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Council Seeks to Facilitate Commercial FOIA Software Acquisition for Agencies

Jeff Brody

A council of Freedom of Information Act officers has called for the inclusion of records management and commercial off-the-shelf FOIA software in the General Services Administration’s schedules program to facilitate the procurement process for government agencies, Federal News Network reported Monday.

“A lot of agencies have difficultly starting from ground zero. It’s really hard to get started on making technological improvements and embracing some of these things. The variety of systems out there is overwhelming … They can’t make that argument to leadership that we need this if we’re going to be an effective FOIA program here in 2019,” said Michael Sarich, FOIA director at the Veterans Health Administration and co-chair of the Chief FOIA Officers Council’s technology subcommittee.

Sarich added that he believes the adoption of artificial intelligence platforms could become a “force multiplier” for FOIA personnel as they work to reduce the backlog requests. Agencies saw FOIA requests climb 5.6 percent to 863,729 in fiscal 2018, according to the report.

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