Improving FOI Processes at the State and Local Level

DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray recently announced the procurement of FOIAXpress, which will be the District’s first-ever citywide FOIA-processing system. This is part of a new initiative designed to improve transparency, public participation and accountability in the District government.

“The automated system will be a great benefit not only to the public in improving transparency, but to District government agencies, which will be able to more timely and efficiently process the thousands of FOIA requests received by the District every year,” said Traci Hughes, Director of the Office of Open Government in DC.

FOIAXpress is the leading electronic Freedom of Information (FOI) solution in North America and supports the full range of legislative standards and procedures, whether at the federal or state/district level. FOIAXpress can help state, city or county public bodies that must comply with their state’s Freedom of Information requirements by tracking, managing and automating the complete lifecycle of freedom of information requests.

FOIAXpress is designed to speed the request process with features such as workflow-driven case management, assigned tracking numbers and deadline alerts, collaboration and review tools, correspondence management with letter and email templates, secure electronic redaction, fee auto-calculation and payment management and easy to produce reports. For FOI offices that still use manual and paper-based processes to respond to requests, the improved efficiency from switching to a centralized, electronic system can lead to faster response times and reduced backlogs.

FOIAXpress also allows agencies to share public documents by publishing frequently requested documents to their electronic “reading room”. “This new automated FOIA system is in keeping with one of the goals of my One City Action Plan – strengthening government accountability,” said Mayor Gray. “We believe FOIAXpress will help users obtain information about District government operations more quickly and more efficiently and give the public a better understanding of the workings of the government.”