The Labor Department oversees programs to protect the safety, health and security of workers in the state. For example, a worker who claims to have been injured on the job can file a discrimination complaint with the department if he or she feels discriminated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim. An agency investigator is then assigned to compile evidence to confirm or deny the discrimination claim. The complete complaint file contains interviews and exhibits submitted by the worker and the employer.
As explained by a research analyst with the department’s Public Records Division, “The complaint file could contain any number of document types, including emails, paperwork, phone records; anything that either side might use to make their case.”
If the case generates public or media interest, the labor department could get outside requests for public records related to the case. Prior to releasing any documents, private and confidential information must first be redacted. “The claim information contained within the file is confidential to anyone other than the employer or the injured worker,” said the analyst. “Any information that reveals the identity of the worker has to be redacted.”
Records requests coming into the department could require redacting as few as 50 pages or up to more than 20,000 pages.
Given limited budgets and staff, the state agency continually searches for more efficient ways to respond to public records requests. It successfully deployed OpenText™ Brava!™ to improve response time and methods. To redact public records, the analyst and her public records colleagues rely on the electronic tool to safely remove private information and sensitive content from virtually any document type, including PDF, TIFF and Microsoft® Word and Microsoft® Excel®.
Brava! makes it easy to redact all instances of a name, social security number, birthdate, phone number, account number and more. Users can also redact predefined block out zones by creating a redaction template. Redactions can be applied simply by dragging a box, by searching for text strings or patterns or by applying reusable scripts. It also has an add-on option to perform optical character recognition (OCR) on TIFF documents as they are loaded.
The Brava! verify panel lets users easily step through each redaction to ensure all text is completely covered, no erroneous content was redacted and that all sensitive content was, in fact, redacted. Brava! creates fully sanitized TIFF or PDF renditions of the original document for easy distribution. Private content is actually removed in the output file, not just covered. No hidden text or metadata is transferred to the redacted file.