Adjacent Technology and Box Help Government Agencies Facilitate Requests for Open Data and Records
Location: Austin, TX
Industry: Technology / Government
Use Case: Open government information request and retrieval
Adjacent Technologies provides content systems and solutions to the state and local government sector. Customers include most of the large state agencies in Texas, along with several cities, state universities, retirement systems, and other government entities.
When Adjacent first learned about the Box platform, they knew that Box would become a key component of their goal to create solutions that modernize and standardize legacy government technology. In partnership with Box, Adjacent developed FORTE, an information request and retrieval system that helps government agencies facilitate requests for open government data and records.
The Freedom of Information Act ensures that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information, unless they are otherwise protected from disclosure. State and local governments are also required to provide records and data upon request. The open records requirement impacts all government agencies, including educational institutions.
Today, each entity uses their own method to track and process information requests. Some are almost completely manual, while others are based on purchased solutions that attempt to solve basic tracking. For those employees tasked with servicing these requests, the process to locate and retrieve records can be time-consuming and cumbersome. Large state agencies often maintain a team of employees whose entire job entails providing requested information.
Until 2017, information requested in Texas was required to be printed. Now, information may be provided electronically, and if readily available online, a government entity may simply point the requestor to the appropriate link.
With this policy change, Adjacent saw an opportunity to help government agencies better serve the public through a cloud-based solution. Their goal was to establish a state-wide standard where all government entities leverage the same solution to receive, track, and process open records requests. The solution could also provide a self-service model by exposing approved open records directly to the community.
Adjacent developed FORTE, an information request and retrieval system that is integrated with Box’s cloud content management platform. The simple, smart, and green solution saves tax dollars and dramatically improves an agency’s ability to facilitate open records requests and deliver information efficiently.
The FORTE dashboard provides a simplified, intuitive interface for government employees to manage the end-to-end information request process. Users can easily create new requests, track open requests, and submit an information set for internal review before providing it to the requestor.
Seamless integration with Box means that the right documents can be quickly located in Box and attached to the request, with Box’s content governance capabilities available as needed. With Box’s enterprise-grade security, information flows are protected, and the entire system remains in compliance with an agency’s existing information management policies.
Establishing a standard solution for servicing information requests is both good for the public and good for government agencies. By piloting FORTE in Texas, other states may learn from its success and use it improve their own systems.
For Adjacent, information request and retrieval is just one of many government processes that can be improved by leveraging the power of Box. By integrating Box into more solutions, Adjacent intends to build on FORTE’s momentum and start a movement to modernize technology in the public sector.