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FOIA Principle 8: Improve Dispute Resolution And Administrative Appeals

by | Jul 25, 2017 | FOIA Software Solutions | 0 comments

Armedia has created the FOIA module for ArkCase, a flexible, open source, case management system to help organizations easily and successfully navigate the FOIA maze.

The administrative appeal process is a critical element of the FOIA system, and it’s a useful opportunity for an FOIA requester to get a “second opinion” if they don’t get the results they want.

Agencies must provide adequate procedures for resolving disputes with requesters who appeal agency decisions. For the sake of organization, each denied request is assigned to a very specific exemption code. Then government clerks and citizens can much more freely proceed with a request, whether it would be toward closure or appeal.

Our Armedia FOIA Module offers full compliance with a point-and click-functionality that simplifies this process.

Armedia FOIA Module For Dispute Resolution And Administrative Appeals

Time-Limits For Requesters To Submit Appeals

The Office of the United States Trade Representative provides 60 days for submitting appeals. Its purpose is to ensure that those who want to dispute decisions will not be limited by unreasonably short deadlines. With Armedia’s modern case management system through ArkCase, these appeals can be managed by departments within the defined time-frame for each of the appeals or requests.

Once a request is submitted by a requester using our FOIA Module, ArkCase takes care of all the key points of user-input. Those who submitted a FOIA request that was denied can use Armedia’s FOIA module to submit an appeal. The Module:

  • Handles the new user entry,
  • Attaches it to the existing request, and
  • All involved parties are informed of the newest case update.

Provide Information About The Agency’s FOIA Public Liaison

If your agency has concerns about the handling of certain requests, Armedia’s Module can connect you to a FOIA Public Liaison. This Public Liaison can assist your agency’s requesters with resolving disputes.

Your agency should notify the requesters about the availability of the FOIA Public Liaison in acknowledgment and determination letters. Armedia’s FOIA Module can help you make use of the Liaison service!

Notify Requesters About Dispute Resolution Services

It is important to make dispute resolution services easily available to requesters in order to help address questions or issues that could otherwise result in costly litigation. With the Armedia FOIA Module, your agency will provide information about dispute resolution service in your FOIA regulation and appeal determination letter.

The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) offers mediation services to resolve disputes between agencies and requesters as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation.

If your agency’s requesters have concerns about the handling of their requests, they may contact OGIS. Armedia’s ArkCase Module uses digitized storage that keeps track of important information. This will allow Your agency to provide the requester with the name and contact information of OGIS in an appeal determination letter.

Armedia’s Module can simplify this for you by helping you establish organizational flow in FOIA requests through point and click use interface (no coding required).

Wrap Up

Are you struggling with time limits, information, and notifying requesters about dispute resolution and administrative appeals? We’ve built a FOIA Module with ArkCase that will provide you a full technology stack and make sure that your agency is functioning properly (thanks to the built-in business processes).

Armedia offers you the perfect solution for processing FOIA requests for your organization.

We’d like to hear from you.

  • What are your department’s greatest FOIA challenges?
  • Is this blog post helping you see how your department could benefit from the FOIA module?

Let us know below, and please share this article on LinkedIn or Facebook to get the word out to colleagues!

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