Putting the "free" in freedom of information.
The City of Baltimore is home to a legal team of more than 100 personnel that services 15 city departments, agencies, boards and commissions. Among the city’s biggest challenges, and one where it had been most impaired by legacy technology, is to promptly respond to the deluge of open records requests filed under Maryland’s Public Information Act (PIA).
By replacing a piecemeal workflow and on-premise tools with Logikcull, the city’s legal team can now respond in hours to requests that used to take weeks, resulting in more transparency to taxpayers and fewer missed deadlines.
The city’s capacity to handle information requests was curbed by labor-intensive approach and outdated tools. It was not uncommon for the legal team to deploy off-the-shelf products like Adobe Acrobat to image, OCR and review documents. In fact, a typical review might entail converting electronic documents to paper, reading them page-by-page for sensitive information, redacting confidential material with marker, and then re-scanning.
The process was a costly chore, turning valuable human resources into paper-pushers and proofreaders.
Moreover, without a centralized platform where all PIA-related documents could reside and reviewers could coordinate response, the city ran the risk of having records fall through the cracks, or having to go back and pull documents it missed the first time. Having access only to on-premise solutions also meant reviewers could only work while they were in the office, further limiting their bandwidth.
In Logikcull, Baltimore’s legal team found a scalable cloud-based platform that streamlines and automates what was once a laborious open records response workflow.
Whereas the legal staff once spent many hours converting ESI to paper, imaging and OCRing, Logikcull’s drag-and-drop processing automatically converts records to readable PDFs that are organized and fully searchable. “Drag-over” redactions, where users can simply draw a box over the material they’d like removed, are another force multiplier.
Deploying Logikcull as a more efficient and cost-effective way to handle requests for public information response has transformed the Baltimore City legal department in profound ways. With a browser-based platform that is easy to use and accessible department-wide, the legal team has streamlined its workflow, automated labor-intensive tasks, and, in turn, brought more transparency to the process of governing.
“Logikcull is an amazing product with fantastic training support.”
Assistant Solicitor, Baltimore City of Department Law