The Washington State Employment Security Department (WA ESD) is responsible for administering unemployment benefits and providing employment services to job seekers and employers throughout Washington State. The policymaking process is critical for WA ESD—as their regulatory and non-regulatory policymaking provide a framework for the department to operate within and help guide their decision-making and actions.
In recent years, the department has invested in modernizing its technology infrastructure to improve the security and reliability of its systems and to enhance the user experience for its customers.
This led to a partnership with Esper—a cloud-based policy management platform for government agencies.
WA ESD chose Esper to help the department create, communicate and track policies and procedures across their workforce—streamlining policy management and improving compliance. The platform’s customization and analytics features will also enable the department to tailor policies and procedures to their specific needs and track policy performance.
One communication and collaboration platform for the entire policy process
WA ESD—like many state agencies—has two distinct but related departments: rulemaking and policymaking.
Their rulemaking team is responsible for developing and implementing regulations in accordance with state and federal laws. Their primary focus is on interpreting and enforcing existing laws and developing new regulations. These include standard rules, expedited rules, emergency rules and rulemaking petitions.
While their policymaking team, on the other hand, is responsible for creating and implementing the department’s policies and procedures. Their primary focus is on developing and implementing internal policies and procedures that guide the department’s activities and decision-making.
Each of these teams had different processes and tools used to accomplish these fundamental tasks.
Esper’s holistic approach to the policy process allows WA ESD to leverage a purpose-built platform to support their rulemaking and policymaking processes. This provides the department with critical policy infrastructure where all teams can draft, collaborate and track rulemakings and policies from the approvals lifecycle all the way through publication.
Configurable workflows and templates for rulemaking and policymaking
The department will be using the platform to automate three rulemaking workflows and digitize 25 forms. This will significantly streamline the rulemaking process, making it easier for the department to stay compliant with relevant laws and regulations.
Streamlined rulemaking workflows
Streamlined policymaking workflows
In addition, the department will be using Esper to automate three policymaking workflows and six document templates, as well as import existing policy documents into the platform.
These include workflows for ESD’s internal policy updates, tax manual updates and unemployment insurance policy updates.
This will create a centralized location for managing all policies and procedures, making it easier for the department to track and ensure compliance.
Each workflow allows the department to automatically trigger events in the rulemaking or policymaking process. The rulemaking or policymaking tasks are then routed to the appropriate person in the next step of the workflow.
By using Esper for both their rulemaking and policymaking needs, the department will have a comprehensive and integrated policy management system that can support their operations now and in the future.
Collaborative rulemaking and policymaking tools
WA ESD is leveraging Esper’s suite of policymaking tools to create, amend and repeal rules and policies, as well as assign policies to colleagues and track their progress. The department can easily utilize templates and configure documents to meet their specific policy management needs.
Additionally, Esper allows the department to export all rulemakings into Microsoft Word documents, making it simple to file and publish their work at any point throughout the workflow. This can save the department significant time and effort when it comes to managing their policies and keeping them up-to-date.
In addition, Esper’s collaborative drafting experience allows department staff to edit text, leave comments and view tracked changes in real-time. This can be especially helpful when multiple stakeholders or departments are involved in the policymaking process, enabling them to work together and stay on the same page.
Increased visibility within the policymaking process
Staying organized was a motivating factor for WA ESD. With Esper, the department will have a visual, task-based list of all works in progress including upcoming deadlines, assignments and completed work.
This view can be switched to a timeline that allows the department to visual ongoing and upcoming projects in a Gantt chart. Staff can toggle between one year, six months, three months, one month or one week views to assess the workload of team members and have a bird’s eye view of the entire ongoing policymaking process.
Any changes in a rulemaking or policymaking can trigger a notification to the impacted stakeholder. These alerts are configurable by an administrator and can be triggered instantly, daily or weekly.
How can Esper help your agency streamline your rulemaking and policymaking process?
To see how Esper’s platform can streamline your agency’s rulemaking and policymaking process, please schedule some time with one of our government experts.