Wednesday, September 03, 2014




Change to digital filing to save money, go green

By BY ROBERT S. CORTEZ
Aug. 30, 2013 at 8:30 a.m.

Robert S. Cortez

Since taking office in January 2011, I have been collaborating with various internal and external stakeholders exploring areas in which services at the county clerk's office can be improved. Within two months, I began working closely with staff, collecting data and completing a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis. With the aid of this management tool, I identified areas that needed immediate attention such as upgrading technology, staffing, case load management, workplace improvements, processes and procedures, updates of policies and many more. I have implemented changes in the areas within my control to turn the operation around to improve the quality of services, increase customer service and enhance employee satisfaction and commitment.

On July 30, Victoria County will begin to accept documents dealing with real estate purchases, mainly deeds, deeds of trusts, mortgage documents and other documents commonly associated with closing transactions. The new eRecording service is one of a three-part upgrade of the Government Records Management System (GRM) used by the county clerk's office. The complete GRM software package will provide for eRecording, Internet public access with eCommerce and a feature for automated redaction.

The technological enhancements in the county clerk's office are an investment that will help it do its part to go green by significantly reducing the use of paper for the county. Partnering with submitters of electronic documents in the state of Texas and around the country is a win-win situation for the county and for real estate professionals consisting of lenders, mortgage bankers, law firms and title companies.

It has been my strategic plan to bring state-of-the-art technology to the county clerk's office and to find innovative ways to perform the mission of the office in the most efficient and cost effective methods. The eRecording system will be beneficial in various fronts for both the county and document submitters. The county clerk's staff will be able to process work more expeditiously, increase revenues, increase reliability, increase customer service and, equally as important, it is good for the environment. For the submitter partners, it promises to have a faster and timely recording of documents, reduces fraud potential, saves significant costs in postage and courier services and resolves the rush to the courthouse at the end of the month. Last but not least, the public will be better served with the reassurance their records will be kept safe and processed without delay.

I take pride in the position that's been entrusted to me. Hence, I take these great responsibilities to heart when it comes to carrying out core values I have established for the office of accountability, caring and excellence. I see it as an essential part of my job to make a difference and to create an environment where a group of people can accomplish the mission of the office with the least amount of human resources and finances and the least amount of dissatisfaction.

Robert S. Cortez is the Victoria County Clerk. Readers can contact Contez with questions or comments by calling 361-575-1478 or by email at rcortez@vctx.org.

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