GovTech Spotlights Clerks’ Need to Leverage Technology Beyond the Pandemic

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GovTech recently published an article about municipal clerks feeling the pressure to modernize their processes because COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon. Many turned to the use of Zoom for communications regarding “public bid openings and hearings for admin appeals of city ordinances.” However, there is a learning curve that increases the pressure for improving business process standards for every aspect of their role in their communities.

There is a learning curve that increases the pressure for improving business process standards.

“Moving beyond outdated processes” is now at the top of their agendas, and processing payments online is imperative. See how the City of Brookhaven and Kissimmee use the payment portal today. Those not used to the virtual technology who have processed records requests on paper and spreadsheets will take some getting used to the change, but just as we have adjusted to the coronavirus, they will do the same. It’s what we all do after all – adapt to our surroundings and our clients’ needs.

The future improvements on the list for agencies to add to their budgets in the next couple of years were magnified as the top priority shifts for technology purchases to alleviate their situations.

What will the future look like for citizens who want access to information quickly?

The City of Aurora’s City Clerk, Stephen Ruger, has a few excellent ideas to provide public access for each citizen to choose their way of getting what they need:

  1. Kiosks throughout their 150 square mile city (allowing the city to recycle their existing desktops once replaced by laptops)
  2. Only accepting records that are electronic from the beginning

The benefits that a citizen would receive with these improvements are:

  1. Access to public records their way
  2. Availability online 24/7
  3. No hassle with traffic or waiting in long lines anymore

As we know, municipal clerks look to each other to learn best practices and share successes for the benefit of other organizations. They are great collaborators and continuously look for ways to make improvements to streamline their processes. As Tenesha Hudspeth, chief deputy clerk of the Harris County Clerks Office in the Houston area said, “other counties look to us for best practices, but we’re having to learn best practices [ourselves].”