Field operations management
children in DC get child support faster
to stand up a whole new child support system, start to finish
child support case filing that once took 4-8 weeks
attorneys and support staff use Box to collaborate on cases
For the OAG, paper-based processes and outdated technology were slowing down the ability to legally protect residents
Legacy on-premises file shares didn't support the right integrations, were too unwieldy for collaboration, and became difficult for IT to manage
Adhering to compliance and privacy requirements critical to a government agency was a challenge
A paperless, secure digital workplace in the Content Cloud lets 800 attorneys and support staff navigate interagency collaboration, case management, and vendor management much faster
The OAG leverages e-signature to make legal processes electronic and remote-enabled from start to finish
With Box, it took only 3 months to stand up a child support system that helps 45K children get child support faster
Critical government processes held back by outdated systems and technologies
For the most part, the US government has a logical hierarchy that consists of city, county, state, and federal agencies. Then there's Washington DC. "It’s not a city. It’s not a county. It’s not a state. It’s all three of those things," says Chris Tonjes, CIO, Office of the Attorney General (OAG), Washington DC. "The DC government has the responsibility of all three.” Not to mention, DC is the seat of the US federal government as well, with a population that routinely turns over as administrations change.
It’s a complex scenario, particularly when it comes to judicial matters. The Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, which provides legal advice to District government agencies and protects the interests of residents, is the eighth largest in the country. The OAG's goal is to be the nation’s most effective and respected public law office, and leaders like Tonjes are putting the technology in place to support that ambitious vision.
By moving legacy processes such as evidence sharing and signature gathering to the Content Cloud, the OAG has established a paperless digital workplace for its 450 attorneys and 350 support staff. And with Box, the OAG can take advantage of strategic integrations: Microsoft 365, Salesforce, Adobe Sign, Abacus, Canon Scan, and Zoom. Tonjes is leading the digital revolution at the OAG, from the basics of collaborating on files to the cutting edge of AI.
Speeding up child support payments for 45K children
If someone applies for child support in DC, there's a process that ensues, and that process used to take a really long time. As Tonjes describes: “It was the oldest legacy system within the District government, forty years old and entirely paper-based.” In addition to being inefficient, these outdated processes created a host of risks:
- The technology platform underlying the system was so out of date that only a handful of customers in the world still used it, and vendor support was going away
- Many of the people supporting the system internally had been in their roles for decades and were also phasing out, via retirement
- The old system wasn’t built to withstand modern-day cybersecurity risks
As Tonjes describes, “Using old technology left room for hackers to exploit weaknesses in the system. We're talking about the personally identifiable information of children and families.”
This was the context behind a huge overhaul of the District’s child-support system, which Tonjes was able to get up and running in just a little over three months — even during a pandemic! — in partnership with Box. The entire child-support litigation process was moved to the Content Cloud, with a secure and compliant electronic document repository for all paperwork, and workflows accelerated by Box Relay.
"We were able to do this because we didn’t have to write code,” Tonjes explains. “All we had to do was work with our business users to understand the process, iterate on design, and enable the technology Box supplied."
The ability to connect critical platforms like Salesforce and Microsoft 365
The Content Cloud’s 1,500+ seamless integrations were one of the reasons the OAG could so quickly modernize the child support system. Salesforce is the primary integration behind the system, enabling various stakeholders — families, attorneys, judges, case managers — to access the specific files they need.
"It really took no work to connect Box to Salesforce,” says Tonjes, “because the native integration was already there. It was the path of least resistance, and it was also the path that provided the greatest opportunity for innovation."
The integration of business-critical tools has enabled the OAG to create a seamless system for child support litigation, and that’s only one way in which the agency operates in the Content Cloud.
Better protection for 700K+ residents
The OAG also prosecutes all District crimes, including child abuse and neglect cases; operates an aggressive consumer protection program; and dispenses legal advice to the District’s government agencies. In all kinds of ways, Washington DC’s 700,000+ residents rely on the agency to feel safe and ensure justice is well served.
Before the Content Cloud, the OAG struggled to support attorneys and staff in pre-and post-trial processes with basic tasks like reviewing evidence. Legacy on-premises file shares and SharePoint didn't support the integrations attorneys needed. Plus, these solutions were too unwieldy for internal and external collaboration, and too difficult for IT to manage.
With Box as a unified content layer across a best-of-breed cloud ecosystem, the delivery of legal services improved, because attorneys and staff could focus on their work — not on searching for information. Productivity has since increased; the load on IT has decreased. And with frictionless security and compliance built right into the Content Cloud, risk has been reduced.
Here are just a few specific ways the OAG is now using Box:
- Interagency collaboration: DC Superior Court, the main court handling civil and criminal matters for the city, now has an e-evidence program so that trial evidence can be shared with the judge and other stakeholders (no longer via burned DVDs and FedEx-ed reams of paper)
- Retention management: Automatic file retention has allowed the entire OAG team to shut down most on-premises file storage — and will soon replace all of it
- Vendor management: Replacing a laborious manual process with a custom AI app allows the OAG to automatically detect duplicate charges in vendor invoices
The OAG has transformed into an organization with streamlined electronic processes that speed up outcomes and better protect content. Tonjes says of the Content Cloud, “It’s been revolutionary in terms of making it possible for people to get things within court deadlines and for our ability to actually work on complex litigation."
Integrations that enable the pursuit of justice
In addition to criminal justice, the OAG is committed to improving the lives of residents on everyday issues, and is leveraging the Content Cloud to do so.
Of the partnership with Box, Tonjes says, "We have a lot more control, we have a lot more visibility, and we have a lot more security over the things that we store in Box than we did before. It's proven to be quite cost-effective."
With integrations in the Content Cloud powering everyday tasks, government agencies like the OAG are better equipped to serve residents and further the cause of justice.
“The Content Cloud has been revolutionary in terms of making it possible for people to get things within court deadlines and for our ability to actually work on complex litigation."
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