District of Sooke

Municipal Records and Disposition Automation Using SharePoint Online and Power Automate 

The District of Sooke “Where the Rainforest Meets the Sea” strives to adapt its municipal business practices in an effort to provide excellent service and meet community needs.

Regroove is currently working with the District of Sooke to build an automated, fully comprehensive official records management and records disposition system, using SharePoint Online and Power Automate. 

The Challenge 

The District of Sooke (the District), serving a diverse community of over 15,000 residents, faced an escalating challenge in managing its growing volume of documents. The District was looking for a system to facilitate managing their records and retention process. They needed a system that could effectively manage both physical and digital records, adhere to stringent retention policies, and adapt to their unique needs. The municipality was hesitant to implement the Records Center as its out-of-the-box functionality did not meet the process they wanted implemented.  

The Solution 

Regroove embarked on a comprehensive project to develop a tailored document management and records disposition automation system. The solution was built exclusively using Microsoft technologies – specifically, SharePoint Online and Power Automate. 

  1. Detailed Requirements Gathering: The project began with an in-depth requirements gathering phase. The consulting team worked closely with the District’s team members to understand their vision, objectives, and specific needs. This ensured the technology would align with the municipality’s unique requirements. 
  1. Two Key Automations: 
  • Official Records Identification: The first automation was designed to capture when new official records were classified. This involved creating a system that could intelligently classify documents as official records based on predefined criteria. With a Power Automate flow, an automated weekly search is conducted. Any new files that are designated as official records are flagged and emailed to the Records Clerk for proper filing. 
  • Records Disposition Process: The second automation tracked the retention lifespan of official records. This automation runs on a monthly basis and automatically emails the Records Clerk with a list of documents that are ready for approval for deletion. This automation is fully compliant with the District’s specific retention policies. 
  1. Hybrid Solution: The current solution focuses on digital records. The next step is building out a similar automation for the District’s physical records system.  
  1. Cost-Efficiency: Leveraging existing Microsoft licensing, the solution proved to be more cost-effective than alternative options. This makes it an attractive choice for government organizations with budget constraints. 

Outcomes and Benefits  

The implementation of the SharePoint Online and Power Automate-based document management and retention system brought significant improvements to the municipality’s operations: 

  • Efficient document management reduced manual labor and minimized the risk of compliance violations. 
  • Streamlined retention policies ensured the secure and compliant handling of official records. 
  • The scalable solution provided a blueprint for other government entities to follow, fostering collaboration and best practices. 
  • Cost savings and minimizing training requirements were achieved using existing Microsoft licensing. 

This solution was built using: 

  • SharePoint Online 
  • Power Automate 
  • Outlook 

By partnering with a technology consulting company committed to understanding their unique needs, the District successfully resolved its document management challenges. The SharePoint Online and Power Automate-based solution not only met their requirements but also set a precedent for cost-effective, replicable solutions in the government sector. The solution is agile and can easily be replicated for other government organizations with their own retention policies. If your organization works with official records or adheres to a disposition process, reach out to Regroove! We would love to chat about how we can help automate these processes for you, using technology you are already familiar with 😊