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Report: Agencies Use Cloud Tech to Reduce FOIA Backlog

Cloud-ComputingFederal agencies have been using cloud-computing technologies to help process Freedom of Information Act requests, Federal News Radio reported Friday.

Jason Miller said migration-as-a-solution is growing in popularity as most departments want a virtual environment that can systematically load, find and process documents such as automatic redaction.

At the Federal Housing Finance Agency, there has been a deluge of requests brought on by a housing crisis but Miller reports the backlog has decreased since the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2011 switch to a cloud-based system.

“When we went to the cloud, the biggest thing we noticed was improved performance in our system so people weren’t waiting to get documents loaded and doing searches for documents,” said Edith Pemberton, manager of information management and customer relations with FHFA.

She told Federal News Radio the move saved about a quarter of the annual support costs HUD spent to operate and maintain the former system.

The requests are also increasing in complexity, said Frank Vance, a FOIA officer at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in the Treasury Department.

“We are going through our information systems and scanning them and I’m seeing now requests that encompass 45,000 pieces paper, and it’s mind-blowing what people are asking for,” Frank Vance, a FOIA officer at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in the Treasury Department, told Federal News Radio.

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