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The city had already been using applications from Stellent (recently acquired by Oracle) to power its intranet and a variety of imaging initiatives, and recently extended the relationship to manage enterprise and Web content through the Stellent Universal Content Management platform.

With the platform, the city manages documents, e-mails and records electronically rather than with the paper process it had been using. The goal is to keep all knowledge in electronic form. Papers generated from outside city offices (such as the documents of outside attorneys in cases involving the city) are scanned and put into the system. That alone will eliminate countless documents for the 25,000 criminal cases and at least as many civil cases that the City Attorney’s Office handles each year.

Another advantage, according to Parker, is that the Stellent system will also handle record and electronic document destruction. Without such a retention/destruction capability, managing the growing electronic file system could become too cumbersome to be effective.

Minneapolis uses the solution for records and retention management in the City Attorney’s Office, including for e-discovery initiatives, and it’s also integrated with the City Attorney’s case management system. The Police Department will manage audio files within the system as formal records to ensure authenticity during legal proceedings. In addition, the city of Minneapolis has launched a new public Web site using the solution.

Enhancing workflow

State officials in Ohio looked to modernize several information systems, some of which were 30 years old, says David White, executive program manager of the Ohio Administrative Knowledge System (OAKS) project. OAKS is an enterprise resource planning system designed to improve the efficiency of state government and planned for full implementation in 2008. It’s expected to improve customer service and save taxpayers more than $93 million in its first five years.

The first OAKS project was a new workflow system to move knowledge from different offices to the state process controlling board, which approves requests for expenditures. That typically involved printing and forwarding as many as 20 copies of each document for all requests—a cumbersome, expensive, paper-intensive process.

White says, “It was very arduous. We had to drive up and down to the different agencies to get all of the necessary information.”

State officials decided to build the front end of the system to start the electronic documentation process, but chose the Captaris  Workflow application to move all information through the different steps in the process. Once the initiator of a budget request inputs the necessary information into the system, the Captaris application uses built-in intelligence, automatic routing and other Web-based capabilities to move the data through the different agencies and then to the board for the necessary approvals.

Using the application ensures that there’s no duplication of effort and that the information being reviewed is the most updated. All signatures are electronic. Now the entire process is handled in one-quarter of the time that it had taken, White says.

The implementation of the OAKS will continue, enabling better knowledge management for human resources, accounting and other systems throughout state government.

Similarly, other state and local entities will continue to adopt and evolve their knowledge management systems for more efficient and cost-effective movement of information throughout government. 

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