Federal Department FOIA Modernization
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information. Like all federal agencies, Appteon’s customer is required to disclose records requested in writing by any person. However, agencies may withhold information pursuant to nine exemptions and three statutory exclusions contained in the statute.
FOIA mandates specific timeframes and deadlines for requests, including when requests must be acknowledged and completed. FOIA also mandates an annual report that provides statistics and performance metrics for the processing of FOIA requests each fiscal year.
Our customer had an internally developed case management system for managing the processing of FOIA requests. This system had been in place for over ten years and lacked adequate controls and workflow to ensure timely and efficient processing of requests, and made the delivery of the mandated annual report arduous and time-consuming.
In 2019, FOIAXpress was selected as the new FOIA case management system. FOIAXpress is a cloud-based COTS case management system for FOIA. Controls and workflows for FOIA request management are built into FOIAXpress, and the mandated FOIA annual report can be generated quickly and easily.
Appteon was selected for the business process re-engineering project to map FOIA roles and processes into FOIAXpress. Appteon conducted interviews with the FOIA staff leadership of 26 department agencies and units and worked closely with the business owner and the FOIAXpress platform vendor to deliver FOIAXpress on time and under budget. The launch included the mapping of almost 700 FOIA staff and the migration of over 100,000 active and historical FOIA requests from the legacy system to FOIAXpress, as well as a comprehensive training program to on-board FOIA staff.
Thanks to the implantation delivered by Appteon on FOIAXpress, Appteon’s customer is realizing greater efficiency in the processing and tracking of FOIA requests.
- Clearly defined roles and workflows ensure that FOIA requests are processed efficiently and in a timely fashion. They also ensure consistency across the department in the processing of requests.
- FOIA request processing statistics are collected automatically and seamlessly, allowing our customer to produce the mandated annual report efficiently and quickly, while minimizing manual work.
- The document repository in FOIAXpress allows FOIA staff to share not only responsive records but also redactions, thereby minimizing duplicated effort.
Appteon remains engaged with our customer after the launch to provide operations and maintenance services for FOIAXpress, including on-going user support and training, as well as on-going business process changes.