August 17, 2005

Appian Unveils Industry’s First BPM-Based Freedom of Information Act FOIA Compliance Solution

Web-based Solution Enables Government Agencies to Reduce Request Backlogs and Turnaround Time While Simplifying the Submission and Tracking Process

Vienna, VA., August 17, 2005 Appian Corporation, the industry’s first Business Process Management (BPM) company to deliver advanced process, knowledge and analytics functionality in a fully integrated suite, today unveiled its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Compliance solution, designed to specifically to address FOI best practices. Government agencies are leveraging Appian’s web-based, process-driven solution to reduce request backlog, decrease response turnaround time, gain better end-to-end visibility into and control over their FOI processes, and improve the submission and tracking process for citizen-requesters. Powered by the award-winning Appian Enterprise BPM platform, Appian’s FOIA solution is a major component of Appian’s Compliance Process Management Suite of solutions designed to streamline a wide variety of compliance and corporate governance initiatives, including Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and The USA Patriot Act. As the first BPM solution to combine business process management, document management, and analytic functionality in an integrated suite, Appian’s FOIA solution provides agencies with the necessary process and document management tools, forms, guidelines and reporting capabilities for tracking and processing requests according to FOIA’s best practices. With current proposed legislation that would create penalties for ignoring FOIA requests, Government agencies are under increased pressure to comply with these requests in a timely manner. Unfortunately for many agencies, documents are difficult to locate and they may not have the money or resources to keep up with the increased flow of requests. According to the Government Accountability Office, there has been a 71 percent increase in FOIA requests from 2002-2004 and the backlog of requests has increased by 14 percent in that same time period. With the exception of the Department of Veteran Affairs and Social Security Administration, where volume is high due to requests for individuals’ medical records and benefits, the other agencies are struggling to fulfill FOIA requests. In 2004, GAO reported that of these other agencies, 61 percent of requests were fully granted and 15 percent were partially releases.

“With a rapid increase of FOIA requests over the last three years, agencies have developed a variety of ad hoc approaches to address the mounting challenges posed by FOIA compliance,” said Kevin Spurway, Vice President of Marketing at Appian. “With Appian’s BPM suite at its core, Appian’s FOIA solution stands apart from traditional FOIA software offerings with its ability to consolidate all steps taken to respond to a FOIA request into a single integrated process. With a process-driven approach, Appian’s FOIA solution enables agencies to reduce request backlog, enable citizens and administrators to track requests in real-time and automatically generate reports on short-term and annual FOIA statistics.”

Appian’s BPM suite delivers advanced, fully integrated process, knowledge and analytics functionality that drives quantifiable ROI and facilitates the creation of next-generation, composite process solutions. Built upon this highly scalable platform, Appian’s FOIA solution delivers automated FOIA processing, advanced resource management, public accessibility, security, in-depth analytics and automated reporting and extensive third-party support.

Appian’s FOIA Solution provides:

  • Rules-Based FOIA Processing. Automatically routes FOIA requests through agency-specific processes according to user-defined rules.
  • In-Depth Analytics & Reporting. Automatically creates annual DOJ reports on FOIA statistics, which can be updated in real-time.
  • Financial Systems Integration. Integrates with financial systems to track the processing of FOIA request fees and flag requesters with delinquent payments.
  • Request Tracking & Data Repository. Enables requesters to log in and view the status of their requests in real-time while allowing agency administrators to search all past and present FOIA requests.
  • Microsoft Word Integration. Dynamically creates Personalized Acknowledgment Letters automatically at the end of the FOIA process.
  • Email-Based Alerting. Alerts administrators when a request approaches the 20-day deadline. This service can also be configured to send alerts at various other junctures within the process.

About Appian

Appian provides a leading low-code software development platform that enables organizations to rapidly develop powerful and unique applications. The applications created on Appian’s platform help companies drive digital transformation and competitive differentiation. For more information, visit