IT’s Contribution to Council Administration’s PIA Request Form Process

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Howard County, Md., MD

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About the Program

Category: Information Technology (Best in Category)

Year: 2023

The County Council Administration requested a database that they could use in order to track Public Information Act (PIA) requests that they receive from constituents. Previously when they received PIA requests, the requests would come in as emails and did not contain all the information necessary to process the requests. Due to legal requirements, requests need to be responded to within a deadline and this was challenging without having all the necessary information. Within seven months, DTCS created a streamlined process that allows constituents to submit a user-friendly form that feeds into a database. The form collects all the mandatory information in order to help process the request within the deadline. The database allows the administrators to see a list of all the PIA requests, assign the requests to the person responsible for handling them, update the open/closed status, and respond directly to the constituent regarding the request. The new process improved efficiency and allows the administrators to manage, track, and audit all their PIA requests.