The Oklahoma City Action Center is a support and referral hotline answering questions about living in Oklahoma City.
This group has been available as an extension of city service lines, allowing residents to call or write their questions about buildings, lots, residences and businesses in Oklahoma City.
The most recent addition is the option to email questions to their offices, which expedites the question and does not tie up time on the phone... a great option for those on the go, or problems discovered after hours, that may not be urgent.
Action Center deals with questions about city codes http://www.okc.gov/devservices/commoncodes.html in Oklahoma City. It is available in English and Spanish. http://www.okc.gov/devservices/codigo.html
And their staff will answer other questions for connecting service if it isn't obvious who needs to be contacted, or where else the caller might get an answer.
Their lines are live answered Monday through Friday. But the email address is on 24/7. firstname.lastname@example.org. Callers don't have to be a resident of Oklahoma City, but the problem identified will need to be, and they will explain that when contacted. If they are not the right resource, they will explain the options to the caller.
The Action Center in Oklahoma City logged a new process of cataloging the inbound requests with a document number or case number, which allows the caller to reference the question on return calls. It also makes it possible for the caller to notify the City Council representative of the issue, and have a solid date, time, content and case number to reference regarding positive, timely resolutions which are common.
Some problems also morph into other problems, and this system allows for multiple connecting services to resolve a complex, multipart problem, say over different agencies... while holding the original problem and adding auxillary issues in separate or connecting files.
WHY ? would that matter. Well, one of the problems that historically plagues many if not all Oklahoma agencies is poor inbound documentation of problems. Failure to comprehensively track anything from initial requests, to who was assigned and what was discovered and the outcome can negatively effect a number of things. 1.) understanding the problem 2.) understanding what was attempted to address the problem. 3.) whose hands have been on the case 4.) Was the suggestion for solution or action successful or not. 6.) What kind of referral happens if the problem is not solved on first referrals or attempts? 7.) How common is this problem in whole or part? 8.) What resources have been allotted for problems like this? 9.) What problems need to be allotted for problems like this? 10.) Does the staff at Action find this a successful case handling? 11.) Does the City service that got the call find it successful... City Council Rep?, 12. ) and the all important is the CALLER attended to as need be... given the scope of the services available from Action.
Having that running number to reference is a great option, and having electronic replies to this information cuts costs and confirms the inbound requests.
That looks like a measurable improvement in Oklahoma City government responses. Good job, Action!