Arlington, VA (Vocus) July 28, 2010
Privasoft, a world leader in specialized software for managing requests in response to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is pleased to announce that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) Office of Information Policy (OIP) is now in production with Privasoft’s AccessPro Suite. The AccessPro Suite offers Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) processing software that allows FOIA officers to utilize a centralized automated FOIA response system.
The system at OIP was implemented as part of DOJ’s department-wide Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) for the implementation and support of an electronic Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request tracking system which was awarded to Privasoft last year.
Privasoft’s AccessPro Suite is purpose-built to capture, analyze, track, process and report on case work related to managing requests for information under such laws as FOIA, the Canadian Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Act, and other public records legislation. It includes a specially-designed Annual Report Generator that not only produces the OIP annual report but also serves to aggregate the necessary data from other DOJ components for a combined Department of Justice Annual Report.
Adam Johnson, the FOIA Automation Advisor assigned to OIP reported “OIP had said that it takes an average of 10 hours per person per component to create the Annual Report, which works out to 500-1000 hours. The fact that they were able to do it with the Privasoft Annual Report Generator in less than a few minutes just blew them away.”
Prior to employing Privasoft’s AccessPro Suite, OIP’s FOIA process often included manual preparation of requested documents. Manual preparation can involve using special tape, marker and even Xacto knives to conceal or remove classified and personally identifiable information from documents prior to releasing them for public consumption. These manual processes can take a considerable amount of time, and contribute to a FOIA office’s considerable backlogs.
Implementation of the AccessPro Suite will lead to faster turn-around times for requested documents. This will, in turn, result in better legislative compliance, improved ability to track performance and formulate reports and reduced request backlogs.
Early feedback from users at OIP has been extremely positive. One observer was reported to have shared that: “the more we use it, the more we like it and can see how it's going to make our jobs easier….” She estimates that it has the potential of “…saving us hundreds if not thousands of hours every year.”
OIP sets the standards for FOIA compliance, maintaining the Department of Justice Freedom of Information Act Guide (http://www.justice.gov/oip/foia_guide09.htm) and the FOIA Post (http://www.justice.gov/oip/foiapost/mainpage.htm). These guides instruct government agencies regarding FOIA procedures and address FOIA issues. OIP also conducts FOIA training programs for many government agencies. Successful deployment of the OIP program could signify a shift toward FOIA automation across all federal government agencies.
About Privasoft - http://www.Privasoft.com/
For nearly 20 years, Privasoft has been delivering software and services to automate case management in public sector and regulated industries. Privasoft customers must comply with legislative, regulatory and internal requirements and are represented in health care, law enforcement and all levels of government. They rely on Privasoft to capture, analyze, track, process and report on case work related to information disclosure processes. Privasoft is a Microsoft Certified Partner with offices in Ottawa, ON, Arlington, VA, and Brentford, Middlesex.