Over 250 FOIA case workers and their managers representing over 70 federal departments and agencies attended the 2013 FOIAXpress Users Group Conference yesterday in downtown D.C. This annual event is hosted by AINS Inc., the creator of the leading FOIA technology in North America.
At the conference, attendees gathered to improve their FOIA-related technology skills and knowledge and discuss processing with their colleagues from across the government. AINS moderated a panel discussion of the benefits of FOIA-in-the-cloud and presented the new Advanced Document Review solution that leverages e-discovery technology to ease the burden of voluminous requests and complex email sets. Attendees also learned about FOIAXpress Technical Services and AINS commitment to directly impact the productivity of agency FOIA agencies via the improved utilization of FOIAXpress.
Richard Huff, former co-director of the OIP gave the keynote address to the audience, themed around the significance of the CREW v. Federal Election Commission decision and its effect on the government FOIA community in terms of a new definition of “Promptly” for response times. He also touched on the day to day stresses of the FOIA worker, and closed with a heartfelt discussion of the best part of working with the FOIA. “I see stories in numerous newspapers… that couldn’t have been written without the work of everyone associated with a FOIA office. These are the kinds of stories that can truly inform our citizenry of the operations and activities of their government.”
Delores Barber, Deputy Chief FOIA Officer of DHS, was the recipient of the 2013 Wayne R. Jewell Customer Appreciation Award for her hard work to improve FOIA processing at the agency. Upon receiving her award she said, “My department’s relationship with AINS is a perfect example of how the private sector and government can come together and work together to solve some problems and make our lives a little bit easier in administering the FOIA and providing greater service to our requester community.”
At the end of the program participants gathered in “FOIA Communities” with colleagues from agencies with similar missions to continue their discussions about the practical challenges that face FOIA workers and best practices for greater efficiency.
For more coverage of this event, please see: http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=&sid=3430241