The number of FOIA lawsuits have dramatically risen in the last few years, much faster than the rise in FOIA requests. A recent study in 2019 looked at whether agencies responded to the requests and how much time passed before a lawsuit was filed.
Timely Responses to FOIA Requests
Unfortunately, many government agencies have failed to meet their obligation to respond to FOIA requests in a timely manner. It’s actually not uncommon for requesters to be told that the search for records is delayed more than a year after the request was submitted.
According to Associate Attorney General Claire Murray, many requesters are “filing suit as soon as they can” when government agencies fail to meet their legal obligations under FOIA. Similarly, Murray’s own department, the Department of Justice (DOJ), illustrates this very problem now. Routinely, a request for emails from the DOJ leadership office sits for a year or more before the department even begins to conduct a search. Even then, the production of those records takes an additional several months or years.
What Your Agency Can Do
So, what exactly can your agency do to comply? How can you respond to requests in a timely manner, effectively mitigating the risk of a lawsuit?
The answer is quite simple: they need to allocate the necessary resources to meet those obligations.
This is where technology comes into play. More often than not, the delay in records production stems from the lack of time to scour through hundreds, thousands, even millions of emails that match a single topic. With an email archiving solution, this work is done automatically in the backend – neatly and quietly tucked away behind the scenes where no one even notices it.
The Solution that Gets the Job Done
Once Tangent's email archiving solution – DataCove – is installed, certain keywords or topics can be created and put into place so that any time an email matches those set criteria, the system will automatically archive that email and put it into an appropriate folder. Not only does this make it easier to archive content on a daily basis, but retrieval of information is even faster and easier.
With technology that’s just as robust as many other solutions out there, DataCove comes at a fraction of the cost, is easy to install and implement, and comes without any unnecessary frills. When it comes to abiding by the law, government agencies need a solution that just works.
See it in Action
Demo the DataCove solution, and see just how simple it is to implement, use, and maintain. Afterwards, you'll get access to the DataCove demo page so you can test it out yourself.