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FOIA Principle 4: Clearly And Proactively Communicate With Requestors

by | Jun 29, 2017 | FOIA Software Solutions | 0 comments

Regardless of scheme or size, all agencies must meet the same FOIA requirements and act accordingly. Armedia’s FOIA Module, built on ArkCase architecture, is designed to clearly and proactively communicate with requesters… regardless of the size of your agency or team.

FOIA Standard Clarity and Proactivity

If you are one of the “big players,” there are various systems available that can support your case management (and you may be wondering which is the right one). The bigger the budget, the wider the choice, right!? On the other hand, if yours is a smaller organization, finding affordable casework software can be a challenge. We have built a solution for either situation!

Because it’s designed for flexibility and scalability, Armedia’s open-source software can be an affordable and right-sized solution that delivers a full range of functionality. We invested a huge amount of effort (and millions of dollars) to configure a specialized FOIA module, and your organization can enjoy the benefits!

Responding to Requests

In the world of FOIA all agencies must communicate with the requesters

In the world of FOIA, no news is bad news. All agencies must clearly and proactively communicate with the requesters. In addition to processing requests, agencies are obligated to respond to requesters in writing. The response must notify requesters whether records have been located and attach all releasable documents.

Besides these requirements, agency responses to FOIA requests must be quick (in all cases, within 5 working days of the request), providing the requester with a proper response. The Armedia FOIA Module (built into ArkCase Case Management) manages the steps and variables in the response process, from an easy-to-use interface.

The 5-day period for responding to the requests begins on the first working day following the day that your central office receives the request. Our FOIA platform eliminates manual processes to improve effectiveness and efficiency and it keeps you notified about the status of the requests.

If your appropriate department can’t determine the status of the records within the 5-day period, or if it’s impossible to provide the records within the 5-day period, our platform will give you an option to notify the requester of the status. Much of the organizational work has been done for you in our FOIA Module.

Armedia’s FOIA Module (with a built-in reporting feature) displays the complaint status, the case status, and the incident categories within a user-selected date-range. This simplifies the configuration of the additional reports when needed.

Processing Requests

communicate with the requester and collect additional information with Armedia's solution

After your agency receives the FOIA request form, it must send the requester a letter of acknowledgment along with a tracking number, and if necessary, a request for additional information.

Armedia provides its own form-based solution which allows you to communicate with the requester and collect all the additional Information needed. It also allows your organization/department to constantly upload case information that can be available for all requesters. New forms are easy to create using the dedicated Forms Designer tool.

In unusual circumstances, the department may extend the period for processing a FOIA request. In that case, our platform will allow you to notify the requester of the extension. That notice of extension instructs the requester to modify its FOIA request or to arrange with the department an alternative processing period.

Once the Department decides to grant or deny a FOIA request, Armedia’s FOIA Module (within the ArkCase Case Management system) gives you the option to notify the requester of the decision in writing.

Conclusion

No matter if you lead an agency department, or starting a business, you want a case management platform that assures clear and proactive FOIA communication.

The Armedia FOIA Module creates a collaborative framework for meeting all the document, the process, and the communication requirements for fully handling FOIA requests. A simple user-interface. Problem solved!

ArkCase is the market leader in case management. Its FOIA Module is just one of the benefits of the platform. Our team is committed to delivering the best partner and customer experience, through innovative technology and outstanding service. When you choose ArkCase, you choose a secure way to success. We want to hear from you. Add your comments below.

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