Smarsh and NextRequest Team to Streamline Records Requests for Public Agencies

Portland, Ore., and San Francisco – March 15, 2018 Smarsh, providing comprehensive archiving solutions for compliance, e-discovery and risk management, today announced a partnership with NextRequest, a solution provider enabling government agencies to easily respond to public records requests.

More than 100,000 state and local agencies nationwide face a rapidly growing number of public records requests year-over-year, which directly increases the resources required and costs incurred to compliantly respond. Additionally, government agencies face new and unique challenges when it comes to data retention and oversight due to an expanding electronic communications landscape. Public records are no longer just copies of paper forms; email, text messages, instant messages, and social media related to government business are all considered public records. Many government agencies struggle with the escalating number and complexity of public records requests, due to limited budgets, staffing shortfalls and technical hurdles.

Smarsh and NextRequest have partnered to simplify the process of responding to public records requests by providing a robust end-to-end solution, the first of its kind for federal, state and local governments.

NextRequest provides an online portal for constituents and journalists to submit public records requests, as well as a platform for government agencies to efficiently manage and respond to these requests.   With the integration, electronic messages that are captured and archived by these entities can be integrated efficiently into the record request workflow.  The Archiving Platform from Smarsh enables automated and secure capture, retention and review of electronic communications. Digital records are ingested and stored in their native format, and available in an easily searchable format (across all communications channels).

When combined, these two systems provide a powerful end-to-end solution for government agencies to reduce their workloads and staffing needs by automating many manual steps of the process. Agencies can become more responsive to their stakeholders while also cutting costs, saving considerable time, and significantly reducing the possibility of penalties and fines that result from incomplete or untimely responses.

“These two products are highly complementary, and when used together create a truly innovative solution,” said Sam Kolbert-Hyle, Senior Vice President, Product, Strategy & Corporate Development for Smarsh. “This partnership between Smarsh and NextRequest enables government officials to dramatically reduce the time needed to produce records by tightening and automating the process from capture to production – which simply hasn’t existed in the past.”

“The proliferation of smartphones and digital messaging has created greater urgency for public agencies to show responsiveness to public records requests,” said Tamara Manik-Perlman, CEO of NextRequest. “We are excited about this partnership of NextRequest and Smarsh because it provides such natural, technology-driven added value. Records teams and legal teams are now able to utilize robust features like message retention rules, review workflows and redaction that will make their lives significantly easier.”

Agencies that leverage the combined solution will be able to:

  • Capture and index messages across a wide breadth of electronic communications, including text messages, email, social media and instant messaging
  • Capture text messages from employer-provided mobile devices, as well as business communications from personal mobile devices
  • Search across all archived communications and review fully threaded conversations to see the context of messages, updates, comments, and more in one consolidated destination
  • Ingest messages from the Archiving Platform into the NextRequest portal
  • Provide constituents with a public-facing portal to make, track and pay for public records requests
  • Leverage robust workflow and reporting tools to automate processes and efficiently manage, route, redact and fulfill requests
  • Auto-divert requesters to information already online, saving time for the public and staff
  • Share documents easily online with specific requesters, or release to the public at large

For more information on the Smarsh and NextRequest end-to-end solution for the retention, request and production of public records, visit http://gov.smarsh.com/record-request-portal.

About Smarsh:

Smarsh® delivers a comprehensive and integrated suite of information archiving applications and services that help companies protect themselves and manage risk. Its centralized platform provides a unified compliance and e-discovery workflow across the entire range of digital communications, including email, social media, websites, instant messaging, mobile text messaging and voice. The company is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, with offices in New York City, Boston, Raleigh and London. For more information about Smarsh, please visit www.smarsh.com.

Smarsh has launched a microsite at gov.smarsh.com with solutions specifically designed to help public sector agencies at the local, state and federal level meet their obligations for the retention and oversight of electronic communications, such as text messaging and social media. These electronic public records must be retained and accessible to meet the challenges of the Freedom of Information Act and other open-records laws, as well as to support e-discovery initiatives. For more information, visit gov.smarsh.com.

 

About NextRequest:

NextRequest provides modern, robust and user-friendly Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and public records processing software used by governments across the U.S. The company is based in San Francisco with offices in Durham, NC. For more information about NextRequest, please visit www.nextrequest.com.

 

Media Contact:

John Kreuzer
Lumina Communications for Smarsh, Inc.
(408) 896-3307
jkreuzer@luminapr.com

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