AURORA, Ill., April 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The City of Aurora and the Aurora Police Department are making it easier for residents to request and receive public records available through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), thanks to technology modernization. The City went live with GovQA software on March 1 to more efficiently process and manage requests from citizens and the media for public records and information, such as electronic documents, videos and audio files.
"This new technology will enhance Aurora's commitment to open, transparent and cost-efficient delivery of exceptional customer service in fulfilling requests in accordance with Illinois law," said Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin. "It is another example of how Aurora is working to enhance the quality of life through innovation, partnerships and dedicated service to the community."
Aurora has been steadily upgrading its processes for managing public records requests. In recent years, the City migrated from handling requests manually to automation with its first FOIA software purchase. As the volume of records requests grows and the complexity increases, Aurora looked to GovQA's cloud-based solution for a secure, highly configurable platform that allows it to manage videos and other electronic documents while enhancing transparency and further improving efficiency.
GovQA is the largest provider of cloud-based SaaS automated workflow solutions for government compliance. Its Public Records Request Management software handles more Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for state and local governments than any other software provider.
Aurora's new records request system is a centralized, secure public records portal that allows residents to track their FOIA requests online and standardizes workflows for city employees. Self-serve tools and auto-follow functions make it easy to proactively share information. And an improved intake form refines requests, reducing the need for clarification and delivering improved accuracy. The new system also provides an accurate and efficient process to securely review and release video and other electronic records, protecting personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive data.
"The portal is user-friendly for our citizens and we have better insight into the request's workflow," said City Clerk Jennifer Stallings. FOIA Specialist Sarah Walsh agrees, adding that the new system reduces the amount of paperwork and frees up time to work on other important city business.
Aurora has taken significant steps in the past few years to improve its technology infrastructure and implement innovative solutions to improve the lives of citizens, including expansion of the city's fiber-optic network and attracting major technology companies to the city.
"We commend the City of Aurora for its commitment to provide its citizens with easy and efficient solutions to manage document requests from the public," said Matt Eckstein, senior implementation engineer for GovQA.
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