A healthy municipality depends on keeping accurate, detailed records. And, while the Township of Springwater was keeping plenty of records, they had a serious problem storing and accessing them. Everything was very compartmentalized and siloed. Each department had their own network drive and filing system, and no other department had easy access to it.
Active records were physically stored in a room above the municipal offices, taking up five filing shelves and growing at an alarming rate. Staff was wasting time searching for files on- and off-site, and costs were rising. The reliance on physical records and lack of department integration also made it difficult for township staff to work collaboratively.
Physical records would occasionally go missing or become delayed when staff members were away on vacation, sometimes sitting on a desk for weeks at a time. And, because sifting through paper files was a time-consuming task, any requests for records in storage took a long time to fulfill. While the township continued to meet legislative deadlines in responding to Freedom of Information Requests or resident inquiries, it wanted to increase turnaround time to improve its reputation for openness and transparency.