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Pinellas County Cut Agenda Item Approval Time by 75 Percent—Here’s How They Did It

Paper processes can make getting things done in government difficult. Or in the case of Pinellas County, Florida, it can make it nearly impossible.

Imagine this: You’re an employee for the county government and need to get board approval before your department can do something critical to its mission. That should be a pretty simple task, right? Not so in Pinellas County—and reliance on paper was the main culprit.

So what was slowing them down? After drafting a document and compiling all the drafts, it needed to be sent for contract review. Any revisions made there meant printing more paper. Then it required slapping on a checklist sheet and—here’s where the fun begins—it needed to be sent through inter-office mail for approval by other stakeholders, including other departments that might be affected.

This last step could drag on for weeks or even months, in part because there was no way to track who had the document or for how long. Staff frequently would use their personal vehicles to drive between county offices (15 miles apart) to find whoever had it and speed up the process. It’s not surprise then that if you wanted an item to get on the county board agenda in January, you needed to get the ball rolling back in September.

“Our previous process was tedious, time consuming and expensive,” says Becky Batten, Senior Information Technology Analyst at Pinellas County. “It stresses me out just to think about it.”

That all changed when the county decided to become a modern digital government. By implementing meeting and agenda software like Granicus’ Legistar, Minutes and Video solutions, they were able to overhaul their workflow and cut down agenda item approval by 75 percent. Pinellas County government workers can create items directly with Legistar, track where it is in the approval pipeline and add it to the agenda in a few click – no paper required. And because Granicus solutions integrate seamlessly with each other, agendas created in Legistar can be integrated directly into the minutes created (with vote tallies) and tied to the live stream. That means a more transparent and accessible citizen experience with their government.

Want to know more about Pinellas County’s shift to digital government? Check out their success story here.

If your organization is interested in modernizing your meeting and agenda process, we’d love to talk to you today about how Granicus can help. Contact us at info@granicus.com.