How is the Coronavirus impacting your Organization’s management of Public Records Requests?

Complete the adjacent survey and we’ll summarize and report out on what we’re hearing. For an anonymized sampling of responses click here

Many GovQA customers are seeing double digit % growth in records requests.
What are you experiencing at your organization?

Staff are processing like normal but more physical files are being scanned rather than physical records viewing like normal.

So far, we are seeing a drop off in records requests

Decrease in request numbers, possibly because there haven't been many case in our area yet.

We expect to be slammed in a month or two.

Is your organization making or planning changes to your public records process?
If so what changes are being put in place?

The only real changes we've put in place are for staff. I have been helping staff get set up with remote log in so they can do PRR work from home.

We are not taking any in person requests or in person records pickup. We are, and have always taken requests by phone, email, mail and of course through our GovQA.

All public records officers have remote work abilities.

Public is not allowed in the building, which means requests cannot be submitted or picked up in person. All staff are still reporting to work.

...more physical files are being scanned rather than physical records viewing like normal.

We've added a message to the usual confirmation message...that there may be a delay in response times...we cited government code stating "unusual circumstances".

We have added a paragraph to our 5-day letter which states we are in a "state of emergency" which may result in longer than normal delays in searching for and providing records.

If your organization is asking you to work from home,
what impact is that having on your public records response process?

I am working from home. With GovQA and remote log in I can pretty much do everything from home that I can from work.

We will continue to process requests as usual however time estimates for production will be extended.

We have not yet been asked to work from home, but I anticipate that may happen in the next few weeks. It will not severely impact my part of the fulfillment process, as I can easily access GovQA and review and release records from home. However, it will negatively impact the provision of paper documents (no one will be here to physically pull them), as well as of digital documents that are normally pulled by someone who would be unable to work from home.

Nothing I can note at this time - in fact, having the platform makes the transition to teleworking for mass staff easier to manage requests and for customers to submit requests and receive records

...Public Records is considered essential. So I go in at least once a week to assure that we comply with our legal obligations for those mailed requests.

...our team is working together very well, given the circumstances. But I'm VERY grateful that GovQA is a web app; and that records can be posted and sent out to requesters from pretty much anyone.

The coordination of the process can be done effectively from home via phone and computer. GovQA is a significant assistance tool in that regard. The more difficult part to maintain will be records searches in smaller departments with limited staff and limited telecommuting experience or resources.