This blog post was updated on April 6th, 2021
Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has preserved the public's right to request access to US Federal Agency contract records and data. Learn about the Freedom of Information Act and how a public access portal for US Federal Agency contracts and information - coupled with the far-reaching power of leading-edge contract management software - can streamline FOIA requests.
What Is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?
At the end of the 1950s, the press and the public were consistently being denied information they sought out from agencies within the US government. As such, FOIA was eleven years in the making after countless arguments on whether it was even necessary to begin with. After reluctance from President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Freedom of Information Act was signed into action in 1967, and citizens were subsequently guaranteed the right to submit FOIA requests.
FOIA does not guarantee that all information requested is approved. All public agencies and organizations have the right to refrain from disclosing information with good reason (such as information that falls under the approved exemptions). Any information regarding national security, law enforcement, or personal privacy is to be exempt from FOIA requests.
FOIA Public Access Portal & Contract Management Software
The obsolete way for the public to request information is to submit a request to the organization in question. After that, a resource within that government agency would be required to compile the information, scan the documents, mail to the requestor, and then follow up to ensure delivery. However, as we enter the future of contract management, there are better ways.
Public access portals increase contract transparency and make the FOIA request process more efficient for government organizations. A public access portal should be complimentary to a government contract management software system. CobbleStone Software's integrated government contract management software solution - Contract Insight® - streamlines FOIA requests, saving time for both the government agency being examined and the entity searching for agreement information.
Government agencies leveraging CobbleStone Software can direct the general public to their configured public access portal for contract-related FOIA requests. CobbleStone's highly configurable, public-facing portal allows organizations to provide the general public with access to selected contract data and files/documents with feature-rich searching, querying, reporting, exporting, and downloading services to automate and expedite FOIA request processing.
CobbleStone's integrated contract software and FOIA solution helps organizations adhere to legislated and internal requirements through flexible business process automation and tracking. CobbleStone Software helps both government organizations and inquiring entities to solve government FOIA objectives of all sizes.
Easier FOIA Requests & Government Contract Management with CobbleStone
As detailed above, investing in an integrated government contract management software system for FOIA requests can streamline information attainment processes. However, this is just a scratch at the surface of what CobbleStone Software's government contract software solution can do.
CobbleStone’s Contract Insight has various user-friendly features that enable organizations to effectively manage contracts, FOIA requests, purchase orders, bids, requisitions, and more. Easily leverage tools for managing FOIA requests, requisitions, approvals, awards, compliance management, key dates, budget alerts, calendar alerts, simplified vendor reporting, automated intelligent workflow, proper contract closeout, and online collaboration.
CobbleStone's long-acclaimed government contract management software suite is trusted for pre-award to post-award contract management. It is also conveniently available on the United States GSA Schedule 70. You only need a PO to get started!
Book a free demo with a Contract Insight expert today!
To stay up to date on best practices, industry news, and CobbleStone Software updates, be sure to subscribe to our blog and YouTube Channel.
Are you interested in future-minded contract lifecycle management software tools? In our blog - 6 Critical Contract Management Tools for 2021 – learn how to leverage industry-leading CLM software tools for streamlined, user-friendly, and low-friction contract lifecycle management success!