During the COVID-19 pandemic, many states, such as Texas, suspended the fulfillment of records requests. In March, several government bodies in Texas submitted catastrophe notices, and a few submitted extensions for public records requests. In Texas, they’re able to suspend the applicability of the Texas Public Information Act for up to two weeks past their 10-business day deadline.
Texas isn’t the only one.
Dozens of state, county and local governments are exercising options during the ongoing pandemic that allow them to postpone requests for government records.
With the obstacles that telecommuting and continuing to process open records during the pandemic present, many of our clients faced the new challenge of continuing to adapt to the changing deadlines for records requests.
Many of our clients are required to track the processing time on a request towards their due date, but requesters aren’t typically under the same pressure to respond promptly.
In another scenario, the employee processing the request may do their part and reach out to the requester for more information or to collect payment, but the time frame to receive a response could take months. With this, many employees found themselves with idle requests, while requests appear to be past due even though they were unable to continue to process them.
Now, enter the JustFOIA pause timer feature allowing employees to accurately track their due date by pausing the request while waiting on the requester for a response or payment.
Once the employee receives the necessary information, they can resume the request. Not only does this create an aesthetically pleasing dashboard without a long list of past-due requests, but it allows for accurate reporting, which is incredibly important to our clients.
Our team developed this feature as a result of the feedback we received from our clients.
We are fanatical about client success and constantly making improvements to our solution that can adapt to fit your needs, regardless of the circumstance.