December 04, 2023 by Bojana Krstic

How to Manage Public Record Compliance With FOIA Software

Transparency should stand as a cornerstone of responsibility and accountability for any government.

FOIA is the legislation that helps bridge the gap between government and its citizens through data transparency.

In this article you will learn:

  • What FOIA is and what it means to be FOIA compliant.
  • What is FOIA management software and how does it make your life easier?
  • Spotlight on Jatheon’s FOIA solution.
  • Key FOIA requirements for every government sector.

What Is FOIA?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a United States federal law that grants the public the right to request access to records from any government sector.

It was enacted in 1966 and designed to promote government transparency by allowing anyone to obtain non-classified information from their government via FOIA requests.

Any U.S. citizen or organization can submit FOIA requests and each government will have its own process for handling them.

Challenges of Staying FOIA Compliant

The most important FOIA requirement for government agencies is their ability to respond to FOIA requests and produce the requested information in a timely manner.

However, this is easier said than done due to government agencies getting hundreds of FOIA requests every year.

Among other things, citizens can request electronic records like email, text messages, social media content… and all of these channels need to go through a certain process to be useful to the requesting party.

This presents several challenges for governments to stay FOIA compliant:

  • Ensuring transparency while protecting sensitive information.
  • Storing records for long periods of time.
  • Searching through massive databases and retrieving requested information.
  • Producing records from multiple communication channels.
  • Keeping request retrieval periods short.
  • Producing records in an acceptable format.
  • Redacting sensitive information.
  • Answering high numbers of requests.

All of these reasons make it hard for government agencies to stay fully compliant with FOIA. Many of them are capable of retrieving records, but they are either incomplete, take too long, or can’t be read by the requestee.

But in recent times, governments have been under great pressure to respond to growing public dissatisfaction over the secrecy surrounding their decision-making and privacy, making FOIA management more important than ever.

To solve these problems, a number of FOIA management software solutions have been developed to reduce request times, store data safely, and handle all compliance issues a government agency may have.

FOIA Requirements In Different Government Sectors

The goal of FOIA was to promote government transparency including all of its major sectors and for them to take responsibility for their records.

This means that FOIA operates differently for each of the four key areas the government operates in.

  • K-12 Education — Parents, guardians, or concerned parties can request information regarding school policies, teacher qualifications, financial records, and school communication records. Schools are required to disclose this information to ensure transparency while still keeping their students’ sensitive information protected.
  • Healthcare — FOIA mostly applies to government-funded entities like public hospitals and health departments. Both patients and governments can request information like public health records, research findings, financial disclosures, and communications. It’s the responsibility of the health facility to protect their patient’s confidentiality while ensuring transparency.
  • Government Agencies — Citizens can request a broad range of information like public records, contracts, budgets, and internal communications which the agency needs to keep track of. They need to find appropriate information in massive volumes of data and retrieve it in a timely manner while securing sensitive and classified information.
  • Financial Sector — Government agencies involved with financial regulations and oversight are obligated to disclose regulatory fillings, enforcement actions, and records of the financial status of various institutions. They also need to be careful of which information they can disclose so as not to harm the competitiveness of certain institutions.

What Is FOIA Management Software

FOIA management software is a comprehensive solution designed for government agencies to easily navigate the requirements of FOIA requests.

These solutions are usually in the form of data archiving solutions with specific FOIA software features made to speed up the ediscovery process in the event of a FOIA request.

They are equipped with a robust feature set to make your government agency process easier:

  • Centralized data archive — FOIA software serves as a centralized repository for your data across multiple channels.
  • Data retrieval — It reduces your response times by allowing you to find requested data much faster with the use of advanced search capabilities.
  • Collaborative systems — They facilitate seamless collaboration among your compliance team.
  • Redaction — Equipped with an automated redaction feature allowing for censuring sensitive information.
  • System integration — FOIA software easily integrates into your existing archive or easily migrates it to its own archiving server.
  • Security — With the use of the latest encryption protocols, your data is kept safe and only readable when request access is granted by your FOIA team.

FOIA software has been revolutionary in the world of request management and archiving needs of today’s digital world and strict compliance laws.

One of the biggest names on the market today is Jatheon, boasting a huge feature set and guaranteeing FOIA compliance.

Let’s take a look at how it works.

How Jatheon’s FOIA Software Facilitates Compliance

Jatheon is a cloud-based archiving software built for compliance and FOIA request management in regulated industries.

It is an easy-to-use FOIA management software that lets you automatically capture communication from different channels and easily produce communication records for your FOIA requests.

Let’s go over why Jatheon makes a great FOIA management software:

  • Automated record capturing, archiving, and storage — Jatheon automatically captures all of your electronic communications channels like email, text messages, and social media. It then houses them in a centralized archive in the original format with their metadata included. Captured records can’t be altered or destroyed ensuring the integrity of your records.
  • Record management — All of the archived communications records can be custom-labeled for better management. These labels can even be automatically applied to every new record being captured. Jatheon Cloud Advanced Search (Dark Mode)
  • Quick record retrieval — Jatheon’s easy-to-use FOIA software comes with robust but intuitive advanced search capabilities. This simplifies the records retrieval process as it’s possible to perform searches based on different criteria, including the name, email address, domain, participants in a conversation, keywords, phrases, and labels. Also, Boolean, fuzzy, wildcard, and proximity operators are used to refine the search and locate the relevant information. Jatheon Cloud Advanced Search
  • Hide classified information — Instead of going through each record and hiding sensitive information manually, Jatheon comes with an integrated redaction tool that automates the redaction process and can be used to redact specific information on individual records or in bulk.
  • Export readable records — When responding to a FOIA request, Jatheon allows you to choose a desired file type you’re going to send to the user. After selecting the file type and packaging appropriate attachments, you can automatically send the record to the user via email.
  • Secure communications — Due to strict regulations Jatheon’s FOIA software includes enterprise-level security by storing all records in the cloud and encrypting them with the top industry security standards. It is also guarded by 2FA, AWS-guaranteed security, and geofencing making your data completely secure.
  • Storage scalability — To accommodate the massive volume of data your government agency needs to store, Jatheon offers unlimited storage and scalability (the system is AWS-based).
  • Certifications and availability — Jatheon Cloud comes with all the necessary safeguards, data privacy features, certifications, SLA, all backed up by AWS as the number one cloud storage provider offering industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.


In the era of digital communications and privacy concerns, people’s trust in your government agency is crucial.

Staying FOIA compliant is the best way to show you’re trustworthy, transparent, and accountable for your actions, but it isn’t easy.

That’s why you need a FOIA software to manage all of your digital records and make request responses much easier.

Embracing such technology becomes integral in navigating the evolving landscape of government-citizen relations.

Stay compliant with FOIA regulations and all data archiving laws with Jatheon’s cloud archiving solution allowing you to archive all communication, find the right information easily, and protect your data.

Read Next:

Understanding Email Compliance – Guide to Secure Communication

Why Social Media Archiving Matters for Regulated Industries

Text Message Archiving for Government Agencies

About the Author
Bojana Krstic
Bojana Krstic is the Head of Content and SEO at Jatheon and an experienced writer on topics like data archiving, ediscovery, and compliance. When AFK, you’ll find her hiking, discovering new music, or road-tripping.

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