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Scottish Fire & Rescue gets hot on FoI compliance

Antony Savvas | Sept. 22, 2014
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has deployed Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the cloud to deliver a Scotland-wide Freedom of Information (FOI) request system.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has deployed Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the cloud to deliver a Scotland-wide Freedom of Information (FOI) request system.

The platform, implemented by public sector specialist Optevia, enables SFRS to track FOI requests from their point of enquiry through to completion.

Prior to the Dynamics CRM installation, FOI requests were manually logged (either on paper or on an electronic spreadsheet) before being transferred into the correct format and forwarded onto the appropriate member of staff to be actioned. With the volume of requests increasing the challenge was to create a Scotland-wide case management solution to capture, track and manage these requests more efficiently.SFRS can now fully automate and track FOI requests for the lifecycle of the request, from initial contact to supply of information, enabling a content management system to store and allow access to information from a central location.

The new platform also allows better communication channels to be opened with members of the public and partner agencies for general enquiries, with the request automatically routed to the appropriate service delivery area or team.

Additionally, the Dynamics CRM solution has enabled SFRS to automate and track data protection (DP) requests — allowing people to find out what personal information is held about them by the organisation — and also environmental regulation (ER) requests which govern the public's right to access environmental information the service holds.

It is anticipated that in the medium to long term further benefits will be realised too, as the organisation embraces Dynamics CRM for other functions, such as managing legal casework and supporting its assessment development centre (ADC) process, which is used to assess individuals in the service for promotion.Stuart Chalmers, business services manager at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said, "The new CRM system has been developed to improve our internal processes and ensure compliance with legislation. The solution has successfully managed to introduce a uniform process, replacing eight previous processes and ensuring consistency."

 

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