ArkCase FOIA Solution Overview

Hello my name is John Sung and I am the senior solutions architect for ArkCase. In today’s virtual presentation I want to provide a quick demo on how ArkCase foia solution helps organizations achieve more automation and efficiency when managing and fulfilling foia request.

ArkCase was developed with the end user in mind by utilizing the latest technology to enhance the user interface while providing a comprehensive approach to foia. The backbone of our technology is based on a strong case management platform where we use a collection of data wrapped with the business process to bring a comprehensive foia solution to market.

In this demo I am going to show the product demonstration of ArkCase foia solution there are essentially two technology stacks to our foia solution. The first stack is our integrated public portal that allow organizations to control the intake process of all foia request. There is a completely custom web form that allow organizations to control the data entered when foia requests are submitted and we’ve also included other functionality to allow for more automation and communication with requesters.

I will show some of those features during our presentation today.

The second part of the demo will cover the internal processing of foia requests by organizations and voya analysts. Once the request is submitted foia analyst can easily manage the entire lifecycle of the foia process using ArkCase. I’ll show how ArkCase is reporting technology where supervisors and or management staff can run out-of-the-box can report that illustrates how the organization is doing in processing foia request.

I’ll also show how agencies can utilize analysis reports to determine workflow trends bottlenecks and overall resource utilization for their agency. So let’s jump right into the demo of the ArkCase platform.

Okay let’s go ahead and navigate over to the art case product the very first technology stack that I’m going to show in today’s presentation is really how requesters can submit foia requests to the organization. ArkCase supports multiple methods of being able to submit for a request to the organization. One method is using a public portal as you’re seeing here today. We also have the capability of submitting information through email, it could be flat files or even manually creating requests directly inside the application.

Okay so let’s go ahead and take a look at the ArkCase public portal so I’m going to authenticate using the username password that i use to register an account within the portal and so essentially requesters can come in and they can log into the portal using that information. Once they’re authenticated into the system they have a number of things that they can do from a functionality perspective. The most common thing is really creating a new foia request, when they click on the new foia request link you’ll notice that there’s a custom web form that populates that allows requesters to fill in information about the request that they are submitting.

Organizations have the capability of modifying this custom web form to really meet the requirements of the intake process for each individual organization. In today’s demo I’m basically using essentially a really standard intake form where the requester can fill out some basic information when they actually create the foia requests. So I’m going to go ahead and fill in some of these manual fields here. When we get down into section 3 this is where the requester can type in a title for the foia request that they’re submitting and they have the capability of entering really a detailed description of the request so that you know when this gets submitted to the organization they know exactly what the requester is requesting. So i’m going to say please provide 2021 budget. Once the requester hits the submit foia request button down below you’ll notice that there is a preview request information dialog box that appears.

This allows a requester to really validate all of the information they entered on the form. ArkCase also supports deduplication processor functionality within the application. The application will integrate the information on the request form and it will bring back search hits to the requester to see if that information satisfies this request.

Requesters can then essentially download the documents review that content if that satisfies their request they can just simply cancel for this foia request. In the event that the foia request is not satisfied by any searches found during the deduplication process the requester can then submit a dysphoria request to the organization by hitting the submit button. Once the request is submitted by the requester in the public portal a request is then generated inside of the ArkCase application.

Okay now I want to navigate over to the ArkCase application where the foia analyst can begin reviewing and fulfilling the request. When the users open the browser to access the ArkCase application they are challenged to authenticate into the system by simply typing in their username and password. ArkCase also supports single sign-on and multi-factor authentication, it just needs to be configured in the admin settings.

So let’s go ahead and hit the login button. Once the users are authenticated into the ArkCase application, the very first screen that the user see is what we call the dashboard screen. The dashboard screen is comprised of many different widgets that allow users to visualize information within the application. They have the capability of seeing their request or request that they have access to, they have the capability of seeing tasks that may be associated to a request or even reporting widgets to show the status of all the requests.

On the left hand side we have all the different modules within the application, we use roles based access control to really determine what users have capability of doing some users may only have a subset of these modules as part of their security parameter. Users have the ability to access all the requests in the system by two simple methods.

The first method is what we call the cues based method when the user selects the queues module on the left hand pane. Users have the capability of seeing all the requests based on the request status. Users have the ability to navigate to each individual queue to see the requests in their respective states. Users can also access the request by selecting on the foia request module. When the user selects on the foia request modules they’ll get a list of requests that they have access to see or that are currently assigned.

If we go ahead and expand a particular request one of the things that you’ll see as part of the application is a virtual folder of metadata information that is related to the request. There’s a lot of information that we capture and we correlate to the request for example like people, it could be the requester that submitted the request and the organizations that may be involved as part of the request.

We also give you access to all the notes you may be collaborating or making personal notes as you’re fulfilling this request or even working on tasks that have been assigned out based on a workflow or maybe it was a manual assignment of a task. So there’s a lot of information that we actually encapsulate regarding the request. If we select on the documents library our case is a full-fledged content management system that allows you to retrieve and store information related to this request.

If i expand the root folder you’ll notice that there is a several folders that allow me to actually process the documents as part of this request. ArkCase allows you to import many different types of documents into the repository you can simply drag and drop or even navigate out to a folder that allows you to import a document from your local drive. So let’s go ahead and upload a document here. So once a document is basically uploaded inside of the repository one of the things that ArkCase does is that we keep the file associations to that document so it can be open in its native application.

If we double click on the document it opens up a viewer that allows us to view the contents of this document. We can actually review each individual page if there were multiple pages we can actually navigate through the thumbnails and we also have access to other documents as part of this request, so I can do all of my work within this interface. If I hit the enable editing feature on the left hand side it opens up some additional controls that allow me to edit the document content. I have the capability of adding sticky notes say for example I want to add a note and say please review right um and then save that sticky note in there. I also have the capability of putting rubber stamps maybe this is approved or signed here right.

We also have a full-fledged redaction engine that’s included within the ArkCase product that allow me to redact pieces of information within the document the simple way to do redaction is to do a block redaction where I can highlight a certain area on the page and then if I right click it allows me to add exemptions to this redacted area. DOJ guidelines say that you know any document that has redactions must have an exemption on the why that redacted area is in the document so I can apply that exemptions.

We also have the capability of searching for different types of metadata information that’s in the document content for example I can do basic search by typing in a particular keyword I can search for other information like social security numbers telephone numbers credit cards. But just to illustrate how the search works I’m going to go ahead and type in the word budget and what the system is going to do is that it’s going to find all the different areas that contain the word budget.

Oonce it found those areas and I’ve reviewed that content I have the capability of redacting all the different matches or basically going one by one and redacting single matches right. So once I select all matches then I can apply an exemption to that area as well and then you’ll notice that that’s marked for redaction.

All right so I’m going to go ahead and leave this interface ArkCase also has an embedded correspondence management system where you can create correspondence templates within microsoft word and then import them directly into the ArkCase application.

You can utilize these templates throughout any throughout your business process to be able to actually create different type of content that you want to you know communicate with the requester maybe this is an extension letter. So once the correspondence template is basically uploaded into the application, you can edit this template in microsoft word. Once a template is basically opened up you’ll see information regarding that template a lot of this metadata information inside of the template is coming directly from the request. You can edit the template and put demo or any type of data and once you’re finished once you save this information it’s going to update the template within the repository.

Once the template is created users then have the capability of sending an email back to the requester using this template. ArkCase also supports a lot of reporting capabilities within the application. If we go ahead and click on the reports module you’ll notice that there are several standard out of the box reports that organizations can basically use to report on their foia process.

In order to generate a report using any of the standard reports users can select a report and then hit the generate button. Once the report is generated users can evaluate the information and then basically make changes in the format of the report. If you hit the actions button in the right hand corner you can export this information into many different types of format and you also have the capability of converting the table format and convert it into a pie chart.

ArkCase also supports a lot of analytical reports with our ad hoc reports module. Analytical reports help the organizations to understand the data in relation to the organization’s business processes. It really aids in allowing the organization to make key decisions in relation to process resource utilization and provides insight on employee performance.

Organizations can create analytical reports within the ArkCase application, to identify workflow trends regarding foia request. If we double click on a workflow trend and now analysis report we can see the amount of work load over time the amount of finished work over time and workload versus finish work, these analytical reports really determine and help the organization identify the peaks and valleys of all foia requests that are received and processed within the system.

The analytical reports really help organizations make the informed decision about their business process.

Thank you for attending this demo and if you have any questions in relation to ArkCase, please feel free to reach out to www.arkcase.com