The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance's call center, responding with speed and efficiency to Hurricane Sandy, recently earned an award for helping New Yorkers recover from the devastating storm.
The New York State Office of Information Technology Services, in conjunction with the New York State Senate and the Center for Technology in Government presented the Empire 2.0 Showcase Agency of the Year Award to the Tax Department's Taxpayer Contact Center.
Normally, TCC marshals its leading-edge computer, software and Web technology to handle incoming calls related to tax administration or financial services. In short order, however, TCC shifted its resources and became the statewide point of contact for storm victims desperate for all types of emergency information.
TCC has staffed the Hurricane Sandy hotline (1-855-NYS-SANDY) 24 hours a day since the storm hit New York.
Callers are provided up-to-date information on power outages, home evacuation, road closures, vaccines and diseases, healthcare insurance providers, hotline contacts, pet safety, school closure, available shelters, and much more. The center coordinates its timely responses with the state Office of Emergency Management, the state Division of Homeland Security, the Governor's office, and other state agencies.
"The entire TCC team showed a compassionate, service-oriented attitude during this crisis," said Thomas H. Mattox, commissioner of Taxation and Finance. "In addition, the Call Center staff continues to put in long hours to ensure that storm victims are assisted any time of day or night. I commend the team for their hard work and applaud this recognition."
The award was presented at an annual event known as Capitol Camp, held this year at the Empire State Plaza. The event brings together government technology stakeholders from the public and private sectors to discuss how technology can foster a more transparent, efficient and participatory government for all New York state citizens.