The County of Maui aims to make it easier for residents to request and receive public records in accordance with Hawai’i law, thanks to software technology modernization, the county Department of the Corporation Counsel announced today.
Starting Jan. 24, 2024, the County of Maui will launch an online Uniform Information Practice Act (UIPA) records management portal with GovQA software to more efficiently process and manage requests from citizens and the media for public records and information, such as electronic documents, videos and audio files.
“The UIPA Records Management Portal will allow county departments to leverage technology to simplify and enhance the UIPA process and marks a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to transparency and citizen engagement,” said Mimi Desjardins, First Deputy Corporation Counsel.
The county received an unprecedented high volume of UIPA records requests relating to the August 2023 Maui Wildfires. The new portal will cover departments most impacted by these wildfire-related UIPA requests: Department of Fire and Public Safety, Maui Police Department, Maui Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Office of the Mayor, Department of Management, Department of Planning, Department of Public Works, Department of the Corporation Counsel and Department of Water Supply. The county plans to expand the new UIPA portal to all departments in the future.
The departments are currently in the process of transitioning open/pending UIPA requests onto the portal. Beginning on Jan. 24, 2024, requesters will be able to enter new UIPA requests on the portal.
The County of Maui’s new records request system is a centralized, secure public records portal that allows residents to track their UIPA requests online and standardizes workflows for employees. Self-serve tools and auto-follow functions make it easy to proactively share information. An online intake form refines requests, reducing the need for clarification and delivering improved accuracy. The system reduces paperwork and frees up staff time to work on other important business.
In trying to address the high volume of UIPA records requests, the county explored GovQA’s cloud-based solution for a secure platform that allows them to enhance transparency and improve customer service.
GovQA is the largest provider of cloud-based SaaS automated workflow solutions for government compliance. Its Public Records Request Management software handles more Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for state and local governments than any other software provider.