The Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department has been recognized with a second 2021 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
NACo recognized “COVID-19: Hitched with Virtual Wedding Services” in the award category of Information Technology. Dedicated to offering as many safe options as possible, Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen began offering virtual marriage services following Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order allowing marriage services through videoconference. The creative joining of the department’s existing technological resources and online services allowed it to construct a process that was operationally effective, cost effective, and simple. More importantly, this creative use of technology allowed high risk individuals, first responders, and many others who were unable to visit the department’s offices in-person to access essential government services.
“This is amazing,” Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen said. “We have worked so hard this past year and being awarded two awards in the same year validates our efforts. The virtual marriages program was very important to us because we were able to serve Orange County’s most vulnerable persons from the safety of their own home without risking anyone’s health. Marriage services are crucial, and I’m happy that we could offer a safe service option for all residents during the pandemic.”
NACo President Gary Moore said, “Over the past year, county officials and frontline employees have demonstrated bold, inspirational leadership. This year’s Achievement Award winning programs illustrate the innovative ways counties build healthy, safe and vibrant communities across America.”
Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.
Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.