GovQA Supports Public Service Recognition Week
During Public Service Recognition Week each May, we honor the men and women of our local police and fire departments, city and township halls, county and state offices and military and other government facilities.
2021’s Recognition Week takes on even greater importance because of the heroic efforts of our public servants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day they guard our national security, protect our health and safety, educate our children, and deliver many other important services to the American people – they deserve our highest praise.
The nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, which sponsors Public Service Recognition Week, works “across administrations to help transform the way government operates by increasing collaboration, accountability, efficiency and innovation.”
Processing Public Records Requests
A critical part of the job for people working in municipalities, law enforcement, public safety and health departments is responding to requests for public records and information. Recognizing their work is especially important this year as the pandemic has had a major impact on their ability to respond to public record requests, as many facilities were closed and some staff transitioned to working from home, all while the number of requests surged during the time of great uncertainty.
According to GovQA’s Peers in Public Records (PiPR) Index, which tracks state and local public records trends, during the first quarter of 2021, municipalities across the nation have seen an 8% increase in requests for information — and the number is projected to grow. Request volumes increased by 21% from June to December 2020. The time agencies spend, on average, to process public record requests has similarly increased, from an average 438 hours in 2Q 2020 to more than 2,100 by year’s end.
Requests for public records have become more frequent and more complex with larger response files, including audio and video data.
This year alone, municipalities using GovQA software across the nation have already responded to more than half a million requests.
The PiPRIndex includes data collected from 58 state, 44 county and 128 city agencies representing the most common records request experiences across the nation. It quantifies changes in complexity of public records from “peers” across the U.S. on a quarterly basis and is adjusted for volume.
Public agencies are dealing with increases in complexity in record requests in terms of scale, diversity of requests, and staff time and other resources required to provide complete responses. A single request could require the gathering, review, redaction and release of hundreds of documents, thousands of emails, and multiple large audio or video files.
How Agencies Use the PiPRIndex Data
GovQA is proud that our PiPRIndex data helps jurisdictions and agencies of all sizes accomplish their important work by making records request management faster, smarter and more efficient. The data helps agencies make the best decisions to better serve their constituents. Organizations are using it to:
- Support decision-making on technology investments to respond to public requests more efficiently
- Engage with their communities to increase public understanding
- Benchmark adoption of automation, digitization and transparency with other organizations
Gaining Efficiencies with Public Records Request Software
State and local agencies are making great strides in improving their public records request management by investing in new technologies.
GovQA’s public records (FOIA) software promotes efficiencies from its extensive knowledge base, rules engine, and workflow and payment technologies. Its tools include in-line deflection, duplicate request flagging and linking, and tiered request processing. It reduces repetitive work, limits errors, and streamlines collaboration. At the same time, it offers the most advanced cloud security technology available to government agencies, supporting compliance and security initiatives.
During Public Service Recognition Week, we applaud all public servants working so hard to carry out their duties in the face of ongoing challenges. Hooray and congratulations.
Public Service Recognition Week is a great time to consider streamlining public records request activities. Contact GovQA for more information.
GovQA, headquartered just outside of Chicago, is the leading provider of streamlined government compliance solutions. The GovQA Exchange Platform enables cities, counties, and state agencies to securely collect and control time sensitive information within, across, and outside governments.
To learn more about streamlined compliance solutions for government from GovQA, please visit www.govqa.com.