Searching for responsive records under FOIA works best when processors cross disciplines to collaborate with technology experts at their respective agencies. An OGIS assessment of the 2019 Chief FOIA Officer (CFO) reports shows that while a majority of agencies report using technology to facilitate efficiency in conducting searches, only about one in five agencies report collaborating with colleagues with technology expertise who are outside of the FOIA office.
The seven-page assessment, titled Leveraging Technology to Improve FOIA Searches, focuses on three recommendations from the 2016-2018 term of the FOIA Advisory Committee to the Archivist of the United States aimed at improving searches. One of the three recommendations by the Committee was that the Office of Information Policy (OIP) at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) collect detailed information in CFO reports regarding specific methods and technologies that agencies are using to search their electronic records, including email. OGIS examined the CFO reports and summarizes the responses to this question in this assessment.
Examples of how agencies are leveraging technology are included in the report. See an idea that you wish to know more about? Contact OGIS and we will put you in touch with your counterparts at other agencies to start a discussion.