FOIA/PA Modernization

Feith’s FOIA Workbench is an end-to-end solution that streamlines the entire federal public disclosure process, from receiving requests to delivering documents. Unlike point solutions, Workbench gives FOIA Officers the ability to track requests and task staff across the department. Its integrated system simplifies the management of complex workflows and enhances communication across various teams, ensuring a timely and organized response to public inquiries.

End-to-end FOIA Processing

Find Responsive Records

Does your FOIA software store all agency records in a single, searchable repository, or are records spread across multiple locations?

Tracking & Reporting

Can administrators use your software to track and manage all FOIA activity from a single interface?

User Interface

Is your FOIA software designed with an intuitive user interface for easy navigation and task execution?

Support for DOJ Report

Does your FOIA software automatically compile request processing data and generate a DOJ report?

Redaction Tools

Does your FOIA software include native manual and automatic redaction tools?

Automate Tasks

Does your FOIA software include automation features for routine tasks to reduce manual effort and increase efficiency?

What is FOIA Workbench?

 

FOIA Workbench, certified by DISA/JITC, transforms the way FOIA requests are handled. With its intuitive public portal, users can easily submit requests. Inside, a sophisticated electronic case management system helps manage these requests efficiently. The software simplifies finding and redacting the right records directly within your browser. Streamlined workflows enhance the processing speed, and comprehensive dashboards along with detailed reporting tools ensure everything is tracked and transparent. This system not only makes managing FOIA requests smoother but also more accountable.

Public Portal

In FOIA Workbench’s public-facing portal, users can submit a request, track its progress, and pay for it all in one place. Submitting a request is quick and easy with FOIA Workbench. Upon submission, users receive an automated confirmation and can track the request’s progress every step of the way. Users can create an account, which integrates with account providers like Login.gov and ID.me, allowing for easy access to the Public Portal using pre-existing accounts regulated by federal proof-of-user identity standards. Users have full profile management abilities to keep their information up to date.

The FOIA Workbench Reading Room allows the public to search for and download records using content, metadata, and a glossary of commonly requested subjects. All documents are stored and indexed for easy retrieval. Records may be released in either public or private reading rooms, and all requested deliverables can be made available to requesters through their own individual rooms, regardless of size or format.

Request Management

Upon receiving a FOIA request, FOIA Workbench immediately generates a case number, sets up a case in the digital system, and imports data from the submission form. This system allows for easy tracking and categorizes requests for quick staff access. Using FOIA Workbench, staff can monitor the progress, deadlines, and timelines of each request, managing several cases simultaneously. The platform facilitates task assignment and note-taking directly on requests, streamlining workflow.

After establishing a case, FOIA managers can prioritize and review requests, assessing legal and privacy concerns, expedited processing needs, previous submissions by the same requester, and any issues that may warrant denial or clarification. This process enables efficient progress tracking and access to all related documents within the Workbench.

Correspondence Tracking

FOIA Workbench enhances communication between staff, requesters, and external parties by automating notifications and providing ready-to-use response templates, ensuring organized exchanges with the option to attach files. It also facilitates secure, certificate-based e-signatures for FOIA-related communications.

Once a request is received, the system automatically acknowledges it and provides an estimated completion timeline. It keeps requesters informed about the completion status of their requests or any new document additions to their cases. Communication channels include email and an integrated portal, with all interactions systematically logged under the case’s correspondence tab for easy reference and transparency.

Tolling & Perfection

  • Statutory time limit tracking and management for FOIA requests
  • Automated timeline calculation from request receipt
  • Recording the duration of each FOIA process step
  • Notification system for impending due dates
  • Ability to override deadlines or pause the clock for fee waiver reviews
  • Customizable workflow for user-specific timer control
  • Automatic timer control based on case status
  • Communication tools for refining requests with requesters
  • Documentation of communications for audit trail support

eDiscovery & Collection

FOIA Workbench’s eDiscovery tools empower staff to rapidly locate and gather essential documents from diverse repositories, utilizing advanced search capabilities to ensure fast and accurate retrieval.

Staff can effectively organize and scrutinize documents within the platform, applying sophisticated search techniques to ensure comprehensive material identification and legal compliance.

Leveraging OCR technology, FOIA Workbench transforms scanned documents into searchable text, significantly enhancing the scope and efficiency of document discovery and analysis.

Review for Responsiveness & Redact Documents and Video

  • In-browser document review for responsiveness and redactions
  • Centralized aggregation of discovery records in FOIA case file
  • Document filtering and marking for compilation
  • Manual and automatic redaction capabilities
  • Exemption statute lists to safeguard sensitive information
  • Secure audit trail for redactions and user actions
  • Automated compilation of releasable documents
  • Final response summarization by the Authorizing Official (AO), including subject restatement, search methodology explanation, exemption details, administrative appeal notes, and other request artifacts

Appeals & Litigation

FOIA Workbench enhances appeal management through these key functionalities:

  • Users can submit and track appeals online, including electronic correspondence and document exchange with the agency.
  • Appeals can be reviewed and updated by supervisors or appeals officers.
  • Litigation related to requests can be monitored directly in Workbench.
  • The Appeals tab allows agencies to handle appeals using existing case materials, streamlining efforts, and adding procedural structure.
  • FOIA Workbench provides configurable templated responses for common appeal types, aiding staff in sensitive procedures and enhancing response efficiency.

Automatic Vaughn Index

FOIA Workbench streamlines the creation and management of a Vaughn Index with these key features:

  • FOIA Workbench automatically generates a draft Vaughn Index from data in the Case Management tool, documenting FOIA response rationales.
  • The tool captures essential information, enabling easy export to spreadsheet format.
  • FOIA Workbench assists agencies in preparing a Vaughn Index for FOIA litigation, detailing justifications for each information withholding.
  • The software helps identify each document withheld, states the statutory exemption, and explains the potential harm of disclosure, aligning with Vaughn Index requirements.

Reporting & Analytics

FOIA Workbench provides robust reporting and data visualization tools, enhancing transparency and efficiency:

  • Customizable reporting tools based on agency requirements
  • Scheduled and ad-hoc report generation
  • Report formats: .pdf, .xls, .doc, .rtf
  • Built-in dashboard capabilities for real-time data visualization
  • Annual DOJ Report:  A draft of the annual DOJ report can be generated directly from the FOIA Workbench.  It uses information in the platform to create an accurate and up-to-date report of all FOIA requests received, processed, or pending within the last year.

Audit Logs

FOIA Workbench ensures comprehensive and secure audit capabilities with the following features:

  • Defensible audit history for all FOIA user actions
  • Tracks creation, modification, and deletion activities
  • Centralized location for auditing records, tasks, and processes
  • Audit dashboards with completion times, actions, and user details
  • Immutable audit logs in compliance with agency policies
  • Security features to safeguard audit data
  • Alerts for unusual activities in audit logs
  • Detailed reports for compliance and audits
  • Customizable audit settings to fit agency needs

Ready to Accelerate FOIA?