Whether you’re in the city auditor’s office, public works, parks and recreation, or the school district, it’s your duty as a public agency to provide the best possible service to the members of your office’s constituency. Providing above and beyond service to the voting public is essential to improving their satisfaction with how their tax dollars are spent and how your office is being managed. Otherwise, they can and will demand changes from your superiors.
In regards to record management, it should be a fast and simple manner to provide constituents with records they request, provided that they are records qualified for public disclosure. Whether it’s a business requesting a map of the city zones, a concerned citizen requesting the city council meeting minutes, or a journalist requesting a police report, as office admin it’s up to you go digging.
However, depending on the system you use, it can be a time-consuming task to retrieve a requested record. For physical records, it’s a manner of digging through filing cabinets hoping you find the right file and hoping it wasn’t originally misfiled.
In a world where digital makes everything near instantaneously available, constituents may expect their requests to be fulfilled immediately. Depending on the volume of record requests that your agency gets, your backlog may set back new requests from being fulfilled by weeks.
Public record requests are just one aspect of why you should overhaul your public record management with a new way to work. An electronic document management system can help streamline your record processes, including how you service constituents. Rubex by eFileCabinet comes equipped with all the necessary tools you need to reinvent how you manage public record requests.
Find Records Fast
When a constituent submits a formal record request by letter or informally by phone or office visit, it can sometimes be a vague description of the document. You may only have a few key terms to go off of, which makes finding the record difficult without further elaboration from the constituent.
In many cases, if you can’t find the record, you’ll have to return the request to the constituent and ask for more detail. However, with an electronic system that features full-text searching, you only need a few key terms to search the entire database for that record.
Whether it’s a date, record type, name, or serial number, Rubex by eFileCabinet uses optical character recognition technology to scan through the text of every document and bring up all the results with those search terms.
Workflows for Fast Approvals
Depending on the nature of the record, you may need to get it approved by your office’s supervisor or legal advisor before releasing it, which will take up more time. After you locate the document, you can get approval to share it faster with an automated workflow which you can set up to seek a thumbs up from the right people.
An automated workflow is a set of actions that complete automatically after certain conditions are met. A workflow to approve public records for release starts after you initiate the workflow on the document in question, then it’s routed to the authorized user for approval and notifies them. The workflow can determine who needs to approve the document, based on the profile information in the document. So depending on what type of document it is, it can be automatically routed to the right person. The supervisor can then approve or reject the request, allowing the system to notify you of their decision.
Share Them Even Faster
How you get the records to the constituent is another manner to take into consideration. Postage costs time and money, and if the record contains sensitive information, then an email attachment isn’t a secure option. Rather than asking the constituent to come to your office to pick up the record, share it with them over the web through a secure portal.
Rubex by eFileCabinet allows you to share any document with outside parties through an encrypted connection. Rather than sending it to them via an unsecure email attachment, you send them a secure link that will bring them into an environment where they can directly download the file
To see how Rubex can streamline your public record request process in action, fill out the form below to view a free demo.