The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is committed to providing the best service possible to the residents of New York. Over 1,100 Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for records held in 27 different offices across the Empire State are received each month by the agency. Faced with scaling a manual, human, paper-driven process, the client turned to GovQA to implement a case and workflow management platform to receive, track, and fulfill FOIL requests.
To reduce the amount of manual effort and staff time spent responding to requests, while increasing compliance rates with request deadlines, NYSDEC deployed GovQA’s Compliance Suite enterprise-wide in October 2015. In the first 12 months following deployment, NYSDEC increased request deadline compliance rates by 11% compared to the previous 12 months.
Total request processing turn-around times were slashed by over 40%. The GovQA Compliance Suite automated work related to many time consuming activities like taking requests from the customer, acknowledging receipt, communicating work assignments to records custodians, transferring ownership of a request, collecting responsive records, and providing responsive records to the customer.
The public facing portion of GovQA’s system provides extensive features to benefit records requesters, like an archive of previous requests and deflection that presents potentially responsive records before a request is even submitted. Generating reports with process related metrics for management became more efficient with the GovQA Compliance Suite. A process that had required nearly a full day’s effort each month is now so efficient, it takes only 15 minutes.
”GovQA has revolutionized NYSDEC’s FOIL work and performance.Nathaniel BarberOffice General Counsel, NYSDEC