Government Technology magazine recently announced its Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers – an annual award given to the country's top innovators, collaborators and transformers who improve state and local government through technology. One of the recipients, City of Portland Chief Technology Officer Jeff Baer, says his entire team deserves the recognition.
The year 2020 will be remembered for many things. But ask any employee of Portland's Bureau of Technology Services team, and they'll most likely say that 2020 is the year they created infrastructure that allowed 6,500 government employees to work remotely in a matter of weeks – during a global pandemic. These changes would normally take years to complete.
Last year alone the Bureau of Technology Services issued more than 1,300 laptops and over 2,300 tokens that allow employees to securely access the City's network from a remote location. The team also worked expediently to increase the City's fiber network capacity to withstand a nearly eight-fold increase in virtual private network traffic.
In addition, technology services completed the transition to a new, more user-friendly website with increased search functionality and accessibility features. This past year technology services also partnered with the Bureau of Development Services to release a new online permitting system: Development Hub PDX. And finally, Portlanders' arts tax can now be integrated with other taxes by using Portland Revenue Online.
Chief Administrative Officer Tom Rinehart, who oversees the Bureau of Technology Services, said he is proud of Baer and his team. "The amount they've accomplished is impressive for any given year," Rinehart said. "But to succeed to this extent during a global pandemic demonstrates the hard work and commitment of the entire team. I am proud to say these technology advancements will help us serve our community well for years to come."