Whenever a business is faced with a new critical issue that affects their ability to run properly, they quickly adapt and create fixes to address the issue. The same can be said for local governments. When faced with the shutdown because of the ongoing health crisis, local governments had to find ways to keep their city running and citizens’ lives and businesses running.
In Utah, they quickly adapted digital solutions which allowed them to continue vital services, even while impacted and sheltering-in-place themselves. Almost immediately, residents were able to access these much-needed government services which allowed them to keep their business and lives running.
The State of Utah created an eSign solution using Adobe solutions for teleworking. The state touted the value of going 100% paperless and how easy it is to handle high volumes of contracts and other approval processes in a teleworking environment.
This provided a safety measure for staff and citizens. Not only has eSign enabled the State of Utah to effectively respond in the current emergencies, it has also placed them in a better position to ensure efficiency and business continuity in the long term.
Technology and Local Government
In Baltimore, Md, the City Council is planning 50 hours of virtual hearings to address current issues so citizens can stay informed and safe.
In heavily rural states, connectivity became an immediate issue when schools closed. Mississippi is now in a “broadband revolution” as the state Legislature fast-tracked the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act that passed in 2019.
In Waukesha County, Wisconsin, setting up council meetings to address all the issues could take weeks if not months. The process usually involved setting up a big meeting so that all the review entities can make recommendations without conflicting with each other.
But now, things have changed and some want it to permanent. Developers are sending digital files of all their plans, which are then displayed and reviewed during video conferences. This was designed initially as a workaround, with employees of the suburban Milwaukee region scattered by the coronavirus, but now this more efficient way of holding meetings will become standard.
“We will not go back,” says Dale Shaver, director of parks and land use for Waukesha County. “This has changed the way we work forever.”
Despite governments long resisting remote work, the outcome now has been shown to work well, of course after a few bumps in the road in the beginning. Most feel this might be a permanent change in how they do business — or at least certain types of business. Depending on adoption levels, it might also allow them to save a good amount of money on leased space.
In Kansas, the unexpected circumstances of the pandemic has allowed the state to “dust off our telework policy long term,” says DeAngela Burns-Wallace, secretary of the state Department of Administration. “For those employees who are delivering services effectively remotely, then we want to keep them there.”
The metric to judge the success of these new ways of running government can be tricky to assess. Many managers aren’t sure what metrics to use when people are working remotely. In Philadelphia’s Department of Planning and Development, John Mondlak, deputy director for development services, believes he has a pretty simple way of keeping track. “The goal for me is to make sure it’s all getting done,” he says.
At AV Capture All, we know what challenges local governments face. With AV Capture All meeting management solutions, we make it easy for local Governments to keep constituents informed and engaged. Our Live-Streaming solutions are secure and easy to use and let’s local governments stay engaged with the public during this unprecedented time.
AV Capture– Legislative Solution is used to record Audio and Video while integrating Agendas, Minutes, and Related Documents. The document content is synchronized with the Audio/Video stream, then indexed and immediately searchable when published online. Once published, staff and citizens can view any part of the Audio/Video-on-demand, while following along with the synchronized Agenda, Minutes and Related Documents. Live Streaming is also integrated into the platform to allow staff and citizens who cannot attend the meeting in-person to view online from home.
AV Capture All is here to ensure the gears of government continue to work and the public is informed.