All About NDEE: Records Management
The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) generates a vast number of public documents related to regulated facilities. It’s important these documents are managed correctly and made readily available for both the department and the public.
NDEE’s Records Management Section oversees this vital work. They work with the agency’s programs to ensure documents are filed correctly, make those documents accessible for the public, and respond to public records requests.
NDEE was one of the first state agencies in Nebraska to use an electronic content management (ECM) system. The agency’s Records team has even provided demos for other agencies showcasing the streamlined records management processes.
The ECM also makes NDEE’s records available through its Public Records Portal. Facilities that have documents with the agency are assigned a facility ID number that stays with that site throughout ownership changes. Using that ID, anyone can conduct a search and see all public documents related to a facility. The public records portal first launched in May 2011, and there are currently 1.1 million records available through the portal.
Not only are these online records useful to the public, the ECM and public portal are also a process improvement for the Records team. The Records Management Section responds to public records requests, and since the introduction of the Public Records Portal, these requests for documents have steadily decreased – from 1,460 requests in 2012 to 704 in 2022. This saves time for Records Management to work on other projects and shows that members of the public are able to find the documents they’re looking for through the portal.
The Records team remains busy. In 2022, they stored more than 144,000 records in the ECM system, including newly imaged historical records. Of the records stored, 36,000 were incoming mail items that Records processed and routed to agency staff. This work supports the agency’s programs so they are able to focus on permitting and inspecting facilities, providing financial aid to Nebraskans, and monitoring the remediation of contaminated sites in the state.
In addition to the Public Records Portal, NDEE also has an Interactive Map Server. Anyone can search for a facility, or for facilities with specific types of records. Members of the public can also pull up documents related to a facility they find on the map through their search.
NDEE’s records management system ensures documents are available for agency staff to conduct their work, as well as making these documents available to the public. This transparent process also helps keep the public informed about how NDEE administers programs and makes decisions.