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The Chicago OIG Improves Access to Case Information and Automates Processes with Column Case Management

Tasked with investigating allegations of corruption, fraud, and waste across a city government with 40 major agencies and 38,000 employees, the City of Chicago’s Offi ce of the Inspector General has found Column Technologies’ Column Case Management to be a powerful, cost-eff ective solution.

Created by Richard Daley shortly after he became mayor in 1981, the City of Chicago’s Offi ce of the Inspector General (OIG) is an independent group of investigators, attorneys, and auditors that responds to complaints about city government’s performance from citizens and city employees. In addition to their own investigations, the offi ce has worked closely with other law enforcement agencies to secure federal convictions and expose millions of dollars in fraud and waste.

Like other public organizations, the Offi ce of the Inspector General is regularly challenged by both private citizens and public offi cials to do more with less. At a time of lowered budgets and scarce resources, the OIG recognized a new case management solution was an opportunity to dramatically improve their performance. Their outdated legacy system was fast approaching its limits, and it regularly required labor-intensive manual processes and maintenance. With no end to their needs in sight, the OIG needed a powerful knowledge sharing and process automation platform to help them spend less time tracking information or completing redundant work and more time solving cases.

Shortly after deciding to adopt a case management solution, the OIG identifi ed their key requirements. The ideal solution would off er a single location to store case information from a variety of systems— including documents, e-mail messages, and multimedia fi les—to help users construct case briefs and process approvals. It would also allow secure, role-based information access as well as highly-usable interfaces and reporting options. Finally, it would be proven in similar environments such as law enforcement and compliance.

Given their criteria, it’s easy to see why the Offi ce of the Inspector General’s decision-makers selected Column Technologies’ Column Case Management. The solution met all of their requirements, and Column had both a large Chicago presence and a strong reputation among their clients for solving their pressing business challenges. However, the most persuasive argument came from the state capitol in Springfield, where the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General was already a satisfi ed Column Case Management user.

Shortly after the Offi ce of the Inspector General made their decision, Column consultants joined their implementation team, and the two organizations worked closely throughout the process. In addition to their solution expertise, the consultants provided project management, process reengineering, and audience-specifi c training services that helped the OIG rapidly transfer their processes to Column Case Management. Their skillful project management paid off when the joint implementation team completed their work on time and on budget just three short months after they began.

Today, Column Case Management is helping the Offi ce of the Inspector General accelerate and simplify case processes. Its rich feature set allows users to build and use secure, searchable case workareas that foster communication and off er a single place for information they previously stored in a variety of locations.

Clearly, the case management solution has helped each of the OIG’s functions. Attorneys can securely share information and documents, track changes to them, and ensure they comply with document retention regulations. Administrators have reduced the time it takes to produce reports for Mayor Daley’s offi ce from a week down to mere seconds, and they quickly prepare large numbers of letters by automatically adding case-specifi c information to prebuilt templates. Investigators can determine patterns by connecting people, places, property, and vehicles associated with one case to one or to many other cases.

Column Case Management also provides the OIG with the fl exibility to meet evolving standards and guidelines. Not only is the solution built on the BMC Remedy Action Request System (ARS)—the leading business processes automation platform—it can readily accommodate emerging technology such as advanced data visualization and text analysis tools. As a result, the OIG now has a case management solution that can eff ectively meet its business needs no matter what the future holds.

With the Case Management solution now a fi xture within the Offi ce of the Inspector General’s office and the two organizations working closely to continually improve and extend it, it’s clear this is a relationship with staying power. Wherever the OIG wants to take Column Case Management, Column Technologies will be there to help.

About Column Technologies:
Established in 1998, Column Technologies is a privately held software provider specializing in business process management solutions for public and commercial markets. Headquartered in the United States, we have over 300 employees around the world, as well as offices in Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Developed and launched in 2006, Column Case Investigative has become the leading case management investigation software. The success came from its easy to implement and maintain, powerful content and records management, collaboration, and workflow automation features, which continue to prove an increase in efficiency and help deliver high-quality service.

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