EDUCATION AND GOVERNMENT

 

Email, attachments, and other file systems create the electronic equivalent of DNA, and may be subpoenaed and used as evidence for (or against) local municipalities, state agencies, publicly funded educational institutions, and other public entities in the event of litigation. During the eDiscovery (evidence-gathering) phase of litigation, the court orders each party to produce all documents relevant to the case, including email. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which became effective in December of 2007 and have been updated by the U.S. Supreme Court, indicate instances in which schools and government organizations may have to produce electronic records:

 

Common reasons schools may be requested to produce electronic records:

(1) Requests under Open Meeting and Freedom of Information Act laws

(2) Offensive emails or those with sexual content involving students

(3) Email threats

 

Common reasons government organizations may be requested to produce electronic records:

(1) Requests under Open Meeting and Freedom of Information Act laws

(2) Emails containing offensive or sexual content that violates human resources policies

(3) Emails containing evidence of wrongdoing by an employee.

 

The ability to quickly locate and promptly produce legally valid email messages, attachments, and other electronically stored information (ESI) is essential. Failure to meet eDiscovery obligations can result in costly court sanctions -- paid for with taxpayer dollars that might be needed (or better spent) elsewhere.

 

In addition, public schools and governments are subject to compliance with the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state-specific freedom of information legislation, requiring open records and “sunshine” meetings.  Governments and public schools must be able to retain and access emails and other electronic records to comply with information requests made under FOIA and state laws and to meet transparency requirements.  This need is increasingly global — the Freedom of Information Act of 2000 took effect in the United Kingdom in 2005, with now over 70 countries having enacted freedom of information legislation.

 

State and federal budgetary limitations often mean that public schools and government agencies do not have the technology and/or staff necessary to securely store and quickly produce electronic records.  Limited staff and resources require government-funded agencies to employ an email or file archiving solution with a low total cost of ownership (TCO) that provides top performance while requiring little maintenance. With sourcing subject to a competitive bid process and pressure to select the lowest bid, public schools and governments need to make sure they are getting the best value and right solution for their spend.

 

As described below, ArcMail archiving solutions are an important tool in helping our education, government, and other public customers address these needs/issues.

Provide Comprehensive Compliance Support: When faced with freedom of information requests, eDiscovery, and litigation, public schools and governments must have ready and complete access to electronic records (e.g., email, attachments, Word files, spreadsheets, PDF files).   In all such cases, it is necessary to have retained and be able to produce emails, attachments, and other electronic records and files in a timely and complete manner. The robustness of this capability can make the difference between a school or government agency being found culpable or not culpable of intentional wrongdoing when the source of the problem is an individual rather than the institution itself. Likewise, retention of electronic emails and files can prove the innocence of a staff member in the case of an investigation or lawsuit. Developing and implementing retention policies for email and electronic files is not only critical for compliance and for proving integrity when faced with accusations or litigation, these active policies also encourage accountability among staff members and employees.

 

While there is no doubt that email and file retention and retrieval capabilities, along with backup and disaster recovery, are extremely important to schools and government agencies, the associatedstorage volumes can be overwhelming, posing a constant risk to primary server functioning. Such risks include server performance slowdowns and system crashes and affect overall organizational productivity while eating up IT employees’ already pressured time.

 

ArcMail’s archiving solutions are robust and comprehensive and reliably meet the needs of public schools and governments, including budgetary challenges as we provide special pricing and flexible terms for schools, governments, and other not-for-profit organizations.

 

Our solutions securely store all of the organization’s electronic communications and files (email, attachments, system files, Twitter, Facebook, and so on) for either a specific defined time period or indefinitely.  Once installed, ArcMail’s archiving solutions automate the organization’s retention policy to implement internal controls. ArcMail’s granular retention policy settings allow an archive administrator to set different policies for entire locations or functions/departments, or to tailor policy to any or all users.  

 

Our archiving solution includes filtering criteria, which can be set to avoid clogging the archive with personal or junk mail. However, to ensure total email compliance, ArcMail archiving captures data in real-time, including all inbound, outbound, and internal messages as soon as they hit the mail server, thus ensuring that no emails are ever accidentally deleted before they can be archived.  Not one person -- not even the administrator -- can modify or delete data from the archive.  The only way content is deleted is when the specified retention time expires, and then the information is automatically purged.

 

And all ArcMail archive systems have high compression rates and single-instance storage to slow growth in the amount of storage required.

 

Offer Favorable Pricing:  ArcMail offers special pricing and flexible terms to all of our public school and government customers, making us one of, if not the lowest, cost competitors in our industry.

 

Key ArcMail Features Benefitting Public Schools And Governments:

  • Comprehensive indexing: ArcMail’s archiving process indexes every single word of every document, email, attachment, and other electronically stored document, collecting all metadata and content in preparation for search and discovery. This enables much faster and accurate searching during an eDiscovery or information request.
  • Basic and advanced search capabilities:  ArcMail’s basic user interface is designed to be used by non-technical staff enabling them to find and retrieve any electronically stored information quickly and efficiently by retrieving only targeted content. ArcMail’s advanced search capabilities make it easy to create complex Boolean searches to find specific content within documents regardless of format or standards.  Users can save their advanced search parameters to create a template for recurring use. The results of both basic and advanced searches can be placed directly into a litigation or legal hold.
  • Retrieval of data originated from various sources: ArcMail archiving solutions enable the user to search and retrieve different types of data that were originally imported into the archive from various locations and sources. Data types include email, attachments, system files, MS SharePoint, and social media among other electronic information.  All of this data can be placed into a litigation hold pertaining to a particular case or instance.
  • Easy exporting of data from the hold to opposing legal counsel: ArcMail makes it easy to produce the data held in a litigation hold for export in any format required, such as PST, EML, and MBX formats. This will allow the organization to comply with any requirements imposed by the courts or opposing legal counsel.
  • Data security and immutability: ArcMail’s comprehensive data security and immutability measures mean that data cannot be deleted or modified from its original state, making it easy to authenticate the creation and integrity of the documents contained in the litigation hold.