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The Business Services Division in the Office of the Secretary of State establishes new standard for consistency and public service expectations


June 27, 2017 - MONTGOMERY - Historically, the Business Services Division in the office of the Secretary of State has always processed its paperwork days, weeks, and even months behind receipt of those documents and checks for payment.
That standard is no longer acceptable.
A new standard of service has been required and is in place.  On Friday, June 23, 2017, for the 52nd consecutive week, the office of the Secretary of State is current on business filings.  That means the day the paperwork and checks are received in the office is the day the checks and the paperwork will be processed!  That has been the expectation and the only acceptable standard for the past 52 weeks and for any point in the future!
“When I was campaigning for the Office of Secretary of State, it was brought to my attention that the processing period for the paperwork and payments required for submission to form a new business or entity in the state was seven to nine months behind.  In many instances, this paperwork and the accompanying filing fees submitted by these business owners were being held for that seven to nine-month period,” said Secretary Merrill.
After working with the Business Services division for his first 12 months in office the process was still more than two and a half months behind. At that time, it became clear that a more dramatic restructuring was necessary. The division was restructured with new management from within the organization and employee accountability measures to increase efficiency were put into place.
In addition to the restructuring, a new policy was implemented which requires any work not completed by the end of business on Friday, the business services staff and members from the executive team must return to complete all unfinished work on Saturday morning of that week.  This has only occurred one time in the last year.  
Due to these changes and many others that have been introduced in the office of the Secretary of State, 27 of the 49 employees that were working in the office on January 19, 2015, have found another opportunity to serve elsewhere either in or outside of state government.  Furthermore, while some of those vacant positions have been filled, the Office currently maintains only 38 team members working for the people of Alabama.  There are now twenty-three percent (23%) fewer employees (11 individuals) than when Secretary Merrill took office on January 19, 2015.
“With the new efficiencies put in place by our team we are delighted to announce that for 52 consecutive weeks we have processed business filings on the same day they have been received. It’s morning in Alabama and the Secretary of State’s Office no longer moves at the speed of government; we are moving at the speed of business!” said Secretary Merrill.
For more information, please contact John Bennett at (334)242-7200.