October 15, 2020

Local Gov Record Request Delivery Processes Evolving to Limit In-Person Interactions

Even prior to COVID there has been a pressing need for cities and counties to find alternative delivery methods for citizens public records or information requests. That need has become even greater in today’s new normal.

2020 has brought an unprecedented amount of change to our daily routines. For most of us that has meant moving transactional and informational activities online. For large organizations and forward-looking tech companies this has been the status quo for many years. However, local governments have been slow to adapt. This slow response has been due to a myriad of factors, including a scarcity of resources and outdated software and technology.

City and County clerks serve as the record gatekeepers and aggregators of all public informational requests. Clerks have the thank-less job of helping you weed through the mountains of information to deliver informational requests. For years the process of managing information was typically manual, handled in-person or over the phone, and often dealing with paper versions of most documents. As electronic file storage became more popular, cities did their best to digitize paper records and establish online destinations for file submittals and storage. However, this digitalization is typically far from smooth, and many cities often run into the same roadblocks:

  • Separate software packages for each department, each with their own storage file types
  • Lack of consistently followed document labeling best practices
  • Delayed submittal of documents to the correct filing system

Those issues, and many more, all multiply together to create a data nightmare with unorganized files living in many different systems and an overall lack of discoverability. Furthermore, COVID-19 guidelines have closed many government buildings, leaving paper files out of reach and increasing the burden of communication between departments.

According to a recent article published in GovTech.com, Municipal Clerks Feel Pressure to Modernize As COVID-19 Persists, cities from Aurora, Colorado to Lincoln, Nebraska are struggling to provide online alternatives to the many services previously only available in-person.

Imagine if there was an online self-service option for citizens that would eliminate the need to have any interaction with the city or county. Meet SAIRA, a technology marvel that will simplifying clerks’ lives and create a spectacular citizen experience has citizens easily make requests and retrieve information via a link on your web site. SAIRA, breaks down information silos by connecting with multiple government department information systems in a seamless manner. Say goodbye to figuring out who to ask for information and where to find it. Just ask SAIRA, one simple search bar allows city employees and public users alike to find government information scattered across multiple departments all in one clean, and easy to use interface.

If you would like to learn more about how the people at SAIRA are enhancing electronic search for governments, please let us show you how we can help at info@saira.com.

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