How this village outside of Chicago modernized its records request process
City:Village of Niles, IL
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Kathy M. Thake
Assistant to the Village Manager
It Takes a Village
The Village of Niles is a small village just northwest of Chicago. The village’s roots go back to the 1700s when the Potawatomi Indians first settled in the area. Now the Village is home to little under 30k residents and boasts an enormous retail base–all compacted in just 5.8 square miles of land.
As the Village has grown they were more in need of a streamlined way to manage FOIA requests. They found us at NextRequest in 2017.
Ditching Excel Sheets
On average, the Village processes approximately 550 records requests per year. In the past, to handle records requests, the Village staff had resorted to a pen-and-paper organization system which they eventually upgraded to an Excel spreadsheet. Even with the Excel spreadsheet though, staff found fulfillment time consuming and difficult to streamline across their several departments and between their many FOIA officers.
As Easy as Pie
When the Village of Niles recognized that they needed to modernize their system, they embarked on a six month search before landing on NextRequest. Since implementing our system, they have experienced a great deal of ease in fulfillment that wasn’t possible with their previous systems. Kathy Thake, who is in charge of oversight for all FOIA processes in the village, loves the reports function because it makes it easy to track performance across the organization. She also thinks it is making her officers’ lives much easier, saying, “before we had the NextRequest Redaction tool, we used a manual process to redact records. The tool here makes it easy to redact along with an audit trail.”
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Find out more about our NextRequest solution for FOIA request management.