Indianapolis has upgraded its citizen response system by building an online portal through which residents can report problems such as stray animals, abandoned vehicles and potholes directly to the Mayor's Action Center (MAC). The map-centric portal, RequestIndy (www.indy.gov/MAC), allows residents to pinpoint the exact location of any incident, categorize it to expedite routing to the appropriate department and then track the requests through to resolution.

Under the direction of Mayor Greg Ballard, RequestIndy was developed by Dayton, Ohio-based Woolpert to offer another way for residents to communicate with the city. Previously, service requests had to be called in or submitted by email to the MAC, where they were then printed and manually entered into the city's existing CRM system by customer service representatives. The process was time-intensive and subject to data entry errors.

RequestIndy sends the service request to a suite of integration services that dispatches the report directly to the correct department's system, such as Public Works, Code Enforcement and Animal Control. “This is another arm of customer service that makes it easier for citizens to communicate with government. In association with the MAC, our Information Services Agency and many other partners within our administration, we are now bringing improved accessibility straight to the citizens' [computer],” Ballard says.

To report an issue, residents access the RequestIndy site and create a service request from a list of existing categories, such as illegal trash dumping, high weeds, traffic signal outages and potholes. Then, residents can enter an address or drag a push-pin icon to the exact location on the map and answer questions to complete the service request. Depending on the nature of the request, it will be automatically handed off to one of three management systems that will track the request to its conclusion. Users can return to the site and enter a service request ID to check the status of the open request.

Each request received by the portal is automatically mapped within a geographic information system layer, where staff can analyze the requests to better understand trends. To prevent duplicate requests, the system evaluates requests in real time and identifies similar requests based on geographic proximity, request type and date created.

RequestIndy has logged more than 18,000 requests since June 2010, and the city's response time is much improved. In the old system, reports of potholes would sometimes take 24 to 72 hours to reach the public works department. With RequestIndy, potholes are reported immediately, and often will be fixed within 24 to 48 hours. A RequestIndy iPhone application is currently in development and is scheduled for release in early 2011.

Project: RequestIndy Web Portal
Jurisdiction: Indianapolis and Marion County
Agencies: Mayor's Action Center, Information Services Agency
Vendor: Dayton, Ohio-based Woolpert
Date launched: June 16, 2010