Auto-Redact Toolset for Department of Defense Contracts
Tudor, Ron B.
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This paper addresses the Auto-Redact initiative associated with the compilation of electronic copies of awarded Government contracts. The advancement of electronic systems allows for unlimited data storage capability; it also allows for the quick and easy access to all the stored data, and can make that data immediately available to the public. However, data stored by the Government is subject to statutory guidelines. Chief among these is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). By creating these databases, the Government has created records that are subject to release to the public under the Electronic Freedom of Information Act (EFOIA). In doing so, the Government must take care to safeguard information that may not be otherwise releasable. Under FOIA, if an Agency decides to not release information that it has within its databases, it must submit that decision to not release information to an Initial Denial Authority. With the depth and breadth of electronic databases or data warehouses, an ability is needed to automatically identify and classify data so that it can be automatically redacted (Auto-Redact) and not be released under FOIA. The solution for protecting critical operational data while making all other data available to the public is to create an architecture for recognizing the data within the various documents used in the contracting process. To do so the data must be characterized as to its nature, whether it is operational (requiring protection from release), or otherwise protected from release under a FOIA exemption or another statute, and then the data must be homogenized so that it is readable, or capable of being protected, across any document or data warehousing system. Doing this with data also converts the data into a form that allows the data to be manipulated and used for various official purposes. The proposed solution within this paper is a non-traditional approach to data characterization and handling. The resources to establish the architecture are relatively minor and can be accomplished in a relatively short time.
Sponsored Report (for Acquisition Research Program)
NPS Report NumberNPS-CM-03-006
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