Why Is Records Management Important to Local Government Organizations?
Local governments manage thousands upon thousands of documents every year. Many local governments take a haphazard approach at best to managing their records. Excessive workloads make it nearly impossible to carve out time to get records management processes right and in order. A good first step in the right direction might be to create lines of authority and set up responsible training programs so that everyone in the office uses the same process for managing records, but there doesn’t ever seem to be time for that either. Not having a good system for records management makes it impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of managing records. Not managing records well creates a series of risks that local governments just can’t afford.
iCompass designed an electronic records management system that makes local government records manageable and accessible. Greater efficiency and cost-savings are the icing on the cake.
The Pain Points of Manual Records Management Processes
Manual processes for managing government records are time-consuming and inefficient. Well-intentioned staff experience frustration over wanting to manage records well so that they and other staff can retrieve them when they need to. This is nearly an impossible task when they don’t have a formalized procedure on how to manage records and no training to make sure everyone follows the proper processes. Staff does the best they can using an imperfect system where there’s not even a way to assess whether their current processes are sufficient.
The constant worry over being able to find documents for staff and the public adds to an already heavy workload. Local governments told iCompass that concern over heavy workloads was their number-one challenge in the workplace. In fact, about 56% of local government staff said that having a heavy workload was their biggest problem. That percentage was consistent across the board within every department. In our recent survey of local government workers, we also realized that heavy workload was a theme that occurred throughout our survey responses.
Additionally through our survey, we learned that about 80% of local governments don’t conduct audits of their records management systems to ensure that the government is properly managing records.
Above all, local government staff agrees that they need to start working smarter and not harder. They also admit that efficiency is the path to cost-savings.
Records Management Is a Priority
When you need or want something badly enough, it becomes a high priority. If local governments wait for the right timing to implement a records management program, it will never happen. It’s not uncommon in local government to set goals and continually push other priorities ahead of them.
The right time to implement an electronic records management program is now. The economy has been on a rollercoaster over the last couple of decades and our economic future is uncertain. iCompass’ Records Manager program offers local government the opportunity to realize cost-savings immediately. Getting on board with efficiency of managing records will help local governments ride out the tough times in the future.
Having an efficient means of managing records means that local government staff will have a greatly-reduced workload, allowing them to redirect their focus on higher priorities.
The time for implementing a records management system is now because most local governments are open to implementing new technology. Almost 46% of local governments in our survey told us that implementing new technology was high on their list of priorities for the next 12-18 months. The same percentage of local government staff also said that they intended to modify an existing program or service.
If you’re like most local governments, many of your key staff are soon to be retiring. Now is the time to garner the interest of younger generations in local government careers. Having efficient digital solutions for government processes are a draw for recruiting a younger talent base.
Records Manager by iCompass
Records Manager is a one-stop solution for local governments to help them create, manage, and classify digital and paper records. Records Manager was designed specifically for local government use. The program improves efficiency by automating all phases of records management.
Local government staff can easily upload documents in the Records Manager program in seconds. The program automatically classifies documents according to local, county, or state-level retention schedules. Records Manager streamlines classification, tracking, and destruction automatically and without manual follow-up, eliminating any worries about forgetting or overlooking retention schedules.
As a convenience in retrieving documents, Records Manager converts paper documents with Auto OCR, which is a process that makes them easy to find using a simple search box function. Local governments can also attach Records Manager to their Transparency Portal, which is an extension of their local government’s website, giving public access to all publicly available documents.
The platform safely stores documents in the cloud and staff can easily track all documents and records throughout their lifecycle.
Avoid Legal Risks with Records Manager
An electronic records management system like Records Manager circumvents many of the legal risks associated with manually processing records.
Citizens can use the Transparency Portal to pull up FOI requests for documents completely on their own. This frees up staff and eliminates the rush to meet FOI deadlines.
Local governments can rack up legal fines and fees for improper retention or destruction of records or falling victim to data breaches.
In addition to inefficiency and heavy workloads, Records Manager helps to solve the problem of having confidence and pride in local government. Citizens take pride in living and working in communities that operate efficiently and where local governments desire to increase citizen engagement. Lack of organization and difficulty gaining access to public information offer the appearance of inefficiency and a low-level commitment to the citizens they serve.
Ease the Workload and Create Efficiency with Records Manager
Records Manager creates a win/win solution for local governments and their citizens. The program integrates seamlessly with meeting management software to create paperless end-to-end efficiency. Make the best of your technology goals with Records Manager to improve communication and transparency across the organization. Records Manager will create changes that will instill public pride and confidence in your local government.