BOE Wins “Best of California 2013” Technology Award

Sacramento – The Board of Equalization earned a 2013 Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations Project Excellence Award from the Center for Digital Government for its role in creating a less costly, more efficient debt-collection program – the Financial Institution Record Match Project. The FIRM project is a collaborative effort between the Board of Equalization, Franchise Tax Board, and Employment Development Department to streamline collection of tax and non-tax debt. FIRM is administered by FTB.

“This cooperative program shows that we can improve our practices through innovative information technology,” said BOE Executive Director Cynthia Bridges. “Greater state government effectiveness, with fewer demands on the private sector is a win-win.”

FIRM provides a joint-agency master record file of delinquent account information to various banking institutions on behalf of BOE, FTB, and EDD. These institutions then review the data to identify matches to their account holders. By submitting one data file with information from all three agencies, FIRM speeds up collection efforts, reducing state government and private sector costs.

The Best of California Awards program was established by the Center for Digital Government to recognize California state and local government and education organizations for their dedication, hard work, and contributions in information technology. The Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations Project Excellence Award recognizes special efforts to facilitate inter-organizational technology projects, governance initiatives, or data-share or data integration initiatives that lead to greater cooperation among organizations, government agencies or business units or demonstrated cross-governmental efforts that have resulted in an integrated solution to public service.

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The five-member California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is a publicly elected tax board. The BOE collects more than $53.7 billion annually in taxes and fees supporting state and local government services. It hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit