Scan-to-Web Products Give Citizens Better Access to Public Documents

Article excerpt

Citizens have come to expect easy and instant access to information via the Internet. Advances in software are now allowing smaller governments such as cities to get information to the people without using a lot of resources and hiring numerous webmasters.

Cities across the county have begun posting documents from city council agendas and minutes to ordinances and charters with software such as WebLink from LaserFiche, a scan-to-web product that allows agencies to post any document on the web simply by running it through a scanner.

The City of Bakersfield, Calif., (www.ci.bakersfield.ca.us/weblink) was one of the first cities to go live with WebLink.

"Thanks to LaserFiche WebLink, we have probably put more community information at our Citizens' fingertips than any comparable city in the country," said Bob Trammell, director of MIS. "Best of all, it's quick, reliable and inexpensive.

"Often, when individuals seek specific information from the city departments, there are copying and research charges," Trammell continued. "Staff must research city records taking expensive time. Then someone has to copy the information, and additional charges for postage can also be incurred. All these charges are, rightfully, charged back to the individual requesting the information. …