Since 1967, U.S. citizens have had the right to access records from any federal agency due to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Subsequently, many states have passed their own similar laws, such as Missouri’s Sunshine Law. The foundational element of these pieces of legislation is to provide complete transparency to all stakeholders by way of direct requests to agencies.
At both state and federal levels, agencies are moving to automate document and records requests online. Today, everyone has the expectation of real-time access to any request, particularly if it’s from a federal, state, or municipal agency. The more digitization you offer, the faster you can respond to every records request, and the more you free up your internal staff to manage other critical issues.
Managing Records Requests in Real Time
Digital records management is increasingly common as more constituents access all of their personal data (banking, shopping, and now healthcare) from their personal electronic devices. Cloud infrastructure and cloud computing offer municipal agencies far more cost-effective document and request management than ever before.
Giving your citizens access to records online allows them to search without contacting a member of your staff. Working with a third-party provider further ensures the records will be fully encrypted and safe. Also, a computer can work faster than any human being can. Enabling real-time, or near-real-time, record request processing increases trust and satisfaction between constituents and government agencies. Digital requests create a smaller paper trail, further preparing your agency for a paperless future.
Benefits of Online Records Requests
Improving your front-end capacity utilizes far fewer resources to deliver the same services to your constituents. In addition to speed and convenience, providing online, 24/7 search capabilities has far-reaching benefits for future generations. Digital natives expect a more digital experience. Even if your records aren’t fully digitized, providing an online request capability now initiates a digital trail that’s easier to track than a request made by a mailed form or even email.
Creating a Paperless Work Environment
The more you digitize and enhance the request process, the more you are meeting the expectations of the digital future. Scanning and storing documents in a database essentially negates the need for excess paper. Within the next few years, many will have the expectation of an entirely collaborative process, all of which starts online.
Specialized document scanning and management responds to those expectations, while also cutting down on your agency’s resources. Municipal and government agencies will benefit from embracing digitization now, adopting technologies that offer real-time services to improve their public interactions.
Our FastTrackGov software platform provides the flexibility and feature-rich services your agency needs. We can help you reduce your paper-heavy workflows. The user-friendly interface is simple for everyone to use with minimal training. We have also designed our applications to integrate with commonly used software platforms deployed by the public sector.
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