Doing More with Less in Government Agencies
Government attorneys may very well feel they are being squeezed in a vise these days. On one side, they face the perennial challenge of very limited budgets with which to either defend their agency against lawsuits or to launch investigations or lawsuits when warranted. This challenge is only exacerbated by sequester-related cuts and other fiscal austerity measures.
From the other side, government attorneys face increasing demands for, and volumes of, electronically stored information (ESI) associated with such lawsuits and investigations, yet do not feel they have the resources to respond to those demands. In fact, participants in an annual Deloitte survey identified the volume of data as one of the top challenges associated with identifying relevant ESI, along with insufficient manpower and lack of technology.
Attorneys are not the only government workers affected. Chief information officers (CIOs), information technology (IT) personnel, and records management personnel often support the discovery process in legal proceedings, as well as other activities requiring access to and analysis of data. Responding to discovery and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) matters is truly a multidiscipline team effort that reaches across many business units and requires cooperation, coordination, and a structured approach.
Other trends contribute to and, arguably, complicate agencies’ ability to provide information in a timely manner including:
- Maturation of the eDiscovery process and
- Unique challenges with respect to procuring and deploying up-to-date technology. Given the challenges described above, here are five ways that government agencies can deal with resource issues while addressing demands for ESI and the challenges of eDiscovery.
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As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.