- Success Story
- Wenatchee Valley College
How Wenatchee Valley College used technology to upgrade its public records management
Wenatchee Valley College [weh-NA-tchee] (WVC) is a public institution with two campuses located in north central Washington. The main campus is nestled midway between Seattle and Spokane, while the sister campus sits near the Canadian border. After painstakingly managing public records requests manually for years, WVC was introduced to GovQA — a solution that cut records request fulfillment timing at WVC down by half, while also reducing the costs — and environmental impact — associated with paper-based processes. GovQA also made compliance effortless with smart, automated workflows and greatly diminished the stress that so commonly goes hand-in-hand with public request management.
- 50% reduction in request fulfillment timing
- Reduced the costs — and environmental impact — associated with paper-based processes
- Effortless compliance thanks to automated workflows and reminders
- Less stress associated with public request management
Manual and Monotonous
For most of the 15 years Reagan Bellamy has served at WVC, she’s been the records request officer; but that’s only part of her job. Most of her time is devoted to duties related to her role as the executive director of human resources. Being that the management of public records is a relatively small aspect of her role, Reagan was eager to find an easier way to manage public requests. For about a decade, Reagan managed public records requests manually, which meant lots of printing and arduous, manual redactions. Washington state public records law requires public records officers to acknowledge new requests within five days of receipt, so Reagan would set up individual reminders on her calendar to help her remain compliant. Officers are then required to establish a fulfillment timeframe, which sometimes — depending on the size and complexity of the request — could take up to six months for her to fulfill. Responses were emailed or even (snail) mailed to requesters. “It was a long process to print everything out, redact, make copies… It was just a lot of work,” Reagan admitted.
Automated and Accessible
After learning about GovQA from a colleague, Reagan was delighted to implement a digital solution that simplified public records management, saved time, resources, and significantly reduced her overall stress around this aspect of her job. Reagan can now redact using a tool within GovQA — a much easier process. She’s particularly fond of the automated notification feature that reminds her to acknowledge new requests within the allotted time frame. “I don’t have to manually track those dates in my calendar anymore,” Reagan said. “And I can login to the system from anywhere to stay compliant.” The compliance automation quickly quells the threat of lawsuits, which makes compliance straightforward.
Paperless and Practical
GovQA has reduced Reagan’s public request fulfillment time by 50% and relieved the pressure of compliance with smart, automated notifications and a handy, time-saving redaction tool. Reagan has also minimized the negative environmental impact that can be associated with paper-based processes by removing the need to print on reems of paper. In the past, some requests took hundreds of sheets of paper to fulfill, and the copies would end up sitting in a folder in her drawer.
With GovQA, Reagan found a much more efficient means of public records management. When requesters ask for information on a cyclical basis, which happens often, she can easily reference previous requests, making new fulfillment even easier.
Now, Reagan has the freedom to focus on employee relations, which — as the director of human resources — is a more appropriate use of her time, intellect, and expertise.