Armedia Improves Washington State Legislature Public Records Request Process by using ArkCase, Leading Open-source Case Management Platform

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Challenge

The Legislative Service Center (LEG-TECH) provides information technology solutions and services to the Washington State Legislature. LEG-TECH’s commitment is to provide the IT infrastructure needed by the legislative agencies for law-making, research, communication, administrative and accounting responsibilities; increase public participation and understanding in the legislative process; and, evaluate and improve the operations to support the efficiency and effectiveness of the Washington State Legislature.

To stay true to these commitments, LEG-TECH endeavored to implement a Public Records Management Platform that provided their constituents a portal to submit requests for public records and serves as a solution for the records officers of the Legislative Agencies to respond to these requests.

The current public records request process was extremely manual and error-prone, due to completing requests using spreadsheets, network drives, and emails. LEG-TECH had many challenges and inefficiencies to overcome when responding to public record requests using their previous process and tools.

In their endeavor to support their Open Government Initiative in collaboration with the Washington Coalition for Open Government (WCOG), LEG-TECH needed a solution that would allow them to effectively meet their objective of being a steward of the public trust. The solution needed to allow multiple agencies to be configured—each agency could have different processes, reports, correspondences, workflows, and user interface views while leveraging the same enterprise platform.

Solution

Armedia implemented a solution leveraging ArkCase FOIA and Alfresco which allowed the Washington State Legislature to meet their public records request needs. ArkCase exceeded the Washington State Legislature requirements, by offering configurable features that include:

  • Dashboard – personalized dashboard to provide KPIs to leadership
  • Annotations and Redaction – integrated redaction with tracking of exemption codes per document
  • Task Management – automated task to provide tracking of assignments
  • Contacts Management – ability to manage people and organizations associated with each request
  • Searching – ability to search and discover previous requests to reduce time
  • Reporting – integrated reporting capability to generate monthly, quarterly and annual reports
  • Notifications – ability to receive emails on request or task assignments
  • Subscription – ability to subscribe to requests so the user can receive notifications on changes
  • Tagging – ability to add tags to requests and documents to aid in the discovery
  • Transcription – ability to automatically transcribe audio and video files to make the speech searchable for discovery
  • Administrative Configuration – ability to configure the application through the Admin Console

Results

Armedia implemented a cloud-based public records solution leveraging ArkCase FOIA. ArkCase provides a highly secure and configurable platform that supported the customer’s multi-agency requirements. LEG-TECH partnered with Armedia to configure ArkCase to meet their detailed public records request requirements.

The implementation, training, user acceptance testing, and go-live was completed in less than 2 months. The customer has now been in production since Feb 2019 and has seen an increase in overall speed and efficiency of processing public records requests.

“The support we have received from the ArkCase staff has been really great.  I feel like they respond to questions and issues quick. I also like that they took our needs and really analyzed them to make it happen,” said Randi Stratton, Senate Public Records Officer.

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