The federal government and all 50 states have public records laws, but they don't go by the same names. Some call them Freedom of Information Act (or "FOIA") and some just call them Public Records Laws. Learn more about what these laws have in common and what makes them different.
CivicPlus® has completed its acquisition of Optimere, the proud maker of NextRequest, ArchiveSocial, and Monsido.
Having a records request management tool is critically important for public agencies and organizations to stay on top of records requests. And yet it rarely receives a line item in agency budgets. If you need help fitting this technology into your budget, consider applying for funding from a federal or state program to improve technology.
Many public agencies are facing increases in public records requests. It can be a costly problem to solve, and even more costly to ignore. Choosing the wrong solution can result in bad press, damage to public trust, and lawsuits.
School districts have seen an increase in records requests, in not only request numbers but request breadth, because of their role in school governance. Compiling documents for these wide-ranging requests can be expensive and time-consuming without a records request management system. NextRequest makes the process quicker, easier, and safer for school districts.
This week is Sunshine Week! Sunshine Week celebrates the importance of access to public information and transparency in government.
What does the current landscape of public records look like? Read to dive into the five main issues affecting public records request management right now.
Think about this scenario when you are imagining a records request process. When a member of the public sends in a records request, oftentimes there are additional follow-up questions necessary to determine exactly what needs to be released. A staff member then has to reach back out to the requester to specify what records are being requested. This can lead to a delay in responding if the requester fails to answer. We have heard this scenario all too many times. We listened to our customers’ requests and responded with our new Custom Fields feature!
In today’s world, government security and technology protection is imperative to keeping information confidential. Agencies are seeing more records requests than ever before. Requests themselves contain hundreds, sometimes thousands of documents to sort through. Some departments only have one FOIA officer or records custodian to handle such a large task. With COVID-19 continuing, agencies are understaffed, overworked, and sometimes left with more than they can handle. That's why we've created the Risk Module to scan for sensitive information in public records.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, college students were about to go on Spring Break. But faculty and staff didn’t get a break when they needed to quickly pivot to a remote-first work model. How has COVID affected how universities operate and how has that affected how they manage records requests?
The saying goes “when public health works, we’re invisible”. This has never been more false than during the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health officials are stretched thin, overworked, and burnt out. Infections may slow down, but public records requests will only increase.
The latest update on our Equal Employment Opportunities efforts here at NextRequest.
Here’s everything you need to know about the ARP Act without having to slug through the actual 242 page bill.
Law Enforcement Agencies tend to think that they only need an RMS or a FOIA solution, but at NextRequest, we see a huge advantage in deploying both.
A major piece of government transparency is cybersecurity. At NextRequest, we know small agencies can struggle building good cybersecurity teams, so we sat down with an expert to find out how it can be done.
As a Board member at NextRequest, co-founder of Blck VC, and Partner at Storm Ventures, Frederik Groce is looking for new opportunities in venture capital.
Sunshine Week happens every March to promote open government, and during the pandemic, that’s more important than ever. Here’s why we’re celebrating this year.
Our goal at NextRequest is to simplify the FOIA request process for governments and their citizens. We constantly strive to improve our core product and user experience, so this weekend, we launched our beta preview for the new Request Show page in the NextRequest application!
As part of our desire to build a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist organization NextRequest has begun voluntarily collecting Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) data. While we are under the minimums that require this reporting we believe it’s important for companies of all sizes to track this data nonetheless.
Body-worn cameras used by law enforcement officials is still a new phenomenon. How has this usage become so prevalent, how does their real-time information benefit the community, and what drawbacks are there to outfitting our law enforcement agencies with cameras?
What a year it's been. As a company we fought the urge to sweep the whole thing under the rug and instead look at the year with rose-tinted glasses. Here's what we found.
Multiple public records laws were passed in 2020 that will greatly change the landscape of FOIA access in the U.S. See our top picks for laws that will have the most impact and find out why they're important.
Municipal clerks always have a lot on their plates, but this year is a real doozy. The presidential election, coupled with a global pandemic, has led to countless changes and a lot of ambiguity. Read on to hear how clerks have risen to the challenge (as always).
Over $2 trillion dollars has been released in the 2020 CARES Act, but not all recipients have been given equal shares. In this post we breakdown how state and local governments have been allotted different totals and what they've been told they can (and cannot) spend the money on.
How much do you know about the CARES Act that was passed in March? Learn more about the different divisions of the Act, who those divisions apply to, and what that means for individual American citizens.
Identity theft doesn’t just affect individuals, it can also have devastating effects on businesses and government. We live in a world that is “protected” by thousands of invisible gateways that hackers are learning newer and newer ways to get into. Read our quick tips on password best-practices.
In this blog post we dig into how local and state governments have been maintaining transparency during the COVID-19 pandemic, what obstacles have they had to overcome, and what changes have been made to adapt to the "new-normal".
We want to challenge government agencies to constantly be evaluating software to meet their organization's current needs. Read our audit guide to reviewing technology vendors.
We are pleased to introduce Reed Duecy-Gibbs as our new Chief Executive Officer. Reed is a co-founder and previously the COO of NextRequest. Over the last several years Reed has led the go-to-market teams and will be leading efforts to expand NextRequest’s request management software tools to governments across the U.S.
Have you ever seen an article like “Local police department asks for $50,000 to release incident reports” and wondered how that could possibly happen? Learn how fees are charged and why.
Current events surrounding law enforcement have been in the spotlight like never before. We're seeing a flurry of law reforms to increase the availability of police records to the public. Find examples of laws that have passed and read why they're important.
Our engineering and design team just released our new and improved All Requests page. It’s look and feel is different, but we made sure to preserve the core functionality and experience. Learn more about the process and what went into the new page.
The Freedom of Information Act’s 54th birthday is coming up and we wanted to celebrate with the story of how it came to be. Read on to get the historical synopsis of why and how FOIA was written and passed into law.
Can you answer the question “what is a public record” if asked on the spot? Curious what your state includes in its definition of public records? Read to learn all about public records.
Our customers have been telling us that there is a big social component to their jobs and working remotely has been quite the adjustment. Working without the constant hum of colleagues and constituents can be a difficult transition. There are lots of novel ways to connect. This post details those.
Tune in as we sit down with Jihan "Gigi" Soliman, the Assistant City Attorney for the City of Miami to discuss the city's trials and tribulations on public records management during COVID-19. This webinar is Florida-specific.
There are lots of organizations out there that help local governments and communities by offering research, events, and resources. They help to share news, best-practices, and are communities unto themselves. Learn more and get connected.
Tune in as we chat with our customer Eugene Park, the Deputy Port Attorney at the Port of Oakland as he talks about his experience navigating the many "new normals" that COVID-19 has caused in his agency.
Listen in as we talk with customer Gavin Young, the Senior Director for Public Records at UNC Chapel Hill, to discuss the public records trials and tribulations that COVID-19 has caused.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Linda Mendenhall, the Deputy City Clerk and Charity Callahan, City Clerk Specialist of Avondale Arizona to discuss their trials and tribulations on public records management during COVID-19. Listen in!
An all-too familiar problem still plagues many governments: spreadsheets. They're manual, prone to errors, and just simply inefficient. Learn why spreadsheets are bad for your government and ways to overcome them.
Don't miss our recent chat with Renée Kingston, the Assistant City Administrator/City Clerk of Camdenton, MO, to discuss the public records trials and tribulations that COVID-19 has caused.
Listen in to a recent talk we had with customer Lissa Herrera, the Records Manager/Legal/City Clerk of Las Cruces, NM, to discuss the public records trials and tribulations that COVID-19 has caused.
There are so many resources to help with remote work online, but they’re not always obvious or easy to find. We’ve put together a list of helpful remote work resources to get local government employees through this pandemic.
Those new to working from home are probably facing difficulties in maintaining focus and keeping on-task. Many states have enacted extensions for certain business processes like records requests management, but that just means there’ll be a backlog waiting once shelter-in-place is over. Keeping up with or getting ahead of certain tasks will help those in local government to transition back to more “normal” working conditions easier.
Listen in as our fan-favorite customer Kim White, the Township Clerk/Township Manager/Registrar of Eastampton Township, New Jersey discusses the open records trials and tribulations that COVID-19 has caused.
Listen in as Reed Duecy-Gibbs, NextRequest COO, chats with Jerome Wilen, the Public Disclosure Manager at the Port of Seattle, to discuss the public records trials and tribulations that COVID-19 has caused.
As remote work becomes the new normal get some real world examples of how governments have enacted digital transformations to help them overcome manual processes.
Many government workers are making the switch from cubicles and offices to the comfort (or confines) of working from home to manage their FOIA requests other business processes. NextRequest shares their best tips and resources.
This is the first post in a new series about COVID-19, how we as a company are addressing it, and how our software can help governments continue to process records requests.
Are you doing everything you can to maintain security in your agency? It is important to make sure you are properly evaluating new and ongoing software vendors. Find out ways in which you can evaluate a potential vendor.
Making government more transparent seems like an overwhelming feat. Events like Sunshine Week help to illuminate what works, what doesn’t, and how do we make things better. We’re proud to be included in this conversation.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the most effective controls an organization can put in place to prevent an adversary from gaining access to a device or network. Learn why governments should adopt MFA.
Text messages are a new medium of public record that government agencies have to manage. They’re messy, they’re hard to get ahold of, and they’re clogging up public record pipelines. Read on to get expert tips on how other agencies manage text messages and get best practices on how to tackle them.
Across the U.S. transit agencies have seen an uptick in requests. Why? How can transit agencies better manage this influx of requests to demonstrate a commitment to public trust and transparency?
What exactly is 508 compliance? Who needs it, what does it look like, and why should governments insist on vendors being 508 compliant?
Managing record requests can be burdensome. It can be time consuming. Sometimes it’s ambiguous. Laws are always changing. New record types pop up all the time. We want to offer easy, actionable steps to help governments move towards a better FOIA management system. We want to show how simple it can be.
State FOIA laws are always in-flux. Understand how the passing of Oregon’s Senate Bill 481 affects how the state's governments are required to respond to and manage public records requests.
Reviewing a high volume of files is often time consuming, can create a disorganized workflow, and may become a barrier to releasing documents in a compliant manner. RapidReview allows you to organize requests, easily extract emails, batch redact information, and quickly review documents for responsiveness to create a smoother workflow for everyone who needs access.
"Proactive Publishing" of FOIA requests allows governments to manage and preserve public records while allowing communities to easily find information. Read on to discover even more benefits.
We've encountered so many security-related acronyms in our quest to meet and exceed the security standards that we've almost lost count. Here, we break those acronyms down to explain what they mean and how they affect public agencies.
Our very own Customer Support Specialist, Rosellen Schwartz, reflects on some of the happy surprises she encountered on her recent customer tour in Washington State.
A recent whitepaper by The Sunlight Foundation on the relationship between open data and FOIA is packed with eye-opening facts and figures on how open data has been changing local government. We wanted to dig in discuss the findings further so we reached out to the foundation to chat more on what inspired them to research this topic.
California Police Departments are likely to experience a significant increase in records requests after January 1st because of the recently passed SB1421. If you've been considering getting a public records solution now is the time.
Now more than ever we need engaged citizens, so that's why NextRequest took Election Day off. We hope that more companies can be inspired to empower their employees with the time needed to vote.
Government officials <3 karaoke! If you missed out on our 2018 ICMA Karaoke Happy Hour in Baltimore, read our recap on the evening's fun!
We've been seeing a trend in agencies adopting our records request management software one department at a time. Learn how the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas and Kansas City, Kansas (WYCOKCK) has been expanding the software into multiple departments.
We really do have superhero customers out there who are spreading the word on NextRequest. This blog post is about Allison Ferreira, the Super Records Access Officer (RAO) of Middleborough, Massachusetts, and how she’s inspired us and fellow MA clerks.
We gathered a panel of Bay Area government experts to chat about the gray area between transparency and privacy. They had some amazing real-world examples on how they balance what information is made public. Read about it here.
As one of the newest members of the NextRequest family we wanted to highlight the Borough of Belmar and its Municipal Clerk, April Claudio, in a new blog series we’re calling “Meet a Public Records Rockstar”. Read on to learn about April and Belmar’s story.
Public records management can get clogged with repeat requesters, called vexatious requesters. Read about the history of the vexatious requester, ways you can spot them, and methods in which different governments and agencies have addressed them.
Records requests are increasing nationwide as requesters have become more engaged and empowered. We sat down with Eugene Park, the Deputy Port Attorney for the Port of Oakland, to discuss some of the best practices agencies can employ to lower their risk of litigation.
We're excited to announce a thrilling new partnership with Smarsh, Inc., a leading data archiving solution for government entities. Our partnership will allow agencies around the country to better manage their public records requests. Read on to see how it will work.
Sunshine Week 2018 is just around the corner and this year we're joining in on the conversation of government transparency. Read on about our how Sunshine Week came to be and how you can make a difference.
As we continue to grow as a company we want to remain actively focused on growing our internship opportunities. We've just said "see you later" to our latest intern. Read on to learn more about his experience.
A getting started guide for the State of Washington's reporting requirements for HB1594, an update to the Public Records Act. In this post we’ll review the reporting requirements and how to help you meet them as easily and painlessly as possible. Read on to get started!
Here at NextRequest we spend a lot of time thinking about ways to improve public record requests. We also spend a lot of time talking with government staff all across the country, which helps us understand all the great things people are doing to streamline their work. Here are some of the best practices we've seen.
Bipartisan legislation in the State of Washington would update the current Public Records Act allowing, among other things, government agencies to charge for digital records. Currently charges can be assessed for paper copies only.
We're excited and honored to be named to the 2017 GovTech100. The GovTech100 highlights the most innovative companies focused on serving state and local government. It's fantastic to see new companies join the list as well as some good friends who made the list again.
Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) is a member based professional organization that describes itself as "innovative local government leaders with a passion for connecting, communicating and educating." They recently held a Choice Award determined "using two criteria: the number of nominations received by each company (75%) and an evaluation from the ELGL management team (25%)."
Continuing its leadership in civic innovation, the City of Vallejo is implementing an open public records portal. Online at vallejo.nextrequest.com and built by NextRequest, the portal will allow the City to streamline its processes and provide records to the public more easily.
Our CEO Tamara Manik-Perlman and ProudCity CEO Luke Fretwell sat down with Spark Plug Labs President and Founder Monica Phillips on her weekly radio show. Tamara, Luke, and Monica discussed how things like good city websites and public records (FOIA) portals can make interactions with government simpler and easier while also building trust.
This past week, NextRequest presented at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, hosted by Mayor Joe Hogsett in Indianapolis. The conference included talks and panels with cultural, political, and religious leaders from around the world.
“This new portal is another example of how the University is working to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of what we do,” said UNM President Robert Frank. “We already have the sunshine portal for information on salaries and contracts, and our police department offers online access to its reports. This is one more step toward increased openness and transparency at UNM.”
“When I took office in 2010, I committed to making City government more efficient, open and transparent so that our residents could hold us accountable,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “From establishing the City’s Office of Performance and Accountability to launching online tools like BlightSTATUS, NoticeMe, Roadwork.nola.gov and Data.nola.gov, the City of New Orleans is leading the way in providing the public the information it needs
In an effort to further government transparency, the City of Bainbridge Island will launch an Open Public Records (FOIA) Portal on Monday, June 6. The portal, built by NextRequest, can be found online at bainbridgewa.nextrequest.com or through the City website. The public records portal will help connect the public with information that may already exist online.
Leading the way in bringing transparency and openness to local government, San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and NextRequest launched an online portal to respond to public records requests – making San Diego the largest city on the West Coast with an open public records portal and the largest in the country to release requested documents.
"At some agencies, commercial—not public—interests dominate the landscape of FOIA requesters." If you have an interest in open and effective democratic government it’s important to understand this fact. Last fall, Margaret Kwoka, a professor at Denver University, published a research paper, “FOIA Inc.,” which reveals...
Just in time for Valentine's Day, our CEO, Tamara Manik-Perlman, had a chance to record an episode of the GovLove podcast from Engaging Local Government Leaders, hosted by ELGL co-founder Kent Wyatt.
The City of Evanston today announced a new online portal that streamlines Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the first of its kind in Illinois. The portal, powered by NextRequest and available at evanston.nextrequest.com, allows community members and organizations to conveniently submit, track, and browse public record requests online...
The editors of Government Technology magazine and e.Republic Labs recently named NextRequest to their inaugural GovTech100 list of the most innovative companies focused on government. As GovTech mentions, “Something happened to civic tech in 2015. It grew up quickly.” NextRequest is proud to be part of this growth.
Whether you call it FOIA, Public Records, Open Records, Sunshine or any number of other names, a government's process of releasing information to the public should be easy, repeatable, and measurable.
NextRequest is the records request management platform helping governments to simplify their FOIA management.