OMES employee wins prestigious award by tackling agency backlog
By Christa Helfrey
Congratulations to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services Public Record Coordinator Brittany Coley-Roberts, who recently won the Freedom of Information Oklahoma’s Sunshine Award for her commitment to government transparency through coordinating open records requests for the state’s central services agency.
“At OMES, we are still working diligently to implement improvements internally to allow for better public service,” Coley-Roberts said, “but this award is a testament to the change of culture within OMES to prioritize transparency alongside other goals. It speaks to the progress we’re making as an agency that serves the general public by serving other state agencies.”
By law, open record requests allow citizens to request copies of specific information from public entities. However, records often contain confidential personal information, like Social Security numbers, addresses and personal phone numbers that agencies must protect. Coley-Roberts and her teammates require a thorough review to protect the integrity of this information.
Since joining OMES in 2019, Coley-Roberts has worked to streamline the agency’s open records process and deliver requested information to the public. She spearheaded development of an online request form and met with each team at OMES to unify how the agency tracks information requests from start to finish. Through her collaboration with colleagues, Coley-Roberts helped eliminate the agency’s accumulation of open records requests, some dating back two years, in a matter of months.
“When we put Brittany in this role, she identified the need to define processes,” said OMES Director of Legislative and Public Affairs Caden Cleveland. “Through her hard work with our various divisions, we now have the ability to track metrics, which allows us to foster accountability and drive better performance for the public.”
As of Sept. 30, OMES fulfilled 365 total information requests during 2021, 106 more than the 259 completed during 2020. OMES recognizes that by responding quickly and efficiently, our agency can boost transparency and accountability with our community.
"Brittany Coley-Roberts is both an incredible person and employee,” said Bonnie Campo, OMES public information manager and Coley-Roberts’ supervisor. “Assuming her new role as the OMES public record coordinator, she responded to a steep backlog of information requests. Brittany worked with each OMES division to overcome the open records backlog and increased transparency and efficiency. As a result, all of Oklahoma benefits from her work and dedication.”
Previous recipients of the FOI Oklahoma Sunshine Award include former state senator and current Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, former State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones, and former Midwest City police chief and current director of the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training Brandon Clabes.
"I am so thankful we have so many employees just like Brittany Coley-Roberts at OMES,” said state Chief Operating Officer and OMES Executive Director Steven Harpe. “Brittany has showcased dedication to the agency and is valued and appreciated by all. This award recognizes her efforts and our mission to serve Oklahomans. She is truly a shining example of our Get Stuff Done spirit at OMES."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christa Helfrey coordinates and creates original content for all OMES social media platforms, with an emphasis on written and visual communication. She assists with the research, writing, editing and distribution of OMES internal and external publications for grammar, spelling, consistency and OMES branding compliance.