Mayor Don Wesely said today that Lincoln citizens will be better served as the result of a partnership between the City of Lincoln and the J.D. Edwards Honors Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Over the past two semesters, a UNL student team has developed ServiceLinc, a prototype computer system to track and respond to the concerns of constituents.
“As the City grows, the number of citizens who have questions and concerns about City government grows too,” said Mayor Wesely. “I created the position of City Ombudsman in July 1999 to open up City government. This new computer tool will further increase the responsiveness of local government to the citizens.”
City Ombudsman Lin Quenzer, who will administer ServiceLinc, said her office handles 100 to 145 cases a week. ServiceLinc will help to maintain constituent contact information, will allow concerns to be prioritized and will aid in following up on concerns. For those issues that involve more than one City department, ServiceLinc will centralize the effort, reduce duplication and increase efficiency. The Ombudsman will be better able to review the history of cases and resolve citizen issues.
“With this system, we will be able to generate statistics that will tell us the greatest areas of concern,” said Wesely. “That information is very valuable as City leaders look toward making policy and budget decisions. The students who worked on this project can take pride in the fact that their work will directly benefit the citizens of this community.”
Members of the J.D. Edwards Honors Program student design team were Anees Dhala, Jon Kokulil, Alan Grow, Matt Heller, Scott Krull, Christy Linnell, Stephanie Mahlin, Daniel Mason-D’Croz and Tom Rice. Faculty and staff involved were Steve Forget, Suzette Person, Dr. Scott Swenseth and Dr. Scott Henninger.
The Information Services Division of the Finance Department assisted in development of ServiceLinc. The initial group of departments using the prototype are the City Attorney’s Office; Building and Safety; Public Works and Utilities; and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. All City departments and divisions will eventually be involved, and the system may be made commercially available to other local governments.