Columbia County Creates a new System in an Effort to be More Transparent

Columbia County logo graphic
Columbia County logo graphic

In an effort to be more transparent with the community, Columbia County leaders have installed a new software that makes it easy to get information.

One of the biggest issues many people have is trusting their government. Columbia County leaders are hoping to eliminate at least some of that by redefining how people request information through the Freedom of Information Act.

It was the deadly fire at Marshall Square retirement community that had open records requests flooding into the Columbia County Government center for weeks.

“I don’t think that people realize that we get so many and obviously it’s another way of keeping our community informed you know,” County worker, Calie cook said.

Calie Cook, with the County, says this new way of filing open records requests is a way for officials and people in the community to stay organized.

“How it’s been done in the past is through email and we’re swamped with emails every day and there were several people who kind of worked together to get that open records request done,” Cook explained.

It’s a simple process, all you have to do is head online to the Columbia County Government site go to online services, then down to open records requests, then choose the division that you want to request records from, the type and describe the records requested. In days you should have a response.

“All the open records request come to me, if you use our system and we can track them, matter of fact I have some documents right here. We’ve been using it since December and we’ve already had 30 something request,” Clerk of Court, Patricia Crawley said.

Patricia Crawley is the newly appointed open records officer. As someone who has dealt with these requests in the past, she knows how much this new software will help her and you.

“A new feature that we are going to do is like, we had somebody request the same documents we can have a page that says, hey have you looked here, so that they can all get the same documents at the same time, instead of asking the same thing over and over and over,” Crawley explained.

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