What is eDiscovery Software?
Like a corporate organization, local, state, and even federal government agencies use eDiscovery software. With the complex and huge volumes of data, followed by an increasing stream of requests, governments now have to rely on legal technology solutions such as Casepoint to help them with their unique burdens, such as balancing public transparency with confidentiality, limited resources, and statutory public records requirements.
Government agencies have to deal with added challenges, such as increasing data volumes, declining budgets, limited resources, changing data landscapes, and the need to collaborate across departments. Without an end-to-end solution, these challenges can become even more complicated.
As the demand for open records requests and eDiscovery continues to increase, solutions like Casepoint can help them make progress. Read on to learn more about the usage of government eDiscovery software.
How Government Agencies Can Benefit From eDiscovery Software
Apart from the increasing volume of requests, the complex nature of these requests is not easy to meet. And on top of this, government agencies also have to deal with the twenty-day turnaround deadline. As per the data provided by FOIA.gov, about 204,000 requests didn’t get any response in 2020. The government stated that the reason for no response is that they were not able to find the requested information or the request has been backlogged.
For instance, to respond to a FOIA request, thousands and even millions of records must be searched to find the relevant information and ensure that confidential information is excluded. These records might be in different formats and scanned at low quality. Performing a manual review of these documents is inefficient. Dealing with the redactions can take even more of their time.
Casepoint is one of the most powerful government eDiscovery solutions available on the market that has been developed to resolve these specific problems. With our collection tools, the government agencies will have all the data they need in a standardized format. The review tools will standardize the records and sort them into sets. Our built-in analytics tools will uncover insights from data and identify duplicate content. Lastly, our production tools will deliver the data into the desired format.
Compared to manual review, the result is a faster, more secure, automated, and more accurate review. Using an end-to-end solution like Casepoint to deal with FOIA requests can help save time, cost, and effort.
eDiscovery Challenges for Government Agencies
Now, let’s take a look into the latest eDiscovery government challenges that have impacted the process.
When collecting administrative data, there are several state-wide and national data standards. These standards might be inconsistent and aren’t always applied broadly, impacting the data collection process. Without a coordinated effort among service providers, the government, and other agencies, there can be a variation in the way information is collected and stored.
Data Collection Challenges
The data volume is increasing exponentially. Now, this creates two problems—volume and data variety. When looking for an eDiscovery solution for government, ensure that it can efficiently handle large data volumes. Advanced filtering and Early Case Assessment can help cull large data sets and benefit the agencies in terms of time and cost.
Increasing Volumes of Data
Through technology adoption, employees can use the latest solutions to improve their performance. However, government agencies have been slow to adopt new technologies. In order to fasten this process, agencies have to communicate why digital changes are important and provide training. Here are a few examples of the technology adoption challenges faced by government agencies:
Inadequate internal processes
This is among the top concerns regarding handling, reviewing, and producing ESI. Many government agencies, especially the local ones, lack the internal processes to handle the complex task of eDiscovery. At agencies like this, employing an eDiscovery solution is of paramount importance.
Lack of Personnel
The issue of lack of personnel is quite prevalent in government agencies. An eDiscovery solution can do its job in the best way when the right employee with adequate training is using it.
eDiscovery for government can involve several parties across multiple agencies and within a department. Lack of coordination can bring eDiscovery efforts to a halt. Government eDiscovery solutions like Casepoint can handle expansive work environments and multi-party matters and improve collaboration. Multiple users can access a record simultaneously and with the assigned permissions.
Government agencies have been slow to adopt new technologies. Many of them still work with software that private corporations left behind years ago. This outdated technology is slowing down their work.
Lack of Technology
The only thing worse than outdated technology is the lack of technology. Many local government agencies are still handling everything manually and are yet to open themselves up to the benefits offered by technology.
Government agencies often have to deal with budgetary issues. When it comes to buying an eDiscovery product, a less expensive option might not be best for the long term. It is important to consider the cost of ownership as well. Tools that only offer one or two features will force the agencies to buy other tools for finishing the eDiscovery process. They need a provider like Casepoint that can offer everything.
Technology Adoption Challenges
Define your eDiscovery Processes
The core of the eDiscovery process is the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM). It features distinct stages to indicate the sequential nature of the eDiscovery process. Government agencies have to use this model and customize it to suit their requirements. Here is a quick summary of all the stages:
This refers to the process, policies, and controls implemented for managing the data of a company. Even though some consider eDiscovery to be a part of IG, the truth is that IG is the foundation of the government eDiscovery process.
Information Governance (IG)
Government agencies have a legal duty to protect relevant ESI. However, they must also know what is relevant and use a wide range of methods for identifying potentially relevant ESI sources, such as interviewing key informants, reviewing case facts, and more.
After identifying relevant ESI, it’s time to protect this information from spoliation—alteration or destruction of evidence. The most common way to preserve ESI is a legal hold process where formal communication is sent to data owners instructing them to preserve certain ESI.
The next step is to collect and centralize relevant ESI. There are a ton of collection methods that can be used. The important thing is to ensure that the approach taken is legally defensible. The contents and their metadata shouldn’t be altered.
This phase covers preparing the collected documents for analysis and review. For this, it is best to use specialized software for the government eDiscovery process. This stage also covers extracting files, deleting meaningless data, and converting file formats.
This is considered to be among the most expensive stages of the eDiscovery for government process. It involves the evaluation of ESI for protected and relevant information. Government agencies often have their own legal team for this process. With Casepoint’s built-in AI, the process of distinguishing between privileged, relevant, and non-relevant data will become a lot easier.
The analysis stage involves evaluating ESI for key patterns, people, topics, and discussions. Even though this is a separate stage, it is important to deploy it in the previous stages of the eDiscovery as well, such as Review.
Once the relevant documents have been identified, reviewed, and analyzed, they can be produced.
This stage of eDiscovery for government involves displaying the records as evidence. However, it usually happens after the discovery process has been completed.
Why Government Agencies Need eDiscovery Software for FOIA Requests
The number of FOIA requests is on the rise. Without an eDiscovery software, government agencies are setting themselves up for failure. Even if they can manage to handle the requests, using a government eDiscovery software will make the job more efficient and easier. Check out some of the benefits of using a government eDiscovery software for FOIA requests:
Casepoint is a robust solution that can manage the complete FOIA workflow. It can handle request intake, collect data, review the records, and produce relevant documents. Government agencies can replace their outdated technologies and manual processes with our powerful government eDiscovery solution.
Centralize and Standardize FOIA Workflows
Using Casepoint to quickly respond to FOIA requests can make the workload of government officials easier. Our solution can search through millions of documents and put together responsive documents that comply with the requirements.
Accelerate FOIA Response Times
Casepoint’s AI and analytics tools, such as data visualization and email threading tools, improve accuracy and efficiency. Government agencies will be able to power their FOIA reviews through Casepoint as it finds relevant data and groups information together by concepts or relationships.
AI & Email Threading
Redactions are a crucial aspect of eDiscovery, especially in government agencies. They deal with confidential and sensitive information and must redact it before producing the documents. As per Casepoint’s redaction rules, government agencies can search and apply user-select phrases, patterns and texts across multiple documents. They can also annotate redactions and build customized text to identify protected information.
Before producing the documents, FOIA personnel must verify the redacted content to ensure that protected information is redacted properly. To strike through a document’s previously designated classification, you can use line redactions or strike-through.
Redaction Review and Quality Control
Casepoint can automate the complete FOIA process. We offer a FedRamp Authorized platform that collects, reviews, redacts, and produces data securely and eliminates any risky data transfers. When government agencies use an end-to-end solution like Casepoint, they can save time, lower their administrative burden, and increase efficiency.
Reduce Risk and Costs
As the FedRAMP Authorized cloud environment of Casepoint centralizes data, government agencies will be able to collaborate securely and produce results faster. It employs role-based security to control access and facilitate efficient collaboration. With Casepoint, what they will get is a secure, scalable platform that can review and process over 600 data types.
Casepoint’s team has worked tirelessly to provide its clients with the FedRAMP Authorized cloud security. While handling the FOIA requests, government officials won’t have to worry about the risks of data transfers. The platform will streamline the process of responding to FOIA requests, allowing them to manage the increasing number of requests and meet deadlines. The FedRAMP Authorized cloud has role-based security which can strengthen the safety of data.
FedRAMP Authorized Cloud Security
By using Casepoint and its advanced analytics, government agencies will have access to a wide range of powerful features. It will save them plenty of resources and time, which can then be used for high-value activities.
Casepoint has developed its solution to maintain high compliance and security standards. It is our mission to ensure the safety of our client’s data. To attest to our standards, we have compiled a list of security compliance certifications. We are committed to ensuring the security and privacy of our client’s data and adhering to the applicable regulations. With the help of our tech and legal experts, government agencies can get started with onboarding and customized setup and enjoy ongoing support from a team of specialists.