While much of current commentary on electronic discovery is focused on enterprises in the private sector, government agencies also routinely face demands for the production of electronically stored information (ESI) in litigation, investigations, examinations, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and other core activities. Many of the e-discovery-related challenges faced by large corporations and government agencies are similar, but requirements for public sector organizations stand out due to the very large scale of many productions, the diversity of data types and formats, and the extensive and stringent data security protocols driven by government regulations and standards programs.
Complicating these fundamental challenges are recent public-sector initiatives that bring new urgency to efforts to move agency data and technology tools to a cloud computing environment. These initiatives include:
- Cloud Smart, a relatively new strategy developed by the Office of Management Budget (OMB) “to accelerate agency adoption of cloud-based solutions” and provide practical implementation guidance.
- The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), which was passed by Congress in December 2014; FITARA permits CIOs to establish cloud service working capital funds and is the driving force behind new “scorecards” that grade agencies on their progress in various components of IT modernization, including migration to the cloud.
- The Modernizing Government Technology Act, attached as an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which plays an important role by providing capital for modernization initiatives that include adoption of commercial cloud technology.
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