5 reasons why agencies struggle to meet their FOIA goals

5 reasons why agencies struggle to meet their FOIA goals

5 reasons why agencies struggle to meet their FOIA goals

When it comes to Freedom of Information Act requests, it is mandatory to disclose information on time.  Content must be collected, reviewed, and packaged as a response.  That is easier said than done when agency data is scattered, hard to search through, or difficult to collaborate around.   Deadlines are missed, critical records are lost, and sensitive information can spill.

When agencies work their FOIA caseload manually, they struggle to meet their objectives. Here are 5 main reasons why agencies fall short of their goals.

 

1.  There is no uniform solution across the agency.

Many agencies leave staff without a uniform solution to create FOIA deliverables.  If organizations use legacy desktop clients to house that information, systems can’t communicate with each other, and staff are left to sift through them for content.

Even if systems are connected, IT needs to continuously integrate them to ensure knowledge workers’ access.  That much administrative work consumes human resources.   Documents are searched through manually, information gets lost, and budgets are strained. 

Agencies need a centralized system to meet FOIA deadlines.  The single workbench approach allows knowledge workers to access anything and everything they need to manage FOIA cases.

 

2.  There are too many complexities to handle FOIA requests manually

The sheer volume of data that agencies capture, process, and archive increases every day.  It is time-consuming to manually search through that much information.  Once captured, agency rules mandate different kinds of redaction for different types of content.  Without the right tools to create a pixel-by-pixel replacement, redacted information may not be redacted at all.  Sensitive data is left visible and released by accident.

When there are hundreds of FOIA requests to create, package, and deliver, it is a challenge to track all of their statuses. There is no way to pinpoint which of those hundreds of requests are more urgent, and which of those due dates are closer.

Automation is the only way to fix this. When cases are automatically created and the content in them can be automatically redacted, time is freed up for knowledge workers to focus on more critical tasks.

 

3.  Collaboration Challenges

The outcome of a FOIA request is dependent on the communication among those assigned to the case.  The past year has challenged the government to do a large portion of this work from home.  Often the contents of FOIA requests are cross-departmental or even cross-agency, which creates a line of communication between SME’s in different locations.   When there are problems or questions, knowledge workers must ask SME’s for assistance via email.  These emails are often left for several days in the SME’s inbox without an answer, and dead stops put the agency at risk of missed deadlines. 

Knowledge workers must be able to communicate with each other and with the requestor.  When the case is opened, the team assigned to it must keep up communication with the requestor and give them estimates, status updates, and the ability to track the case through its lifecycle.  When this process is done through phone or email, communication is not transparent.  No one knows what the FOIA team has already communicated to the requestor, or what still needs to be said. 

Another hurdle that agencies struggle over is collaborative access.  With no system in place to allow group work, team members will not be able to interact with systems at the same time for collection.  Without the tools to control access, FOIA teams can’t permission content or control who can see what within the case.  When agencies can’t control who can see what sensitive information, FOIA goals are not met.

 

4.  Poor Access to Data

It is a challenge to keep information organized when there are multiple data types and sources.  Email is a source now, with social media and chat to become sources in the future.  Email search and retrieval is sub-par and will take a considerable amount of time when compared to advanced search features.  Once the information is collected, there is also no way to see both text and metadata at the same time.  If knowledge workers find that they need more information from the eDiscovery side, they have fallen short of their FOIA goals.

When workers cannot interact with their cases, time is wasted.  SME’s should be able to connect to their workstation from any location and on any device.  If they know where they need to work and can get into their cases, the collection process can start immediately.   

A lack of a real Records Management system lives at the heart of this challenge.  With a repository in place, knowledge workers have access to collect and create deliverables.

 

5.  No Oversight/Accountability

At the end of every FOIA case is a potential audit process.  The work that FOIA teams complete should be entirely defensible. There needs to be a visual tally of everything done to create the deliverable.  Vaughn indexes display that tally of case actions and guarantee transparency.  Certain solutions can create Vaughn indexes automatically, but if there is no solution in place then it is up to an individual to create one by hand.  That process can take up mission-critical time and put the agency at risk of falling short of its FOIA objectives.

Supervisors need oversight tools to be able to meet their own FOIA goals.  When they are unable to see who completed what task or what the status of their case is, there is no accountability.  Cases are not tracked across their lifecycles, and there is no way to tell which action officers are busy and which can take on more work.

 

 

Take Control of the FOIA Process

Agencies that manage their FOIA requests with outdated systems and manual practices are in a situation where it is difficult to meet their turn-around time goals.  When it takes hours to search for content and days to hear back from SME’s, time is wasted.

When agencies utilize FOIA solutions to manage their caseloads, their goals are achievable.  Information can be accessed, searched for, collected, redacted on, and packaged for delivery before the deadline.  Teams can work together on content at the same time.  Security features keep sensitive information from the wrong hands, and oversight features allow supervisors to monitor their workers progress and steer them in the right direction.

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print
Shannon Heim

Shannon Heim

Helping others is what Shannon loves most, making her a great fit for outreach at Records Management University. She is in charge of credits and certificates as well as the RMU email account. When Shannon isn’t talking with students, she edits the on-demand classes to make them as high quality as possible.

Does my agency need a Task Management system?

Does my agency need a Task Management system?

Simple tips to make the most of your year

The past year has introduced several new challenges to government agencies:  Remote working, changes in resource costs, staff differences, new modernization regulations, and a shift away from outdated technology have agencies looking toward new solutions to modernize the way that they do work.  Task Management Systems are a key part of those solutions because they improve accessibility, collaboration, transparency, and productivity. 

 

What is a Task Management System, and why does it matter? 

A Task Management System controls a task throughout its entire lifecycle.  It gives agencies the tools they need to plan, track, test, and report on the work their employees are doing.  It can help individual users tackle goals efficiently.  It can also help groups of users collaborate while working together to finish a project.   

In a Task Management System, employees have a digital workspace with visual accounts of every job and project that they must finish.  These jobs and projects can be sorted by due date, importance, who assigned them, and other criteria.  Users will always know exactly what needs to be done, when, and why it needs to be done in the first place. 

 

How can I tell if my agency needs a Task Management System?

 
 

Do I have paper-based checklist processes with Outlook for tracking tasks? 

Paper checklist may prove beneficial in our personal lives; but in many cases, assigning agency tasks with paper-based processes just isn’t enough.   Modern goals and projects often involve a much higher level of complexity than paper can support.   

Tracking tasks manually as an agency comes with a heightened compliance risk and reduced productivity. Task Management Systems provide data to easily audit tasks and workers’ productivity. They also provide a digital workspace for every worker to understand his or her workload for the foreseeable future.  When the job at hand changes, updates can be instantly applied to the task, making your workers more informed and efficient.

 

Do I use an Excel sheet to keep track of my tasks? 

It is difficult enough to organize a task spreadsheet while managing a job alone, but collaborating on a task spreadsheet can become a nightmare.  Spreadsheets don’t give teams the ability to comment or chat on shared projects.  Also, emailing around project information can lead to different team members updating different versions of the same document.  When data gets deleted, there is no way of knowing who did it, when, or why they did it in the first place. 

Task Management Systems allow users to communicate on any job or project.  Comments can be left, notes can be made, and team members can be notified when their input is needed.  There is a trail of every action taken within the system, so you will always know who did what and for what reason.   In a world full of alternative work schedules and remote teams where hallway discussions and check-ins can’t happen as often, Task Management Systems take up the slack.

 

Do we need to keep track of which tasks are the most important & which have the closest due dates? 

Depending on their size, government agencies can create and assign hundreds of tasks to thousands of workers every day.  When your average employee has over 100 things to keep track of, they need to be able to see what among those goals is the most important.  If your workers are struggling to meet goals and completing menial tasks over mission-critical ones, you may need a system in place to filter their workload.   Employees also need to know which tasks have more impending due dates so they can finish their work on time. 

Modern Task Management Solutions allow users to filter by tasks that are more important and by the upcoming due date.

 

Do we need to turn larger tasks into sub-tasks for different employees to complete? 

Subtasks are a great way to organize massive, complex projects into more manageable parts.  Depending on the methods that your agency is implementing to assign work, creating and tracking of those subtasks can be a challenge. 

It is not uncommon for the original task at hand to be modified.  Waiting for review, approval, or feedback from a 3rd party is separate from the original task, but also necessary for the project to move forward.  In a Task Management System, it is very easy to add subtasks to the original task and assign them to people within the agency.  Recurring subtasks can even be set to repeat, saving project managers time on routine management efforts.

 

Do we have a responsibility to control security? 

Government agencies need to be able to keep their mission-critical information away from prying eyes and under control.  Paper-based processes, Excel sheets, and even outdated management systems lack the security features necessary to fine-tune exactly who can see what data.   You also can’t revoke access to a downloaded Excel spreadsheet once it has been given. 

Task Management Systems take steps to ensure that agency projects, attachments, user data, and more are bulletproof.  When a task is created, different levels of access are set.  Every file attached to that task inherits the same security settings of the original item, disallowing the wrong people from seeing the wrong content.

 

Do we have a responsibility to create reports & dashboards? 

Many federal agencies are congressionally mandated to provide reports on tasks completed within the organization.  If your project manager has to gather information on task statuses, analyze it, create a report on it, and submit it to the higher-ups, critical man-hours are lost .  With the help of a Task Management system, reports can be quickly and even automatically generated in daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly increments.  These reporting tools let you focus on specific parts of your projects.  They also give you insight and knowledge about the agency’s activity.  

 

Do regulators require that we protect PII/BUI/CUI? 

To properly protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information, items like the name and social security number of an individual must be redacted from certain documents.  Without the proper redaction tools, the black box put on top of those items may not actually be hiding the information.  This puts your agency at risk of non-compliance. Modern Task Management systems come with built-in redaction tools that replace every pixel within the identified sensitive information, preventing it from ever falling into the wrong hands.   

 

Feith for Task Management 

 
The world is changing, and so is the way that Federal agencies work.   Feith Task Manager leverages modern technology to allow you to structure your organization’s efforts, managing the large number of responsibilities at your agency so that work is completed on time, correctly, and in the correct order. With workforces in the tens of thousands, separated both geographically and organizationally, federal agencies have large volumes of tasks to track, delegate, and manage.  
 
If that task management is done on an ad-hoc basis in email or spreadsheets, work may fall behind, orders and instructions can be forgotten, and leadership will have limited insight into their department’s productivity.  
 
Feith Task Manager is a DoD 5015.02-certified COTS product, available On-Premises or on GovCloud, that gives agencies the tools they need to control the way work gets done. 
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print
Shannon Heim

Shannon Heim

Helping others is what Shannon loves most, making her a great fit for outreach at Records Management University. She is in charge of credits and certificates as well as the RMU email account. When Shannon isn’t talking with students, she edits the on-demand classes to make them as high quality as possible.
Categories Fun

New Webinar announced: Strategies for Government IT Modernization

New Webinar announced: Strategies for Government IT Modernization

Register now for a live virtual #InfoGov webinar this Wednesday, March 3rd at 11am EST to hear Strategies for Government IT Modernization. 

This is a free & open event.

Kris Pettie, veteran Records Management expert, is leading this webinar, where he will walk attendees through 3 major areas of IT Modernization.  If you’re a government IT visionary, this webinar is for you.

 

Presented by
Principal Government Business Analyst, Kris Pettie
Director of Marketing, Richard Long

Shannon Heim

Shannon Heim

Helping others is what Shannon loves most, making her a great fit for outreach at Records Management University. She is in charge of credits and certificates as well as the RMU email account. When Shannon isn’t talking with students, she edits the on-demand classes to make them as high quality as possible.

Feith Webinar – Getting Executive Buy-in for your information governance initiative

Feith Webinar – Getting Executive Buy-in for your information governance initiative

Tips, tricks, and the psychology of buy-in

Feith releases free-to-watch content in the form of webinars throughout the year, providing information technology experts with a valuable resource for continued learning. 

Tune in any time On-Demand for our latest presentation.

Getting Executive Buy-in for your Information Governance Initiative

On-demand

Duration: 25 minutes

Industry: All industries

Speaker: Ray Davis

Summary: In this highly informative webinar, our strategic sourcing expert Ray Davis discusses the ins and outs of getting executive buy-in.  RM/IG is not a “revenue generator,” so building a case around it can be a challenge.  In this webinar, Ray breaks the complicated process of getting executive buy-in into easy to understand sections.   

He goes over topics like identifying your senior champion, who to get on your side and when, and even the understanding of stakeholder psychology. 

We can’t wait to see you there!

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print
Shannon Heim

Shannon Heim

Helping others is what Shannon loves most, making her a great fit for outreach at Records Management University. She is in charge of credits and certificates as well as the RMU email account. When Shannon isn’t talking with students, she edits the on-demand classes to make them as high quality as possible.

Feith for Chat Records

Feith for Chat Records

NARA-Compliant Messaging

Instant messaging has become a major form of business communication. Chat programs are a great way for people to collaborate at a distance, but they have some drawbacks. One challenge is that chat programs lack archiving, records retention and compliance features. Many companies and government agencies are mandated to capture and store all communications regardless of their format in a secure and compliant manner. Companies with tens of thousands of employees send millions of messages every day. Finding a specific message is borderline impossible without the right tools.

Feith gives you the means to safely record and archive messages in their entirety

  • Capture messages automatically from many messaging platforms
  • Store and view chats and their metadata as conversations 
  • Keep messages and other electronic records in a single repository 
  • Set Retention Policies to delete stored messages 
  • Export from the Feith archive in shareable formats 
  • Create cases for internal review
  • Flag content based on keyword – get alerted when conversations need to be reviewed and escalated 
  • Create legal holds or record packages with a single click 
  • Archive all conversations in a secure repository 
  • Encrypt messages while in transit and at rest 
  • Search by message type, person or phrase with fast results

Capture and Archive from Multiple Platforms

With Feith’s DoD certified archive, messages are captured directly from the source in their conversational context.  Everything is ingested including log-ins, log-outs, edits, deletes, and replies, and stored exactly the way they were made. Conversations can be recorded from a variety of communication platforms; Microsoft Teams, Yammer, SharePoint, OneDrive, Skype, Zoom, Slack, Jabber, Blackberry, and more.  Feith captures and archives millions of messages daily, helping businesses of any size.  

  

Organize records for easy retrieval  

The Records Manager uses Feith to create and execute classification schemes.  Their efforts, combined with the right tools, put structure to the company or agency’s records and saves time on retrieval.  Archived messages can be found by looking for what the message says, who sent it, or when it was sent.    

 

Keep track of messages through their entire lifecycle 

The Records Manager creates retention policies which control when messages get deleted.  The system watches the clock and notifies the Records Manager when the time comes to dispose of a conversation log. Once the Records Manager has given approval, the system will automatically delete the messages at the end of their lifecycle. 

End-to-End Compliance and Oversight Tools

Feith’s customizable internal panels, policies, and multi-tier review queues help a business to personalize their compliance experience.  Compliance officers can work together while collecting conversations into cases for internal review.  Feith alerts the compliance officers if a message needs to be reviewed and escalated.  With a single click, deletion will be suspended on a record or collection of records for legal holds.    

 

Flag and freeze inappropriate conduct  

Administrators are able to define workflow rules to send notifications.  Compliance specialists can create policies to automatically flag conversations based on keywords, enabling them to act on explicit or racially charged conduct before it becomes a legal liability.    

 

 

Back up and protect important messages  

With Feith, assurance options guarantee that all chat data is properly backed up in the event of a disaster.  Conversation logs are encrypted both in-transit and at rest. Once captured, they are stored in a DoD 5015.02 certified archive.  Chats can always be found and exported for public records requests.   

 

Fast, Advanced Text Search and Retrieval

Not only does Feith allow you to record, archive, and dispose of records; it also assists in using, finding, and analyzing stored records.  Feith’s Automatic indexing adds structure  tomassive volumes of message logs by capturing and organizing conversation metadata. Once captured, that metadata and the message contents can be searched to pinpoint a conversation or range of conversations. 

 

 

Search tools for every department 

The Records Manager has the option to filter by person, message type, and phrase. They can also save time on eDiscovery by looking in a single repository that centralizes the company or agency’s electronic records. When searching for information, teams can gather every piece of relevant data, including chats and messages, emails, documents, and much more 

 

Narrow results down to the letter 

Feith’s advanced search tools can instantly spot keywords or key phrases, and even find near-matches and spelling errors. Search results are lightning-fast, and favorite search criteria can be bookmarked for later.  

 

Seamlessly find and export messages 

Discovery policies can also be made to detect keywords and key phrases. Captured messaging content is presented in its entirety in a natural, easy to read conversational format. Metadata is captured along with chat logs for discovery and retrieval. If chats are captured to the Feith archive they can be accessed and exported instantly, and in whatever file format is needed.  

Feith gives businesses the tools to master their chat records

Feith has the tools to manage your organization’s mountain of messages.  With Feith, a business can record and store conversations in an easy-to-read, easy-to-find format. Once archived, all messages can be searched and controlled with the same tools used to meet your electronic document and records compliance goals.  Feith lets you bring enterprise-grade Records Management to chat 

 

Related topics

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print
Shannon Heim

Shannon Heim

Helping others is what Shannon loves most, making her a great fit for outreach at Records Management University. She is in charge of credits and certificates as well as the RMU email account. When Shannon isn’t talking with students, she edits the on-demand classes to make them as high quality as possible.

Records through the Ages: From Ur to Washington

Records through the Ages: From Ur to Washington

Records in the Ancient World

You may think that Records Management is a concept that is relatively new to history, dating back only 200 or 300 years.  The truth, however, is that the history of Records Management begins almost 6,000 years ago with the invention of the archive.  In about 4,000 B.C. the first archive was created by the Sumerians.  They used cuneiform writing on clay tablets to record property ownership and commercial activity. 

Around a millennium later, the Egyptians expanded the uses of archives by creating and housing military records.  800 years later, a revolt spread throughout Egypt, leading to the eventual burning down of a records office.  The mob cited that it was “the custodian of hated property rights.,” marking it as the first time that records were noted as tools of political oppression.  The first mention of record retention occurs in Mesopotamia around this time as well.  Short retention records (bookkeeping records, letters) were gotten rid of after a certain period, while long retention records (legal documents) were stored in a more permanent housing.

Records in Classical Antiquity

While ancient Greece had several private archives for many years prior, it appears that the first case of a public archive occurred in Rome during the year 509 B.C.   Nearly 100 years later, Athens gives public access to their archives, which also include manuscripts and plays by Socrates and Euripides.

Alexander the Great was a fervent believer in the power of the written record.  During one of his conquests in the early 300’s B.C., the tent of his chancery had burnt down and all of his records within were lost.  He was so dismayed by this that he ordered his staff to reconstruct everything – even going as far as to obtain copies of documents throughout the Greek Empire.  The first historical example of a catalog is also created around this time.  Iraq was using number systems on the sides of their clay tablets, making them more easily retrievable. 

Records in Post-Classical History

Justinian I is most famous for unifying the Byzantine empire with his code of 529 A.D.  The code itself was written with the assistance of archived documents and emphasized the importance of archiving in a public place of deposit.  In Justinian’s Code, a transparent public archive is noted as guaranteeing integrity and authenticity.  

The Venerable Bede wrote the Ecclesiastical History of the English people in 731 A.D, drawing heavily from the archived records of England.  During this time the church took to unique methods of protecting their records from theft.  At the end of every document or manuscript, there was a curse or prayer added to ward off thieves. 

Venice and Florence created their city archives 200 years apart from each other in the 11th and 13th centuries.   Towards the end of the 12th century, England began to centralize all their government archives.  By the 13th century the Tower of London was storing England’s scrolls, even taking in all of Britain’s Chancery records The invention of the printing press in 1440 allowed for the creation of the first chronologically organized bibliography

Records in Modern History

Sir Thomas Bodley of England was a Records Management Rockstar, creating the first general catalog to ever be printed in Europe.  His next big contribution was in 1620, when he made the first alphabetical author-title catalog.  His final contribution to the world of Records Management was in the form of the first detailed catalog guidelines.

When Hernan Cortes conquered South America in the 1700’s, it was considered essential to destroy the conquered Inca’s record repositories.  Not only that, but Cortez also instated notaries to every conquered territory, who then sent their records back to Spain. 

During the French Revolution many archives were attacked or destroyed by angry mobs.  They reasoned that the records were a source of their oppression, perhaps because of their inaccessibility to the public.  In 1790, France created a new National Archive which was open to the public and held accountable by the Assembly.  Four years later, French National Archives were given jurisdiction over the records of government agencies, provinces, communes, churches, universities and noble families.  This made it the world’s first centrally controlled archive system. 

During the 1800’s, most countries in Europe used France as a model to develop their own centralized national archive systems.  Unlike the others, however, England was deliberating on what to do with their scattered private archives.  By 1838 England had passed the Public Records Act, merging all the records from ancient courts into a single location in Central London.   These centralized records allowed for the publication of historical documents such as the “Roll Series,” and “Calendars of State Papers.”

The United States were also well on their way to establishing a centralized archive by creating the Act of April 28, 1810.  The Act had removed all offices except those of the Department of State, War, and Navy from the building and created fireproof rooms for those departments to deposit their records. 

In 1877, when a fire destroyed part of the Interior Department building, President Hayes appointed a commission to investigate.  The commission found troves of paper that were no longer needed and only added to the combustibility of the building.  In 1888 Senator Francis Cockrell wrote the bill that brought us the Act called “An act to authorize and provide for the disposition of useless papers in the Executive Departments,”.

Records Over the Past 100 Years

By the 1930’s it was known that the paper production process led to rapid, acid-based decay.  American chemist William Barrow introduced the field of conservation to paper deacidification when he published an article on the acid paper problem.  In the United States, a national archive was finally established in 1934.  This was over 150 years since the declaration of independence was signed!

The River Arno in Florence Italy flooded in 1966, damaging and destroying millions of historical documents and works of art.  This great loss led to the development of restoration laboratories and new methods in records conservation.  In the 1970’s the United States began to store cataloged material in a machine-readable format.  This discovery started the age of digital record keeping, which continues to evolve to this day. 

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print
Shannon Heim

Shannon Heim

Helping others is what Shannon loves most, making her a great fit for outreach at Records Management University. She is in charge of credits and certificates as well as the RMU email account. When Shannon isn’t talking with students, she edits the on-demand classes to make them as high quality as possible.
Categories Fun

Checking the Forecast on Government Cloud Contracts

Checking the Forecast on Government Cloud Contracts

Government in the Cloud

In November 2010, OMB announced the US Federal Government’s first Cloud First policy.

Jeff Zients, CIO of OMB at the time, said this:
“What this means is that going forward, when evaluating options for new IT deployments, OMB will require that agencies default to cloud-based solutions whenever a secure, reliable, cost-effective cloud option exists,”

President Trump’s Executive Order 13800, further directs agency heads to show preference in procurement for shared services, with a focus on cloud services.  OMB shortly after published the “Cloud Smart” proposal which has sought to open mature commercial cloud services to federal customers by eliminating rules which stifled these initiatives.

Both the DoD and IC have invested heavily in making these cloud strategies a reality by leveraging the government’s bulk purchasing power in the JEDI and C2S contracts.

Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure

The force is strong with Microsoft after winning the heavily contested JEDI contract on October 25th, 2019.  The 10-year, $10 billion dollar deal is the biggest information technology procurement in government history.  Amazon Web Services was widely considered the front runner for the award, making the decision a disputed one.  The contract process continues to be under review by the DoD’s inspector general and is currently stuck in federal court.  Experts inside DoD remain confident that the project will move forward as planned.

The major focus of the initiative is to modernize the country’s warfighting operations.  Microsoft is tasked with overhauling DoD’s entire IT infrastructure, creating a world-wide responsive network. The first step in the project is centralizing everything on one cloud. In the words of DoD’s Acquisition Chief Ellen Lorde, “We are, no kidding, right now writing the contract to get everything moved to one cloud to begin with and then go from there.” 

Military officers have stood their ground that JEDI is needed to give DoD IT systems a much needed advantage. By driving speed to implement new systems, disaster recovery technology, and ease of provisioning systems, DoD hopes gain the upper hand through cloud infrastructure.

“The National Defense Strategy dictates that we must improve the speed and effectiveness with which we develop and deploy modernized technical capabilities to our women and men in uniform,” the Department of Defense CIO Dana Deasy noted. “The DoD Digital Modernization Strategy was created to support this imperative. This award is an important step in execution of the Digital Modernization Strategy.”

C2S (Commercial Cloud Services)

In August of 2014, CIA awarded a $600 million dollar contract to Amazon Web Services for 10 years of work.  AWS assisted the organization in building a private cloud computing setting within the secure firewalls of the intelligence environment.  The demands of the project were that it promoted greater integration, information sharing, and information safeguarding through a common IT approach that substantially reduced costs. The long-term goal was to keep up with emerging technologies like big data in ways not previously possible. 

The contract exceeded expectations and is widely considered by CIA as a success, having a material impact on both CIA and the IC at large with the potential to benefit other departments as well. 

According to John Edwards, CIO of CIA, “It used to take CIA 180 days to provision a single server. We got that down to 60 days, and thought, ‘we’re doing pretty good.’ Now through AWS and C2S, we’re down to minutes. That’s amazing.” 

C2E (Commercial Cloud Enterprise)

The 2014 Commercial Cloud Service contract worked so well that CIA is now hungry for more.  As of February 2020, the contract is a pending acquisition worth potentially tens of billions of dollars.  There is no word yet on a future deadline, but a decision could be made as early as September 2020.    The intelligence community needs to adopt a multi-cloud ecosystem with different levels of classifications based on content.  The goal of this acquisition will be to use different CSP’s unique specializations in technology, cyber security strategy, and services. 

The statement of work notes that “The IC requires an integrated, interoperable cloud ecosystem that promotes mission success through reliable, available, dynamic, and innovative information technology services with secure access to functions, capabilities, and data anywhere, anytime, and under all conditions.  Based on the IC strategic plan, the IC will leverage Government and multiple commercial cloud capabilities that are interoperable and support workflows within and across multiple security fabrics. The goal is to maximize rapid reuse of data and sharing of data in mission systems to support these capabilities.”

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print
Shannon Heim

Shannon Heim

Helping others is what Shannon loves most, making her a great fit for outreach at Records Management University. She is in charge of credits and certificates as well as the RMU email account. When Shannon isn’t talking with students, she edits the on-demand classes to make them as high quality as possible.

12 people you meet at every Records Management conference

12 people you meet at every Records Management conference

1. The RM Newbie

You’ll find the newbie running around the entire conference trying to soak up information.  It isn’t actually possible to attend every presentation track and breakout session, but that’s not going to stop him or her from trying.  Hopefully they’ll stick around, because someone’s going to have to take care of this stuff in 30 years!

2. The Armchair Philosopher

Forever scratching his or her chin, the Philosopher sees every question in Records Management as a big philosophical one.  Asking them a simple question will easily result in a 3-hour thesis about how 19th-century theories of epistemology laid the foundation for modern knowledge management. We have a few of these at Feith Systems. (You all know who you are!)

3. The Physical Records Person

The physical records manager has been doing this since the 80’s. They’ve heard rumors of companies going paperless, and they just don’t buy it.  But that’s okay — if most people’s electronic systems were as well cataloged and organized as their boxes, we’d all be in pretty good shape.

4. The Nonchalant Techie

Never doubt that that the Nonchalant Techie can relate every event in life back to a technical problem and solution that they have the answer to. To him or her, all Records Management challenges can ultimately be solved with SharePoint, some SQL triggers, and a C# program they wrote this afternoon.  Still — you’ll be happy to have this person on your ERM project team when you need to do a big integration!

5. The Mega-Networker

The Mega-Networker is going to make friends. A lot of them.  The more connected, the better.  You ‘re going to get a friend request from them on LinkedIn before you even manage to shake their hand.  Did you know there was a Twitter hashtag for this GDPR round table?  They did!  But as silly as it may seem, these people make conferences work! They provide the social glue that builds networks of professionals.

6. The Party Animal

Usually seen the first night of any Records Management conference.  Usually strangely missing thereafter.  They come to the conference to spend a few nights away from the kids, having as much fun as possible.  Drinks all around!  Anyone want hit the karaoke bar after this? I am.

7. The Very Private Person

Always seen the second and third day of any given conference.  Suspiciously missing from the first.  Notable taste for Water and Excedrin. May be wearing sunglasses inside in the middle of the day.  Has a strange adverseness to both light and sound.  We’ve been there, Very Private Person.

8. The Early Adopter

This person was busy doing ERM back before ERM existed.  While many of us were still learning basic computing on Windows 3.1, they were trailblazing the industry. They’re pretty much the Michael Jordan of Records Management, and they aren’t afraid to say it.

9. The Vendors

These guys are PSYCHED about something.  It’s not clear what, but they’re ready to talk, that’s for sure!  Most likely dressed in matching, immaculate outfits. Interested in some cool schwag?  It’s free, all you have to do is give them your phone number, email address and departmental budget. 

[Disclaimer:  Feith is a vendor of Enterprise Records Management software.]

10. The RM Celebrity

They may have been a bit of a geek growing up, but now the whole RM world knows their name.  As the guru of this and the master of that, the RM celebrity is so talented that they’re often paid to be here.  They may still be a bit of a geek, but you know you’re going to their presentation later!

11. The Futurist

The futurist is seemingly up to date on virtually every breakthrough in the tech industry.  You can usually spot the futurist by their semi-ironic Block Chain T-Shirt.  Get ready, because they’re here to tell you how using a hefty helping of Machine Learning can change your life.  They may be right, but we think it’s a bit too early to call.

12. The Couple

One of them came for work, the other is a frugal tourist. They both get a nice company-paid hotel room.  While one of them is chatting you up about unifying your retention plans, the other is asking around for the best place for Vietnamese Pho.  Act fast to catch this pair, because after the second day they’ll be sightseeing!  Can you blame them?

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print
Shannon Heim

Shannon Heim

Helping others is what Shannon loves most, making her a great fit for outreach at Records Management University. She is in charge of credits and certificates as well as the RMU email account. When Shannon isn’t talking with students, she edits the on-demand classes to make them as high quality as possible.
Categories Fun

Are your Repositories ready for GDPR?

Are your Repositories ready for GDPR?

Protect Data With Feith’s GDPR-ready Platform

In May 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect. Even though the EU established this law, the regulation applies to nations at a global level because of how integrated markets are with the EU.

Data controllers need to make sure they’re collecting and managing an individual’s data in the right way using a technology that supports GDPR compliance. The system needs to provide complete life-cycle management over this information and allow for easy accessibility while also providing a high-level of security. 

There are Five Key Metrics To Ensuring A GDPR-ready Platform

    1. Data accessibility: It’s important that organizations can access and locate data across their entire enterprise
    2. Advanced search and analyses: System should provide full visibility across all data repositories, including email, files shares, SharePoint, social media, and more. It should search even the largest enterprise data environments using complex queries such as boolean, wildcard, proximity, and nested search. Advanced search and analyses functionalities help organizations better understand their structured and unstructured data.
    3. Data retention: All data needs to be retained in accordance with GDPR regulations. Companies must also know and recognize who they’re retaining information for; this knowledge is vital because individuals must consent to having their information collected.
    4. Centralized management: The solution should aggregate data in a single repository accessible by your enterprise data controllers.
    5. Lifecycle control: The technology should support complete lifecycle management and defensible disposition.

Feith’s GDPR-ready platform provides organizations with an accessible, secure, and manageable system for capturing, storing and cleansing PII and other GDPR-relevant data. Feith keeps track of when a user accesses, views, edits, or acts on a document or data record. Further, it gives executives and managers access to review audit logs, making it easy to obtain information as needed. Through a secure website, users may even deliver audit information to external auditors.

From development to post-launch support, the Feith remains highly secure and prevents outside parties from gaining entry. Personal data protection is essential for GDPR compliance, and Feith makes it easy to identify PII across the enterprise, automatically-categorize it, perform auto-redactions, and protect that data where it lives.

Feith also grants users with full control over managing their data system. The system automates complex processes which improve the entire workflow from document creation to record declaration, and through final disposition and removal. These management controls enable companies to track information about archived documents and view insights into their data with reporting dashboards. 

Avoiding GDPR violations starts with taking proactive measures to secure your enterprise repositories; Feith can help. To learn more about Feith’s GDPR-ready platform, contact our team of experts today!

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print
Shannon Heim

Shannon Heim

Helping others is what Shannon loves most, making her a great fit for outreach at Records Management University. She is in charge of credits and certificates as well as the RMU email account. When Shannon isn’t talking with students, she edits the on-demand classes to make them as high quality as possible.

39 Great Records Management Resources from the National Archives

39 Great Records Management Resources from the National Archives

  1. · A How-To Guide for Completing NARA’s Records Management Self Assessment
  2. · Access Restrictions: Their Importance and Impact on the Transfer of Permanent Records
  3. · Capstone Email Management Implementation: Technical Perspective
  4. · Capstone Legal Briefing
  5. · Capstone: A New Approach to Managing Email Records
  6. · Capstone: A New Approach to Managing Email Records: NARA’s Internal Implementation
  7. · Capstone’s Managers’ Briefing
  8. · Chief FOIA Officers Council
  9. · Classified Records Transfer Checklist
  10. · Controlled Unclassified Information
  11. · Creating and Using File Plans
  12. · Discussion of Records Management Program Inspection Techniques
  13. · Electronic Records Management 101: From Planning to Deployment
  14. · ERA Schedule Records Bootcamp – Part 1
  15. · ERA Transferring Records Online Training
  16. · ERA Video FAQs (Scheduling and Transferring Records)-Part 2
  17. · Explanation of Frozen and Legal Holds as they Pertain to Permanent Records
  18. · Finding the Gaps: Locating and Reporting Unscheduled Records
  19. · Folder Title List: Transferring Your Permanent Paper Records
  20. · Guidance on Managing Social Media Records
  21. · Let’s Get Organized! Setting up your Electronic Files
  22. · Managing Content on Shared Drives
  23. · Records Management Guidance for Political Appointees
  24. · Records Management Training for Federal Agencies
  25. · Summer School for Records Coordinators, Conducting the Inventory: Session 3
  26. · Summer School for Records Coordinators, Next Steps and Followup: Session 4
  27. · Summer School for Records Coordinators, Planning the Inventory Session 2
  28. · Summer School for Records Coordinators, What is an Inventory? : Session 1
  29. · The Case for Records Management: Issues for Legal Counsel – Part 1
  30. · The Case for Records Management: Issues for Legal Counsel – Part 2
  31. · Transfer Guidance Revision Project: Identifying “Fit-for-Purpose” Formats
  32. · Using ERA for FRC Annual Move
  33. · Withdrawing Permanent Federal Records from an FRC
  34. · Word of the Week: File Plan
  35. · Word of the Week: Lifecycle
  36. · Word of the Week: Nonrecord
  37. · Word of the Week: Personal Papers
  38. · Word of the Week: Record
  39. · Word of the Week: Records Schedule

Free   |   Live or On-Demand   |  5 CRM Credits

Over 7,000 RM, IT & IG professionals have already joined us!