The old way of doing business is over for state and local government. The COVID-19 pandemic created a huge rise in remote government work, and enhanced citizen expectations for agencies to adapt to today’s always-on, digital world.
Whether faced with a pandemic or not, states need to process millions more applications, permits, and licenses today than ever before. These include everyday critical paperwork like timesheets to ensure that employees keep getting paid, invoices, HR forms (I-9s), contracts and much more.
In addition, citizens have become accustomed to using self-serve, mobile-friendly, digital tools from the commercial world. Moving away from the cumbersome mountains of paperwork that hinder mission success is paramount.
Agencies need a solution that is scalable fast and can be provisioned and rolled out remotely. This is where a digitally agreeable government comes into play. Below are some state and local government use cases that can be applicable for any agency.
- Processing State Unemployment Applications: With more than 10 million unemployment applications filed every two weeks, state employment offices are being challenged like never before. Now state unemployment agencies can execute the electronic signing of critical paperwork such as unemployment insurance claims by modernizing their forms, signatures, and agreement processes.
- Continuity for Government Employees: With mass stay-at-home orders, government has had to respond quickly to maintain critical operations in this new remote environment. The right e-signature provider can enable remote, electronic signing of business-critical forms, timesheets, contracts, and other paperwork – with built-in security and auditability – to maintain continuity for employees.
- Rapid Response for Public Health Agencies: With county and local health departments on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and cases rising in certain areas of the country, there is an expanded need for enacting quarantine agreements when in-person signings are not an option. Now it is possible to enable the electronic signing of critical paperwork, such as quarantine orders, vital records requests, patient consents, and HIPAA releases.
- Public School Technology User Agreements: As many school districts determine the safest path for enabling remote learning this fall, they can no longer rely on paper processes for the applications and the user agreements to use district-owned technology. The right solution can help to fast track the ability to provide Chromebooks and other devices to students in need.
- Justice Must Prevail and Move Forward: No matter what the state of closures is for regions around the country, justice must prevail and move forward. It is now possible to leverage eWarrants, which are electronically signed in minutes, versus the hours it normally takes to sign a conventional warrant. This can be achieved through e-signatures that enable remote, electronic signing of critical paperwork such as warrants, judgments, protective orders, and other urgent court documents.
How to Get There: Building a More Agreeable Government
When agreements can be done faster with less risk and lower cost, citizens, employees and government administrators all benefit. Bringing these use cases to life – building a more agreeable government – for state and local agencies is not as challenging as it may seem.
Here are the three steps to building a more agreeable government:
- Find the Right E-Signature Provider: The right e-signature provider will set you up for greater success at every milestone down the road – and for greater efficiencies across your entire agreement process, not just at the moment of signing.
- Prioritize Modernization Efforts: The right e-signature provider will prioritize modernization efforts for optimal efficiency and customer experiences. At a minimum, digitize paper-only forms, but the goal should be to make every form digitally fillable, signable and searchable from nearly any mobile device.
- Modernize Your Entire System of Agreement: This includes all the people, processes and technologies involved in the entire agreement process – from preparing, negotiating and signing documents to acting on terms and managing completed agreements.
While the immediate response was challenging for everyone, we can gather lessons learned, and fully embrace the new frontier of digital government. Now it is possible to remove the mountains of cumbersome paperwork and become more responsive to both citizen and government employee needs – whether or not we are faced with a pandemic in the future.
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