What to Look for in a Meeting Partner: Compliance and Transparency Builds Better Experiences
Automated, secure, and reliable tools give a complete solution of modern capabilities to provide civic records quickly with less demand on staff to serve as a go-between or gatekeeper. These innovations not only increase access and transparency in ways that help to increase participation in meetings and build trust in government, they save governments time, resources and, importantly, money from staffs struggling to achieve more with dwindling budgets.
The need for a public meeting solution is clear. But what goes into determining the correct partner for a staff when it comes to implementing that solution? Some of the common benefits governments should look for in a public meeting partner, as well as some of the pitfalls of which staff should be aware before starting a partnership, include:
- Automation and Efficiency
- Compliance and Transparency
- Security and Reliability
Finding strengths in all of these areas will help create long-term positive relationship with a public meetings software partner.
Compliance and Transparency
For most governments, the ability to balance resident trust, access, and privacy is a constant struggle. Building a better citizen experience can be achieved by heeding demands for information and access. But making that happen can strain already burdened staffs with time-consuming requests.
Adding to that already full plate, new open meeting laws and federal ADA compliance guidelines aimed at increasing ease-of-access to information for residents with disabilities present new challenges; one that can prove costly if a government organization is found to be in violation. In fact, the last year saw 11,000 ADA violation lawsuits against organizations with an average fine of $75,000.
Compliance and increased transparency are no longer just options that can help improve resident engagement, though they still remain so. Having a culture of compliance and transparency, and partnering with a public meetings solution that is dedicated to both, can save governments significant amounts of money.
The Importance of ADA Compliance
At Granicus, taking the steps to provide public meetings partners with the tools to meet ADA compliance and other transparency guidelines takes a high priority. As part of that research and customer outreach, Granicus has worked with such third-party experts as Meeting the Challenge, Inc., an accessibility compliance consulting subsidiary of CP&Y, Inc., creating customer education that focuses on meeting ADA compliance needs and better understanding the communities they serve in order to continue meeting those needs.
As part of Granicus’ work with Meeting the Challenge, govMeetings underwent an audit to make sure that public meetings solutions met the needs of a variety disabilities, such as color blindness, total blindness, partial sight, and hearing loss just to name a few.
But transparency doesn’t just extend to meeting specific compliance parameters. Creating a culture of transparency lives at the heart of many of the automated processes within the govMeetings solution. A successful partner in a public meetings solution should not only strive to provide the tools that make meeting staff’s lives easier, it should also lay the groundwork for future growth.
Compliance and Transparency Through All Meeting Phases
Through the tools of govMeetings, organizations can provide resources that make it easier for residents to engage with their government and create a more positive customer experience by:
Before the meeting
- Easily find meeting information online without calling the clerk’s office
- Subscribe to receive email notifications and updates on public meetings and agendas
During the meeting
- View high-quality streams of live meetings from any device, increasing the potential audience through broader inclusivity and accessibility
- Have convenient access to information relevant to the agenda
After the meeting
- Search, find, and review meeting videos, agendas, and minutes that interest residents, regardless of their accessibility needs, to help create a more positive citizen experience even after a meeting has concluded
- Connect with ways to stay engaged with areas of interest
It can’t be repeated enough that creating more transparent public meetings and convenient access to resources builds more positive citizen experiences. That, in turn, increases public engagement as seen in such larger and smaller cities and organizations as:
Mojave Water Agency
- 450,000 residents
- Increased engagement with public meetings by over 5,000 residents
- Delivered 174,000 agendas to residents and stakeholders
Port of Palm Beach, FL
- Population 8,816
- Increased engagement with public meetings by 4,000 residents
- Delivered 40,000 messages with key updates to residents and stakeholders
Discover how the right public meeting software partner can help your organization create better citizen experiences and engagement.
Learn more about govMeetings!