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Kitsap County Auditor * 619 Division St
Port Orchard WA 98366-4687
360-337-7129 * Fax: 360-337-4645










Kitsap County Auditor Walt Washington (D)


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Happy Holidays

2013 was the year of the ‘Kaizen’ in the Kitsap County Auditor’s Office. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Kaizen is a method of implementing continuous rapid improvements and eliminating waste.

To begin the year, each Division of the Auditor’s Office – Elections, Financial Services, Recording, and Licensing – underwent extensive Lean Six Sigma training. Lean Six Sigma is a process for waste reduction made famous by organizations such as Toyota and Virginia Mason Medical Center, and a key element of a Kaizen event.
Lean Six Sigma uses a belt based training system, similar to Karate. Auditor’s Office staff received yellow belts upon completion of the training and implementation of process improvement projects.

Elections Division
To say the Elections Division was aggressive in their process improvements would be an understatement. They implemented a new digital ballot counting system that resulted in a nearly complete overhaul of the ballot design, assembly, printing, opening, and tabulating processes. The end result was a huge reduction in printing costs and staff hours needed to count ballots which is helping offset the cost of purchasing and maintaining the system. Elections also launched a new candidate filing system that allows prospective candidates to file for office online and pay by credit card, which were not available in Kitsap County previously. Nearly 70% of candidates used the new online system. Additionally, Elections reorganized its storage area and website to improve staff and customers’ ability to locate the information they need.

Financial Services
Elections Division improvements were rivaled by the Financial Services Division which re-invented its Accounts Payable process. The project involved additional green belt training to qualify Financial Services staff to facilitate an Accounts Payable Kaizen event. As a result of this week-long project we drastically reduced our Accounts Payable process from 124 steps down to 64 steps – a 48% reduction. This created extra capacity which is being re-invested into the system allowing us to improve customer service by processing vouchers on a daily basis rather than the current weekly process. It also better positions us to reach our ultimate goal of a streamlined paperless processing system and a quick turn around on invoice payments that we hope will help us take advantage of discount rates.

The Recording Division is actively modernizing many of its services. Soon customers will have the ability to submit marriage license applications and legal name change documents electronically. The recently launched Combined Indexing System simplifies recorded document searches by eliminating the need to use industry jargon like ‘grantor’ and ‘grantee.’ Our new Virtual Vault digitizes all documents recorded on microfiche and microfilm from 1977 to 1986 for the public to search, view and print. We are now able to accept debit and credit cards for recorded document fees.

Correspondence with our customers has improved greatly thanks to our new Alpha filing system for returned correspondence. The new process allows staff to easily verify communications with our customers, including documents and information provided which improves our ability to resolve customer service issues that may arise. We worked with the Animal Control Citizen Advisory Committee to develop a new fee structure for 2014 that encourages pet owners to register their animals by providing more pricing options.

In 2014 we will continue to aggressively look at areas where we may implement process improvements and reduce waste, while sustaining and improving on the changes that were made in 2013.

The Kitsap County Auditor’s Office wishes you a safe and Happy Holiday Season and we look forward to serving you in the New Year!

Beyond the Books Archives

Kitsap County Auditor's Office, 360-337-7128