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  • Success Story
  • Durango, CO

GovQA Brings Efficiency to an Overburdened Yet Shrinking Department in Durango


Faced with the elimination of a position from its records office, the city of Durango’s newly promoted clerk turned to GovQA from Granicus to create an efficient request system that increased efficiency (and then some) to make up for the now-smaller team.

Now when a request comes in, I open GovQA, assign the activity, release the data, and it's done. It’s that easy.
Faye Harmer, City Clerk of Durango, Colorado


  • 400+ annual data requests
  • Increase in efficiency with reduced staff
  • 5 min average to fulfill basic requests
  • 10+ collaborators working seamlessly
Must have Granicus Solutions

On One Condition…

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Durango, CO, features postcard-worthy views of snow-capped mountains. Like many small towns, the city council continually looks for areas to cut costs. It recently turned its eyes to the records office, asking newly promoted City Clerk Faye Harmer to eliminate a full-time position.

“We were already overworked, so the idea of losing capacity was hard to swallow,” Harmer said.

She reluctantly agreed but with a condition: The city would purchase for her office GovQA, the automated government compliance workflow platform from Granicus, to digitize the records request process.


Time is of the Essence

Previously, the Durango City Clerk’s Office relied on manual processes to fulfill records requests, leveraging Excel spreadsheets, calendar reminders, and email for a cobbled-together structure that worked but took a lot of time. GovQA quickly changed that with an automated system that significantly reduced processing time.

“We went from a simple task taking 30 minutes to just 5,” Harmer said.

The efficiency wasn’t just felt in the records office but around town. With detailed analytics, the city council could better understand what topics were important to citizens. When a vital topic bubbled up, the records office could quickly provide detailed information to help inform council decision-making.

People making requests could receive their information faster and avoid in-person trips to city hall thanks to online payments and processing. Larger data requests also became more manageable. GovQA features a locker system where requests get placed in a secure online folder that the requester can access and download.

"Before GovQA, we’d buy a flash drive for $5 and upload the data to it. While that was not hard, it took time. We’d have to approve the purchase request, be reimbursed, fill out additional paperwork, and then have the requester get it in person. Now we just put it in a locker."
Faye Harmer, City Clerk of Durango, Colorado

More Requests in Less Time

Even with reduced staff, Durango now processes more records requests than before, thanks to GovQA. The city police department also jumped on board, creating a records portal for citizens to request officer bodycam footage and other information. Citizens can click on a police badge or the city seal to reach the right place to request information.

The system also helps combat records request abuse, a growing concern in many cities. Some citizens regularly sue the city, requesting large amounts of data simultaneously. Meeting these requests was often time-consuming and put a strain on available resources.

With GovQA, fulfilling large requests takes just a fraction of the time. Every moment is critical for a municipality that has seen requests nearly quadruple in the last four years.

“Now when a request comes in, I open GovQA, assign the activity, release the data, and it’s done,” Harmer said. “It’s that easy.”