The city of Rochester has a new, and supposedly faster, system for handling requests for accident and crime reports as well as information from City Hall under the Freedom of Information Law.
The new records access procedure is the first step in a multiyear enterprise content management program that will create a central repository for city records, officials said.
The Gates-based company, General Code LLC, is installing LaserFiche, a content management platform that enables record requests from the public to be entered online and automatically routed among city staff for fulfillment.
“This project will make city records easier to access and does away with old technology that has mired down our FOIL process,” Mayor Lovely Warren said. “But just as importantly, it is a step toward opening city government a little more to help people understand it better.”
The new system monitors application processing times and notifies staff of approaching deadlines. Instead of relying on interoffice mail, city employees will be able to “drag and drop” electronic copies of records directly into a content repository. Redacting legally protected information can be done electronically.
The city’s Communications Bureau processes nearly 4,000 FOIL applications annually, the city said.
The new system for managing city records will be paid for with $500,000 in city funds and $300,000 from the state’s Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund. The city has applied for another $200,000 in state funds. The grant is a demonstration grant, meaning the city will share information about the rollout with other municipalities in New York considering the system.
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