving and supporting our communities;
  • The “Get it Done” web and mobile app that provides San Diegans with an improved customer experience when requesting City services in the right-of-way;
  • Participation in a hackathon during which local hackers were provided data from the City and other stakeholders to develop means of implementing San Diego’s aggressive Climate Action Plan; and
  • Launch of a Performance Dashboard that includes information presented visually and as text on several core services including public safety response times and participation in park and recreation programming.

“We are thrilled to have the incredible efforts of the City recognized by the League of California Cities,” Chief Operating Officer Scott Chadwick said. “This was a true team effort, led by our brilliant and capable Performance and Analytics Department Director, Almis Udrys. His tenacity and approach to partnering with other departments led to wave after wave of accomplishments that the public will benefit from for years to come. The City has come a long way in a relatively short period of time due to the leadership of our Mayor and the dedication of all employees who work at the City. We are committed to making San Diego the best-managed and customer-friendly city in America and we are well on our way.”

Established in 1982, the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program recognizes outstanding cities that deliver the highest quality and level of service in the most effective manner possible. Particular attention and credit is given to applications specifically advancing the league’s strategic priorities, which are determined each year by the board of directors.

The award is given annually in 12 categories: CCS Partnership Intergovernmental Collaboration; Community Services and Economic Development; Economic Development Through the Arts; Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics, and Community Involvement; Health and Wellness Programs; Housing Programs and Innovations; Internal Administration; League Partners Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations; Planning and Environmental Quality; Public Safety; Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation; and the Ruth Vreeland Award for Engaging Youth in City Government.

The League of California Cities is a statewide association that advocates for cities with the state and federal governments and provides education and training services to elected and appointed city officials.

CONTACT: Jen Lebron at (619) 384-5289 or [email protected]