Acronym Guide

Acronym Guide

True, most of these are not really acronyms, but just abbreviations. We beg your indulgence. Please let us know if you encounter frequently used abbreviations we should add to this list by submitting your suggestion to

Click on the name and brief definition to open more details and links.


ABACUS - Consulting firm specializing in local government services, such as indirect cost accounting.

Consulting firm specializing in local government services, such as indirect cost accounting.

ALI - Automatic Location Information

Displays the 911 callers telephone number and the address/location of the phone.

ANI - Automatic Number Identification

Telephone number associated with the 911 call origination.

APCO - Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials

ARPA - American Rescue Plan Act

Act that created a variety of new federal programs to address continuing pandemic-related crises, including a direct allocation to counties.

ASAE - American Society of Association Executives

Enhances excellence in association management, and the effectiveness of associations to better serve members and society.

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BCI - Bureau of Criminal Investigation

The investigation division of the ND Attorney General's Office.

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CAE - Certified Association Executive

Professional certification sponsored by ASAE.

CAP - Civil Air Patrol

Auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force

CARES Act - Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security

2021 Act to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

CEG - County Employer Group

County workers comp group managed by NDACo. Through CEG, all member county employees are treated as if having one employer, saving counties money in Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI) matters.

CHA - Community Health Assessment

A state, tribal, local, or territorial health assessment that identifies key health needs and issues through systematic, comprehensive data collection and analysis.

CHIP - Children’s Health Insurance Program

Federal program known in ND as Healthy Steps.

CJIS - Criminal Justice Information Sharing

Framework that provides comprehensive data to the criminal justice community in ND.

CJJ - Coalition for Juvenile Justice

National organization promoting funding for local government programs addressing youth.

COG - Continuation of Government

Resuming government services after a disaster.

CRIB - Coordinated Regional Interoperability Board

Statewide Interoperability Radio Network (see SIRN 20/20) has a governance structure that relies on input from local government in the form of four regional CRIBs.

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DCN - Dakota Carrier Network

North Dakota's leading broadband service provider.

DHHS - ND Dept. of Health & Human Services

DJS - Division of Juvenile Services

Division of the ND DOCR responsible for the delinquent youth committed to the custody of the state. In cooperation with NDACo, it administers various federal juvenile justice grant programs.

DMP - Designated Medical Provider

Designated medical providers are medical providers that injured employees must usewhen injured.

DOCR - ND Dept. of Corrections & Rehabilitation

State cabinet level agency responsible for adult probation, the penitentiary, Roughrider Industries, and the Division of Juvenile Services.

DOT - NDDOT - ND Dept. of Transportation

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EAP - Employee Assistance Program

A voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems.  

EICG - Excellence in County Government

Awards given by NDACo annually to county government leaders nominated by their peers.

EMS - Emergency Medical Services

ESC3 - Emergency Services Communications Coordinating Committee

Four person committee established by the legislature to study and make reports/suggestions relating to 9-1-1 and Emergency Services in ND. 

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FCC - Federal Communications Commission

The Federal Communications Commission regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. An independent U.S. government agency overseen by Congress, the Commission is the federal agency responsible for implementing and enforcing America’s communications law and regulations.

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency

FROI - First Report of Injury

The claim form that is submitted to WSI when an injury occurs. 

FSC - Financial Services Corporation

NACo division which partners with businesses, such as Nationwide Retirement Solutions, to provide counties services at reduced costs.

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GASB - Governmental Accounting Standards Board

Establishes and improves standards of state and local governmental accounting and financial reporting.

GETS - Government Emergency Telecommunications Service

GIS - Geographical Information System

A computer system that analyzes and displays geographically referenced information. It uses data that is attached to a unique location.

GPS - Global Positioning System

A space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information.

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HIPAA - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

Federal legislation with provisions to improve the portability of health insurance.

HOMER - Handy Office Manager of Electronic Records

Database system developed by NDACo to keep track of member contact information, ILG transcripts, event attendance, etc.

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ILG - Institute of Local Government

501(c)3 subsidiary of NDACo created in 2000, serves as the professional development program of the Association.

ITD - Now known as NDIT: ND Information Technology

Cabinet level state agency responsible for setting computer standards for state & counties. Maintains the state backbone, which allows counties to access the Internet.

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JJSAG - Juvenile Justice State Advisory Group

Governor appointed body to recommend federal juvenile justice grant funding.

JPA - Joint Power Agreement

Agreement allowing two or more government entities to excercise joint powers. See Section 54-40 of ND Century Code:

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LMS - Learning Management System

Online system of self-paced learning. County Employer Group (CEG) uses the Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI) LMS system for safety trainings.

LPHU - Local Public Health Unit

Learn more about North Dakota Local Public Health Units at

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MAMA - Member Association Management Agreement

The ND Association of Counties (NDACo) is made up of several "Member Associations" listed below. MAMAs are agreements some of those groups have with NDACo for a variety of services, including accounting and event support.
Member Associations represented on our board are:

  • Auditors
  • Clerks of District Court
  • Highway Engineers/Superintendents
  • Human Service Zones
  • Recorders
  • Sheriffs
  • State's Attorneys
  • Tax Directors
  • Treasurers

MOE - Maintenance of Effort

Generally used in terms of new or increased federal funding – the requirement that states or local governments not reduce their own spending as a condition for receiving the federal dollars.

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NACo - National Association of Counties

NCCAE - National Council of County Association Executives

Every state has an association like ours. All the directors of those associations have their own association, too.

NCSL - National Council of State Legislators

Bipartisan organization dedicated to serving the nation’s state lawmakers and staffs.

NDACE - North Dakota Association of County Engineers

The North Dakota Association of County Engineers consists of the County Engineers, Road Superintendents, Consulting Engineers and County Commissioners from all of North Dakota’s 53 counties. For more info:

NDACo - ND Association of Counties

NDCCA - North Dakota County Commissioners Association

Established in 1905, it is the association of all North Dakota's County Commissioners. 

NDEMA - ND Emergency Management Assoc.

The North Dakota Emergency Management Association is an organization dedicated to the advancement of effective Emergency Management in North Dakota. The Association seeks to promote professional growth among its members through information exchange, pertinent programs and classes, and direct experience. In addition, a professional liaison between all organizations involved in Emergency Management activities at the state and local level is supported and encouraged. More information at

NDEMSA - ND Emergency Medical Services Assoc.

Founded in 1976, the North Dakota Emergency Medical Services Association (NDEMSA) has been actively involved in emergency medical services (EMS) throughout North Dakota. NDEMSA has dedicated its resources to sustaining and strengthening the EMS system in North Dakota. More information at

NDIRF - ND Insurance Reserve Fund

Provides cost effective liability, automobile, and inland marine coverage to public entities.

NDIT - ND Information Technology Dept.

The state's IT lead agency.

NDLC - ND League of Cities

Organization that serves cities as NDACo serves counties.

NDTOA - ND Township Officers Association

The association serving townships as NDACo serves counties.

NENA - National Emergency Number Association

A national association promoting 9-1-1 research, standards development, training, education, outreach, and advocacy.

NG9-1-1 - Next Generation 9-1-1

Changing from today’s legacy voice 9-1-1 system to a system of systems to bring voice and data to the emergency response system.

NHTSA - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NRG - NDACo Resources Group

NDACo for-profit subsidiary created in 2000. Allows tech staff to support state and other agencies.

NRS - Nationwide Retirement Solutions

NACo Partner. Offers public employee financial programs and supplemental retirement products (457 retirement plans, IRAs, etc.)

NTIA - National Telecommunications and Information Administration

NTIA is the Executive Branch agency that is principally responsible for advising the President on telecommunications and information policy issues.

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OAR - Optional Adjustment Request

An addition to a state agency’s budget that was identified by the agency in the budgeting process but not included in the Executive Budget Recommendation from the Governor.

OJJDP - Office of Juvenile Justice for Delinquency Prevention

U.S. Dept. of Justice office responsible for grant programs to states and local governments. NDACo provides the administrative contact with this agency, through a grant agreement with DJS.

OSP - Originating Service Provider

Local Telecommunications Service Provider

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PASS - Public Administrator Support Services

Program to provide reimbursement to County Public Administrators for indigent persons that the court has determined have need of a guardian, but for whom no family member is available. State funds were appropriated to those serving as public administrator for counties that have committed to matching the state funds. NDACo collects the county funds – through a joint powers agreement – and disburses both the state and county funds for guardianship services.

PATH - Professional Association of Treatment Homes

Not-for-profit social service agency that provides therapeutic foster care in ND.  

PSAP - Public Safety Answering Point

Center that answers 911 calls and dispatches emergency services. There are 21 PSAP’s and 1 Secondary PSAP in North Dakota. Eight are multi-jurisdictional, such as city/county or multiple counties.

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RCA - Root Cause Analysis

The accident investigation that take place after an injury to determine the root cause of the injury. 

RECCWG - Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Group

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SACCHO - State Association of City and County Health Officials

Directors from the ND local public health units.

SAG - See JJSAG above

SIEC - State Interoperability Executive Committee

Collaboration among state agencies and responder groups from across North Dakota for the purpose of continually improving communication between all emergency service providers critical for federal, state and local governments during an emergency.

SIRN 20/20 - Statewide Interoperable Radio Network 20/20

Statewide initiative to study and recommend a consensus solution for delivering, integrating and supportin mission critical interoperable radio systems, and training for first responders and the public safety community.

STEPS - Strategic Technology Planning Subcommittee

ND 911 Association committee that researches 911 related technologies.

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VoIP - Voice Over Internet Protocol

Telephone calls conducted over an Internet connection.

VZOP - Vision Zero Outreach Program

A partnership between NDACo and the ND Dept. of Transportation focused on ensuring the safety of our state’s road network, primarily encouraging safety belt usage and sober driving.

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WDEA - Western Dakota Energy Association

The Western Dakota Energy Association is a membership organization that represents the interests of counties, cities, and school districts that are impacted by energy development.

WIR - Western Interstate Region

NACo Affiliate dedicated to the promotion of Western interests. Its 15 members are: Alaska, Hawaii, Wash., Ore., Calif., Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota.

WPS - Wireless Priority Service

Supports national leadership; federal, state, local, tribal and territorial governments; and other authorized national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) users.

WSI - Workforce Safety & Insurance

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