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AINS Blog - FOIA and Case Management

Wednesday
Oct042017

The Role of Automation in FOIA Compliance

AINS is proud to announce the publication of the article "The Role of Automation in FOIA Compliance" by employee and FOIA software expert Cindy Dillow in Information Management Magazine.

In the article, Dillow explains how automation technology can improve transparency, efficiency, and record-keeping in FOIA processing.

Monday
Oct022017

PPC Joins AINS Partner Network Program

Industry Leading Information Technology & Management Consulting firm Looks to Grow with AINS’ eCase as a New Service to Federal Agencies

McLean, Virginia — October 2, 2017 — Project Performance Company, LLC, a leading Information Technology & Management Consulting firm announced that in April 2017 it joined the AINS Partner Network (APN) as part of a new partnership with AINS, Inc., a global provider of cloud-based, adaptive case management solutions located in Gaithersburg, MD.  

By joining the APN Program, PPC can offer AINS software expertise and implementation services to clients seeking a low code, adaptive case management platform to support a wide range of mission-critical business practices.  With the addition of eCase® and its suite of Apps to our solutions portfolio, PPC will be able to deliver new and innovative case management solutions to our clients in the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and other federal agencies.

“By partnering with AINS, PPC has added a proven Case Management engine to complement our service offerings in systems integration and development, cloud realization, and knowledge and data management.  The eCase Platform provides PPC with a proven solution that can easily integrate into our client architectures and deliver immediate benefits.  Working closely with our team of trained AINS eCase integrators and consultants, we’ve already begun demonstrating its capabilities to our clients and receiving positive feedback,” said Paul Strasser, President and CEO of PPC. 

About Project Performance Company

PPC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Data Systems Analysts, Inc. (DSA) of Trevose, Pennsylvania is a leading Information Technology and Management Consulting firm, delivering mission critical solutions to Federal, State, and Local governments and commercial industry. We are best known for Energy Management & Environmental Sustainability Consulting, Records and Knowledge Management solutions, Information Systems Development & Integration, and Cyber Security and Information Assurance services. With offices in the DC Metropolitan Area and across the nation, we serve Fortune 500 decision makers and Federal, State, and local government agencies to meet mission-critical challenges. Please visit www.ppc.com for more information.

About AINS, Inc.

AINS® is a leading global provider of cloud-based, adaptive case management solutions. Since 1988, AINS has empowered organizations around the world to rethink how they work, and how they develop and deploy new technology, by providing innovative, agile software solutions and services to government and commercial markets. Designed since inception for case management, the eCase® Platform enables our customers to bring new products to market quickly, digitize customer engagement, and automate unique business processes across diverse lines of business without the constraints of custom coding.  Ready-built Strategic Apps for Human Resources, Investigations, Audit, Correspondence and Open Government, via FOIAXpress®—further accelerate time to value, while providing organizations greater flexibility to adapt as their processes change. Together, these powerful solutions help our customers enhance productivity, reduce costs and achieve better outcomes. For more information, visit www.ains.com.

 

Contact

 Matt McDonald, Vice President

 703-748-7040

Matt.McDonald@PPC.com

Thursday
Sep282017

AINS Wins Gold in 2017 Stevie Awards For Great Employers

Gaithersburg, MD — September 29, 2017AINS, Inc., a leading global provider of cloud-based, adaptive case management solutions, is the winner of a Gold Stevie® Award in the Computer Software with less than 250 employees category in the second annual Stevie Awards for Great Employers. 
Proposal Manager at AINS, Victoria Sampugnaro, was present at the Awards Ceremony to accept the Gold Stevie Award

 

The Stevie Awards for Great Employers recognize the world’s best employers and the human resources professionals, teams, achievements and HR-related products and suppliers who help to create and drive great places to work.

 

Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word meaning “crowned,” the awards were presented to winners at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York on Friday, September 22. 

 

More than 500 nominations from organizations around the world were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of HR-related categories, including Achievement in Workplace Safety & Compliance, Employer of the Year and Employee Relations Solution Provider of the Year, among others. 

 

With this high level of competition, AINS is particularly honored to receive Gold, having placed Silver last year. The judges noticed improvement stating that, “AINS has a very focused, systemic approach in building best people practices and processes. [The company is] ensured to seize all growth opportunities in their operating space.”

 

“We are honored to have been recognized by the highly esteemed global panel of judges two years in-a-row, and believe it underscores AINS’ dedication to shaping the future of work with big ideas and solving complex business challenges,” said Moe Goswami, CEO of AINS. “This award is a great reflection of our commitment to our employees, who strive every day to help our customers achieve their goals through innovation. It’s a privilege to be a part of a team that is so often recognized for their successes and hard work.”

 

More than 50 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s Stevie Award winners. Additionally, public votes were counted for the Employer of the Year category.

 

“The judges were extremely impressed with the quality of entries we received in the second Stevie Award for Great Employers. The dedication these Stevie-winning organizations have to making great workplaces for employees was evident in every nomination,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards.

 

Details about the Stevie Awards for Great Employers and the list of 2017 Stevie winners are available at www.StevieAwards.com/HR.    

 

About AINS, Inc.
AINS® is a leading global provider of cloud-based, adaptive case management solutions. Since 1988, AINS has empowered organizations around the world to rethink how they work, and how they develop and deploy new technology, by providing innovative, agile software solutions and services to government and commercial markets. Designed since inception for case management, the eCase® Platform enables our customers to bring new products to market quickly, digitize customer engagement, and automate unique business processes across diverse lines of business without the constraints of custom coding.  Ready-built Strategic Apps for Human Resources, Investigations, Audit, Correspondence and Open Government, via FOIAXpress®—further accelerate time to value, while providing organizations greater flexibility to adapt as their processes change. Together, these powerful solutions help our customers enhance productivity, reduce costs and achieve better outcomes. For more information, visit www.ains.com.

 

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 10,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 60 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at www.StevieAwards.com.
Wednesday
Sep272017

Join our Expert Speakers at the FOIAXpress User Conference and Tech Summit

Join these top government experts at the 12th Annual FOIAXpress User Conference & Tech Summit as they cover the latest FOIA topics and how they will impact your job and your agency. Head into 2018 armed with the proper education to be effective and prepared for any opportunity and challenge with presentations from: 

Fred Sadler, FOIA Consultant

Fred Sadler served as the Director of the FDA's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) office, responsible for administration and implementation of FOIA and Privacy Act (PA) programs.

Gain his seasoned insight and perspective on the most important FOIA issues, including backlogs, Capstone and 18F.  
 

 

Dick Huff, FOIA Instructor

Dick Huff served as served as one of two co-directors of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Information and Privacy from 1982 until his retirement in 2005.

Learn significant FOIA decisions from law cases in the past year to avoid similar pitfalls and protect your agency. 

 

 

Nikki Gramian, Deputy Director, OGIS

Nikki Gramian is Deputy Director of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), the federal FOIA ombudsman’s office. Ms. Gramian joined OGIS after 7 years at DHS’ Office of Inspector General where she oversaw the administrative function of the FOIA process and prepared the Office for litigation. 

Understand best practices and lessons learned in mediation.  

 

Register now to join these experts - we look forward to seeing you there!

Monday
Sep252017

Q&A Series with Fred Sadler


Frederick Sadler retired after serving 40 years with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As the Director of its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) office, he was responsible for administration and implementation of FOIA and Privacy Act (PA) programs.

 

Question #4: Do you think that any of the requirements in the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 will be rescinded or abolished by the current administration, to give the FOI officers a little slack? 

The short Answer: No
I think that it’s very difficult to turn the clock back and impose restrictions on release. So, for the biggest issue in the 2016 statutory revision – codifying the foreseeable harm test, and limiting the protections on certain records redacted under Exemption 5 for internal, deliberative materials – I don’t envision a change.

However, with the protections lost under Exemption 2 in the Supreme Court decision Milner v. Department of the Navy, I wouldn’t be surprised to see changes along the lines of what the Department of Defense was able to obtain, but that’s only going to happen if there is sufficient support in Congress. At this point, there hasn’t been any indication that this is a priority.

 

508 Compliance Makes it Harder on FOI Officers
Most of the 2016 Amendment changes are administrative (Annual Report requirements, Chief FOIA officer responsibilities, etc.), but the “rule of 3,” which requires posting released records to an agency internet site, has been and will continue to be, a subject of debate. The real issue is compliance with Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires remediation of every document prior to posting, is that it can be both time consuming, and expensive.  
FOIA officers are not IT experts and don’t usually have the training needed to make IT changes. And even if they had such tech-knowledge and the responsibility for implementation, it probably would result in slowing responses. The Department of Justice has raised this issue with the Chief FOIA Officers Council, and they are looking at options.  

 

508 by the Numbers
In one case that I worked on, a 42,000 page document had to be contracted out, in order to comply, so that it could be posted on-line. The least costly bid was over $90,000 for the single record. That’s not a cost that most agencies can sustain. Without additional funding to contract such work out, some agencies have had to make 508 compliance an adjunct duty for existing IT staff.   

 

Are you an agency with experience on 508 compliance and are seeing a strain on FOIA Officers?

 

Please share your story with us and start the conversation here!