Since his election nearly six years ago, Missoula County Clerk and Treasurer Tyler Gernant has been on a mission to make government duties more efficient for his constituents and save county funds at the same time. The efforts have earned Gernant a prestigious 2020 Service to the Citizen: Champions of Change Award that honors public servants for their leadership and dedication to delivering an outstanding experience to the public.
“There are heroes across the government that work tirelessly to provide the best services possible under sometimes difficult rules, politics and circumstances,” according to organizers of the Service to the Citizen Award Program. “They deserve to be recognized.”
Missoula County has been working with digital government service provider Montana Interactive (MI) since 2011, but with Gernant at the helm of the office that manages departments including motor vehicles, taxes, real estate and vital statistics, the county has increased efficiency. In 2019, Gernant’s office worked with MI to launch several innovative solutions that allow citizens to receive bills via email or text message, pay for services online or via a mobile device, and avoid waiting in long lines by filling out online forms.
“Part of our office culture is to meet our customers where they are at,” Gernant said. “While we don’t always succeed, we appreciate getting some positive feedback that we are heading in the right direction. This award is a fantastic recognition for the folks who work in our office. We hope we can live up to its name and continue to serve the citizens of Missoula County by championing positive changes.”
In December, Missoula became the first county in Montana to offer an online motor vehicle titling service. Citizens fill out a form online using a platform called AccessGov. After receiving an invoice via email or text message through a service called Prompt Pay, citizens pay via credit or debit card, electronic check or PayPal, reducing the workload of county clerks. In the first three months, clerks have received more than 670 forms, and sent approximately 530 bills to citizens, processing nearly $200,000.
“I can literally create an invoice in 30 seconds, which means we can do it while on the phone with a customer,” said Gernant, adding that he is redesigning the office workflow to find other uses for the form platform and invoicing service. Non-technical county employees can build online forms using the AccessGov platform and bill citizens through the Prompt Pay service at no cost through MI’s unique flexible-funding model.
To view the ever-expanding Missoula County Clerk and Treasurer AccessGov portal, visit app.mt.gov/accessgov/missoula-clerk-treasurer. To learn more about the online titling program, visit missoula.co/titlebyemail.
Service to the Citizen winners will be recognized on April 28 in Washington, D.C. For more information about the event, visit servicetothecitizenawards.org. To see a complete list of the award winners, visit servicetothecitizenawards.org/2020-winners.
About Montana.Gov (Montana Interactive)
Helena-based Montana Interactive builds, operates and maintains the State of Montana’s digital government services that are available through the official website, www.mt.gov. MI also supports numerous county, city and university digital government services. MI is a wholly owned subsidiary of firm NIC.
NIC Inc. (Nasdaq: EGOV) launched the digital government industry in 1992, and continues to lead it, providing a secure payment engine and thousands of digital government solutions across a network of more than 6,000 federal, state, and local government agencies. In addition, NIC is a leading provider of outdoor recreation solutions, with 1 out of 6 hunting and fishing licenses in the United States sold using an NIC service. The company created the nation’s first personal assistant for government and comprehensive mobile platform, Gov2Go®, as well as the innovative, data-driven prescription drug monitoring platform, RxGov®. More information is available at www.egov.com.