New Feature: The Custom Holiday Calendar
The CivicPlus® NextRequest solution includes a Custom Holiday Calendar. The feature allows administrators to set custom holidays in their Portal Settings to ensure records requests are always fulfilled on time.
NextRequest’s built-in holiday calendar follows federal government holidays and factors those holidays into request due date calculations. However, not all state and local agencies and school districts follow these exact holidays. Some may not take Presidents’ Day off but may close the day after Thanksgiving. Correct due dates help ensure compliance with records laws, so it’s important that the calendar be accurate. While users could always manually change all the due dates themselves, this feature eliminates that extra step.
Customers looking to update their calendars can follow the steps outlined in this guide.
Customers Know Best
Customers asked for more flexibility to suit their local holidays and observances, and we listened. Some states observe Founders’ Fay celebrations, and school districts may take longer periods of leave around holidays. Setting a custom holiday calendar ensures that due dates are automatically correct, so they can always rely on the date set by the system and eliminate any manual correction.
“Benton County closes for the day after Thanksgiving every year. Is there a way to incorporate that into the holiday schedule in NextRequest? Or do we just add a day to the Due Date for requests with a Nov 26th (day after Thanksgiving this year) due date?”
–NextRequest customer, Benton County Sheriff’s office
NextRequest’s customer base has grown over the years, now serving more than 350 state and local governments and schools. Their needs for records request management are similar but not identical. For example, the specifics of the records laws governing their request processes are different depending on their location. As we grow as an organization, we’re thrilled to be able to provide increased customization and functionality to meet the needs of our customers better.
Records Laws Affect Due Dates
Records laws vary by state; all 50 states and the District of Columbia have records laws, but the specific requirements laid out in them are different. The federal government is subject to its own records law, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Some laws set fees for requests, some set limits on how records can be used, etc.
One of the requirements that varies most widely between US records laws is the number of business days government entities have to respond to records requests. California’s law gives 10 days to respond, while Iowa’s gives more wiggle room at 10 to 20 days. Other states, like Alabama, do not give a deadline for response. But even where the law does not specify a response time, public agencies and school districts likely have internal goals and deadlines. Because of this variability, NextRequest customers need the ability to customize the portal to fit their needs.