North Bergen, NJ
North Bergen, a populous township in northern New Jersey across the Hudson River from Manhattan, sought to streamline the government's Open Records Request (OPRA) process which relied on a time-consuming, inefficient manual paper process.
As a large town, North Bergen receives 60 - 120+ Open Records Requests per month. The Clerk's Department faced difficulty ensuring that OPRA requests were processed in a timely manner. Prior to GovPilot, North Bergen relied on a manual process including paper forms, hand written transposing of information, and follow up phone calls. This often left the Clerk's Office overwhelmed by paperwork and struggling to process requests within the state mandated seven business day time period.
"It was all a lot of paper. Before GovPilot it was a paper trail." Said Head Clerk, Erin Barillas. OPRA requests were often received via email or fax, which then had to be printed out, and transposed by hand into the Clerk's Department paper log book. The request was then faxed, or scanned and emailed to the relevant department. That department would then fax or email the response to the Clerk's Department, which in turn had the requestor come to the office to pick it up, or faxed or emailed the response on to the requestor.
This led to a backlog in the processing of OPRA requests, which often meant a difficulty in the department to fulfill requests within the state-mandated seven business day requirement.
The North Bergen Clerk Department adopted GovPilot to digitize their OPRA request, processing, delivery, and filing processes. With GovPilot, the paper processes and manual tasks which once made the OPRA process cumbersome and time consuming, have been digitized and streamlined.
The staff now saves hours per day and no longer operates with a backlog of OPRAs to process. Records are stored digitally and are easily searchable in a matter of clicks, rather than filed away in the basement.