In 2013, the City of Oakland recognized the need to digitize and improve its public records program. At the time, requests were not well tracked, city staff found the system tough to navigate and the information was often buried. In essence, the public was left wondering where their requests were going and whether they’d be fulfilled. RecordTrac aims to solve that.
Built by the 2013 fellowship team Richa Agarwal, Cris Cristina and Sheila Dugan for the City of Oakland, the app offers transparency into the request process including letting city employees:
- upload links or documents;
- triage requests to other departments;
- ask questions of requesters;
- explain whether or not the request’s fulfillment is in paper format or online; and,
- track request timing / fulfillment
The app makes it easier for citizens to submit requests and easier for city staff to manage and fulfill them. Additionally, it provides a shared view of current and past requests and exposes data that can potentially be used to further improve processes.
To date the request app is widely used across Oakland City departments. To try it visit records.oaklandnet.com/new.