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Oneida County DA’s Office Pioneers Paperless
When Oneida County was founded in 1798, it was on the frontier of a new nation. Now, Oneida County is once again pioneering into new territory as its District Attorney’s Office is the first in New York State to go paperless. Oneida County approved a capital project to install a Laserfiche Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system. Once implemented, users in the District Attorney’s Office and County Clerk’s Office will be able to scan paper records into PDF format, store and share those records electronically and be able to conduct digital searches to identify and retrieve the specific records required to satisfy business needs.
Once the system is fully operational, the County’s 22 Assistant District Attorney’s will no longer need to lug boxes of documents to court. Using an iPad, they will be able to access any documents that are needed. Case information from law enforcement agencies will also be submitted electronically through electronic forms. With incoming case information in electronic form from the start, the need to scan documents will be eliminated. And cases will be assigned to attorneys faster, a process which will occur through a workflow.
Web Portal for eDiscovery
With eDiscovery, the ADA’s will tag documents that need to be shared with the defense attorneys. When ADA’s are ready to provide the defense attorneys with the discovery documents, they will trigger a workflow in Laserfiche that will gather all the tagged documents and place them in a folder for access by the defense. The defense will receive an email letting them know that their discovery is available. They will log into a password protected Web Portal to access a folder with their specific discovery documents. This saves the administration of the District Attorney’s office from having to copy and deliver the discovery to the defense attorneys. This will also give the District Attorney’s office verification that the discovery has been received and accessed by the defense.
This Laserfiche system is integrated with the DA’s case management system so that Laserfiche records can be accessed from their PCMS case management system from NYPTI. Laserfiche Rio was selected because it combines comprehensive ECM functionality with business process management, security and the auditing tools necessary to serve as the foundation of a solid ECM infrastructure. Laserfiche Rio offers central control over standards, security and auditing. It also provides individual departments with the flexibility needed to customize filing structures and workflows.
General Code of Rochester, NY, an authorized reseller of Laserfiche, assisted in establishing the framework for the ECM infrastructure for a contract cost of $142,100. The County Legislature with the commitment of the County Executive and Department Managers provided for the implementation of Laserfiche through a Capital Project. This includes 50 licenses, modules for records management, training for the District Attorney’s and IT staff, development of Workflows for automation of business process, integration with PCMS and the first year of support for the Laserfiche system.
Electronic records management will enhance Oneida County’s ability to store, retrieve and share important records in a timely and efficient manner. It will also reduce the need to retain paper records, which will have a positive impact on facilities costs and reduce the cost of paper and copying.
As part of implementing this ECM system, Oneida County will scan thousands of boxes of documents, including police reports, arrest reports and witness statements. After these files are converted to a digital format, they will be accessible on a computer, iPad or iPhone. These files—some dating back to the 1800s—are currently stored at a records center in Westmoreland, NY, where space is quickly running out. This process will free up space at this facility and reduce the cost of maintaining the paper documents. The ultimate goal of the County will be to close or repurpose the Westmoreland facility. This software system will save Oneida County money while being environmentally friendly. The Oneida County Board of Elections will also utilize the County’s Laserfiche system. They will use Laserfiche to accept petitions to be put onto the ballot for elections. Workflows, which will follow the guidelines and dates specific to the election laws, will run upon receipt of a petition.
Also, the Oneida County Attorney will be implementing the contract review and authorization process through Laserfiche. This will utilize the Workflows and eForms functionality of Laserfiche and will ultimately touch every department in the County.