In 2015 the City of Dallas, TX was managing a high volume of open records requests using software designed to manage code enforcement violations. Responding to requests that involved multiple departments was extremely difficult, as tools to empower easy collaboration were not present. Attempts to centralize the open records process were thwarted by software limitations and departments continued to respond to requests independently.
The Open Records Team in Dallas quickly realized the benefits of the automation made possible by the GovQA system. Due dates are automatically calculated and reminders/escalations are automatically sent as due dates approach, increasing efficiency by eliminating the need for manual intervention. As Ms. Carter Lawson put it,
”GovQA does the calculations for us, it’s so much easier since we don’t have to think about it. We look smarter and we’re much more efficient.
The public facing portion of GovQA’s system provides extensive features to benefit records requesters, like an archive of previous requests, deflection that presents potentially responsive records before a request is even submitted, and the ability to pay request fees online. GovQA’s Public Archive of Requests is one of the most viewed pages on the Dallas City Hall website.
Responding to multi-department requests is no longer a challenge with GovQA’s user-friendly activities; we can transmit information to the departments with just a few clicks and it’s just as easy for them to send records back.” With GovQA, Dallas has completely centralized their open records process, adding the Police Department to the process in 2017.
Jeri Carter Lawson, Dallas, TX
“Working in a job that is full of chaos, it’s good to have GovQA to help keep me sane.”