In the era of the Internet of Things, more governments move to electronic record-keeping. Public records management software, therefore, becomes essential. These tools streamline request intake and completion and help agencies index electronic records for faster access. Due to the high volume of paper records and human error, old record systems are time-consuming and difficult to manage. Records requests would take weeks to process, and the audit trail is prone to mistakes.
As part of public sector software tools, consider public records management software that creates multiple public records request forms, customizes workflow assignments, provides communication tools, stores public records electronically, and complies with FedRAMP, CJIS, and HIPAA to protect government data.
This guide helps you decide which is the best public records management software for your organization. It gives you the trends and benefits that could help underpin your decision as well as a list of software worth considering.
COVID-19 forced local governments to digitize records. Where CIOs spent years trying, a pandemic reduced paper use immediately. This difficulty has created opportunities, with governance, security, innovation, procurement, and retention benefiting most from automating records. As municipal governments migrate to a remote labor paradigm, implementing record governance is more important than ever.
The following trends will help guide you in your decision to choose the best public records management for your organization.
Crime rates are high, even juvenile or student crimes. Somehow, access to public information may seem a viable means for people to protect themselves. However, unregulated access to public records could be dangerous.
The 2020 protests in Portland, where many arrestees were doxed and harassed after their photos were released, triggered the enactment of the law prohibiting the release of mugshots except in emergency situations and to other law enforcement agencies. As such, governments are advancing transparency while continuing to protect individual rights. The main concern is what information can be made available to the public. (Granicus, 2022)
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Married to the initiatives of enhancing transparency are the risks of data breaches. Over 1.1 billion records were lost in India’s national ID database Aadhaar in early 2018. This included iris and fingerprint scans that could be used to open bank accounts and receive financial aid. Meanwhile, a 2014 Yahoo hack affected at least 500 million user accounts. Just this May of 2022, the United States Department of Defense was duped into paying a phishing actor $23.5 million. (Toulas, 2022) These are only a few of the biggest hacks that data scientists had to deal with, but data breaches continue to be a problem today.
Source: Information is Beautiful
As the world enters the digital age, corporations and governments rely more on technology to collect, analyze, and store personal data. This has led to a rise in cyber-crimes. The year 2019 saw 1,506 data breaches in the U.S. while in 2018, cyber-crime exposed 471 million personal records nationwide. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (2022), after a record-setting 2021, data breaches are off to a rapid start in 2022; more than 90% are cyberattacks.
Globally, a single data breach cost nearly $4 million in 2020. Each leak cost the healthcare industry $7.13 million. Energy and finance followed. Each breach cost $6 million, $2 million more than the global average. (IBM Security, 2021) As cybercriminals become more skilled and digital attacks become more common, organizations are spending more on cyber security to prevent breaches. As a result, global spending on cyber security and insurance has risen from 75.6 billion in 2015 to 124 billion in 2019. (Marsh & Microsoft, 2019)
GovOA notes an increase in the number of litigations that also raises the number of records requests. (Granicus, 2022) This is no surprise as U.S. courts reported increases in the filing of cases at the Court of Appeals (5%) alone. There were also increases in civil (16%) and criminal (3%) and pre-trial cases (5%) in district courts. Lawyers, the public, and even the top law schools contribute to the rising records request rates.
Source: United States Courts
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds were a big deal in 2021, especially in the public record space. Organizations were being asked what they’re spending that money on and how they plan to spend the money on public records requests and their overall process. Many organizations were encouraged to use their funds for digitizing records request management processes. (Granicus, 2022)
Meanwhile, IT funds for government agencies have also increased. The 2022 civilian federal agency IT budget is roughly $58.44 million. The 2022 budget projections exclude the Department of Defense, which received $38,815 in 2021. As a leadership and government goals change, IT budgets are reallocated. The Health and Human Services IT budget climbed to $6.9 million in 2022 from $6.4 million in 2021. (US Office of Management and Budget, 2020)
Source: US Office of Management and Budget
The best public records management software connects you to the requested information. First, it stores your physical and electronic documents and data in a single digital location. With your information in one location, you can search quickly and deliver results digitally. The solution gathers papers and uploads them online for speedy delivery.
The following are the benefits of implementing public records management software.
The market abounds with public records management software. While each one offers unique features, the best public records management software would be one that meets your organization’s needs at the price most reasonable to you. Below are some examples of software that you can compare to find what matches your needs best.
Designed for all types of local governments, GovPilot is an affordable, all-in-one software that helps modify, automate, and unify all operations and services and invites constituents to be more engaged. This software allows local governments to be more receptive to the community’s needs, ensuring satisfaction with its services.
Everlaw is a cloud-based technology that enables litigation and investigation teams to work together more effectively. The robust yet user-friendly litigation solution helps firms increase profits and give a competitive edge. At the same time, it satisfies the particular requirements of federal, state, and municipal investigative and legal departments.
ZyLAB ONE is an eDiscovery platform that makes data importation uncomplicated, accelerates quality control, and eases legal data assessment. Powered by AI, ZyLAB ONE provides legal discovery solutions for every need. It complies with the highest security standards, making the platform safe and secure.
On top of organizing data, Relativity aims to help users to unearth the truth and act accordingly. The platform helps manage massive amounts of data and identify key issues fast during investigations and litigations. It is a powerful SaaS with proactive security.
JustFOIA promises to be the easiest data management solution by providing end-to-end services designed for law enforcement, K-12 education, and higher education. It keeps the records requests process streamlined by delivering requests directly to the right person on time. At the same time, it guarantees compliance with state and local laws and collects and invoices payments securely.
ArkCase is an open standard platform that delivers adaptability, expansion, and resilience. This platform speeds up the deployment of case management systems by facilitating the expansion of the modular features (i.e., Enterprise Content Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Business Process Management).
eCase is an easy, online, end-to-end case management system created especially for the United Kingdom’s public sector. eCase assists with all facets of case management in the U.K. public sector, including central and local government, independent organizations, and agencies like police departments and hospital trusts efficiently and consistently.
NextRequest is a records request platform that enables government agencies of all sizes to work asynchronously and remotely together. Public records specialists created their FOIA request management software to improve and transform the way governments handle records requests with its streamlined and automated features.
GovOS is a government software platform that enables local governments to automate and simplify processes. Get easy access to resources and information and cutting-edge digital services. It enhances government efficiency, transparency, and constituent participation. This software benefits business, individuals, and agencies using several cloud-based solutions.
Tyler Records Management Software is a fully-integrated land and official records solution. It provides an all-in-one software that lets you create better, more efficient procedures for records management. Because of its adaptability, you can set up the system to best suit your needs and those of your constituents.
Libria MSF&W provides a comprehensive FOIA solution that promptly delivers the appropriate information to the appropriate individuals. It manages the FOIA lifecycle, including request capture, tracking, document gathering, correspondence, fulfillment, preservation, and reporting.
Accela provides a robust, cloud-based government software to enhance productivity, boost public involvement, and foster the growth of vibrant communities. It helps to minimize costs and addresses emerging challenges through digital government services. It creates an ecosystem that provides a better government experience to all.
Exterro is a comprehensive legal GRC software platform that automates the intricate relationships between privacy, legal operations, digital investigations, cybersecurity response, compliance, and information governance. Thousands of legal teams, trust corporations, law firms, governments, and law enforcement organizations use the app to manage their risks and provide more successful results.
MyGov is a GIS data mapping software that offers a plethora of information that helps save time, efficiently plan projects, decide on emergency management strategies, and improve communication between government agencies and the general public. It also offers Permits, Code Enforcement, Work Orders, and Asset Management solutions.
Vuelio FOI Case Management streamlines your approach to FOIA requests and centralizes management of the entire procedure. Vuelio maintains a complete audit record of all actions made within the system and provides proof of the process of handling inquiries. Its end-to-end service ensures timely delivery and accurate responses.
eFORCE Software Suite is a records management system that collects and analyzes data and tracks cases. It provides a streamlined process for records requests and management. Its advanced tools and functionalities will save you tons of hours, making the whole process efficient and of the best value.
Hyland is a records request solution that simplifies requesting and delivering records with its comprehensive tool. It leverages the services of over 19,000 lifetime clients with its services, including half of the Fortune 100 companies, with their new ideas and diverse perspective. In Hyland, they are committed to innovation and creativity to help the community.
AIRLIFT, also known as cloud PWR, is a modern software solution that enhances content management and collaboration and exceeds security standards. It guarantees a streamlined legacy workflow and case management system using industry-leading technology created by industry experts.
Edmunds GovTech provides a first-in-class solution that increases productivity and community satisfaction. It guarantees tools that exceed expectations, thereby providing better solutions to local government such as optimizing payroll and HR processes, and effective inventory control, among others, in its 50 years of service. Simply put, the platform makes life easy for their clients.
Granicus Civic Engagement Platform enables government organizations to redefine the way they interact with the public through a unified experience that combines a website, online services, digital communications, and more. It enables contactless interactions and employs data, AI, machine learning, and two-way feedback that improves customers’ and employees’ experiences.
With digital transformation leading the way to the future of records management, public records management software becomes inevitable for governments. Such software helps government agencies archive, manage, and digitize public records, such as land records, marriage licenses, birth and death certificates, and legal contracts.
Besides governments, lawyers, investigators, journalists, and even academic institutions benefit from a public records management software. More importantly, with governments focusing on transparency, even the public can benefit from easier retrieval of information, but under proper regulation.
Overall, the best public records management software solutions make data management easy for government agencies and accessible to their constituents.