Secretary of State touts service record

Published 11:21 pm Thursday, December 18, 2008

By Staff
LANSING – Building on five years of achievement for the people of Michigan, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and her team delivered more quality results in 2008, introducing many new and improved services while meeting budgetary restrictions and other challenges.
Land continued the department's success in providing a high level of customer service by remaining true to principles that have been the foundation of her administration: using technology and innovation to operate more efficiently, demonstrating fiscal responsibility, entering into partnerships and seeking feedback from others.
"At the Department of State, we provide government that is truly for the people," Land said Wednesday. "Taxpayers deserve efficiency, good decisions and results. I'm pleased with what we have accomplished this year and enthusiastic about further progress we'll be making on behalf of our customers in 2009."
Streamlining the branch office system by opening more regional PLUS offices, taking the lead on transparency in government by posting department spending online and successfully administering a presidential election with record turnout are just some of this year's achievements by Land and her team.
Highlights of the department's 2008 accomplishments include:
Providing excellent
customer service
Consolidating six traditional branch offices into the department's 30th, 31st and 32nd regional PLUS offices that offer customers expanded hours and enhanced services.
Giving customers the option of paying fees at the counter with a MasterCard credit or debit card at all SUPER!Centers and PLUS offices, thanks to a change in MasterCard policy that allowed the department to charge a nominal fee to cover card costs.
Becoming the first department of motor vehicles in the nation to offer video interpreter services to customers who use sign language – a new pilot program in 10 branch offices.
Leading the way
on fiscal responsibility
Encouraging transparency in government by posting the department's fiscal year 2007 spending information online – the most detailed of any state agency – and updating it quarterly.
Instituting "just in time" delivery of envelopes and forms and consolidating stored materials in one warehouse, allowing the closure of a second warehouse, saving $40,000 a year.
Making the most
of technology
Recording more than 1 million online vehicle and watercraft registration renewals in a year for the first time. On average, transactions handled over the Internet can be processed at half the cost of doing so at a branch office counter.
Increasing the number of Self-Service Stations available and introducing the next generation model, which has a sleek design that makes placement easier and more economical. The machines, which allow customers to instantly renew their registration and receive new license plate tabs, recorded 170,170 transactions in fiscal year 2008 – more than double that of the previous year.
Reaching new heights
in elections
Administering November's presidential election, which featured a record 7.47 million registered voters and record turnout of more than 5 million voters.
Employing innovative technological tools to strengthen Michigan's elections system, including an electronic poll book pilot program that allows for paperless check-in at the polls and an interactive ballot voters can view on the Internet before they vote.