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EPA Migrates to Relativity’s SaaS Platform to Improve FOIA Requests Response Time

Freedom of Information

Act requests

EPA Migrates to Relativity’s SaaS Platform to Improve FOIA Requests Response Time

The Environmental Protection Agency has migrated to the RelativityOne Government software-as-a-service platform to speed up the processing of Freedom of Information Act requests and support litigation and investigations.

Legal technology company Relativity and litigation support and e-discovery services Deloitte worked together in facilitating the migration process. RelativityOne Government is a Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program-authorized, artificial intelligence-powered cloud solution, Relativity said.

According to Doug Cowan, managing director of government sales at Relativity, the AI capabilities of the platform will reduce the time needed for the EPA to seek relevant information, allowing the agency to focus more on analyzing and extracting data insights.

The EPA receives thousands of FOIA requests annually and is looking for ways to reduce its response time. In November 2022, the agency published proposed revisions to the FOIA rule in the Federal Register meant to prioritize the release of data related to environmental justice issues and relevant to environmentally overburdened communities. The EPA would use demographic mapping tools like EJScreen, which provides environmental and socioeconomic data, to help identify environmental justice communities.

Under the proposed rule, the agency would also disallow submitting administrative appeals of EPA FOIA decisions via email to reduce the number of misdirected requests, noting that FOIA amendments made in 2007 decreased the time an agency may take to route a request to the appropriate component.

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Category: Digital Modernization

Tags: Deloitte digital modernization Doug Cowan Environmental Protection Agency FOIA Relativity RelativityOne Government