Outdated Systems Blamed for FOIA Inefficiencies
In both the private sector and the public sector, technology can make or break an organization. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), specifically the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee, is calling for FOIA reform. The fee guidelines for FOIA requests was last updated over 30 years ago and there is little online support or services. Governmental offices at all levels can improve productivity and citizen satisfaction by updating technology.
According to “Government only as transparent as its technology, advocates say,” posted by Bianca Spinosa on FCW.com, the FOIA fee guidelines were last changed way back in 1986 and the FOIA Advisory Committee has decided it’s time for an update. One major change the committee is calling for is the ability for agencies to share requested documents by email and recognizing online media as other more common media sources. After reviewing “FOIA, Inc.” by Margaret Kwoka, an assistant professor at University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, the committee was moved to make changes. In her report, she noted that many corporations have overrun agencies, overcrowding the system and preventing journalists and governmental watchdogs from getting information. Technology is partly to blame, along with battles between multi-agency FOIA sites, and poor collaborative efforts. In addition, more documents should be made available online and the process should be easier for requests to be fulfilled in a timely manner.
Modern Technology Can Improve Productivity and Communication With Citizens
The number of FOIA requests is increasing, according to a report from the Archive’s Office of Government Information Services, which might indicate that agencies could soon struggle even more. It’s time for the public sector to replace legacy systems with more modern solutions. An innovative enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can make it easier for people to enter, access, and share key data. When combined with a customer relationship management (CRM) solution, you can create an online portal for citizens to use when requesting information, downloading forms or documents, and interacting with various pubic offices. These modern solutions can streamline data management and bridge the gap with citizens. Contact AKA Enterprise Solutions for more information about using ERP and CRM to improve productivity and communicate more efficiently internally and with citizens.