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Rewiring Government

The Department of Better Technology helps governments deliver great digital services to the people who depend on them.

Cut down your backlog of public records requests & achieve greater transparency

In recent years, we’ve seen tools like MuckRock, FOIA Machine, and Alaveteli improve how journalists and citizens ask for public records and share what they find. But on the other side of the request is you, the government employee tasked with processing and replying. Requests and follow-up inquiries pile up in your inbox, waiting to be logged into a database management system that is slow and out-of-date.

There’s a better way. Screendoor enables you to collect and process public records requests more efficiently, with less stress and greater transparency. Our software has been battle-tested on the front lines at every level of government: USAID, Colorado Secretary of State, the City of Oakland, and the City of San Francisco all use Screendoor to manage information collection workflows.

Backlog, be gone

Screendoor comes with a full suite of features to streamline your records request process:

Stay on top of all incoming requests.


Set up statuses to keep track of a request through each stage of your workflow.


Add labels to categorize requests and further ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

Manage and delegate requests.


Assign a colleague to review a request. Discuss related tasks with @mentions and notifications.

Keep your citizens informed…


…with an email acknowledging the request.

notify status

…with a notification email, sent each time the status of a request changes.

socrata sync

…with an archive of requests published in your open data portal.

Let the light in

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws are hallmark efforts to create a more transparent, open government—one accountable to all its citizens. Our co-founder and chairman Clay Johnson serves on the Federal FOIA Advisory Committee, so we’re committed to the success of these laws. We recognize, too, that this success depends on proper implementation and oversight.

In the face of budget constraints, compliance at every level of government remains underfunded. Screendoor provides a low-cost avenue for agencies and offices to fulfill public records requests with greater transparency.

We encourage you to see for yourself! You don’t have to upend your current process for managing requests before trying Screendoor. Contact us to request a free trial and pilot a new workflow within your agency or office, risk-free, or learn more on our website.

Kari Mah is a product manager at CityBase.

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