What we’re thinking about

Insights, news, and tips from our top tech and business innovators.

Smart redaction and auto-classification for FOIA & Public disclosure requests

Brenda Dodd
Brenda Dodd | April 9, 2019
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When it comes to Public Records requests, what I hear most from FOIA and Public Disclosure Officers is how critical it is to "get it out" and "get it right." Our clients are under great pressure to respond to each request by the legal deadline ("Get it out!") while also ensuring that no sensitive…

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Technology resolves the FOIA fees dilemma

Brenda Dodd
Brenda Dodd | April 2, 2019
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In 2017, federal agencies processed 800,000 public records requests (PRRs) at a cost of $500 million. Only a very small amount - less than 1% - was recouped in fees.   The federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows for agencies to charge fees for searching and copying records, but not for…

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Why we need machines for open government requests

Brenda Dodd
Brenda Dodd | March 28, 2019
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In 2009, President Obama issued a Memorandum in which he reaffirmed his commitment to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and urged agencies to adopt “new technologies” to administer it. While the President did not go as far as to say that without technology open government is no longer an…

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How agencies have upped their game with technology

Brenda Dodd
Brenda Dodd | March 26, 2019
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  Transparency and open government would clearly be less of an administrative and financial burden if there were fewer public records requests (PRRs). To achieve this goal, agencies have been pro-actively releasing information. One of several examples cited as part of evidence submitted to a…

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Tackling public records requests with technology

Brenda Dodd
Brenda Dodd | March 21, 2019
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Responding to a records requests under Open Records acts or the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a multifaceted process. After a federal, state, or local government agency receives a public records request (PRR), personnel must search for and collect records that may be responsive, remove…

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The quest to make more efficient FOIA/public records disclosures

Brenda Dodd
Brenda Dodd | March 19, 2019
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U.S. federal, state, and local government agencies have been involved in an ongoing quest to find ways to streamline and improve their efforts in responding to FOIA and public records requests. The journey was spurred on in great part by President Obama’s May 2012 Open Data Policy–Managing…

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Happy National Freedom of Information Day!

Brenda Dodd
Brenda Dodd | March 15, 2019
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Many of you may not know that March 16, 2019 is National Freedom of Information Day, a day honoring President James Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution and staunch advocate for open records.  It should come as no surprise then that National Freedom of Information Day just so happens to…

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The right technology to attract employees to public records offices

Brenda Dodd
Brenda Dodd | March 14, 2019
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The Federal News Network (FNN) recently wrote that federal agency workforces haven’t been able to keep up with the increasing numbers of Freedom of Information Act requests because not enough employees work in FOIA offices. Alina Semo, the director of the Office of Government Information Services…

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Sunshine Law requests getting cloudy? How eDiscovery can clear the way

Brenda Dodd
Brenda Dodd | March 12, 2019
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 How can those at the sharp end of responding to public record disclosure and freedom of information requests benefit from the technologies and approaches used by eDiscovery specialists? In this article, we will discuss how agencies can reduce their request backlog and the risks associated –…

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