Prototype for finding Metadata

Client Success Story | Prototype for finding metadata to demonstrate that FDA can reduce time and effort in finding content for eDiscovery tool suite.


The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is a federal agency with over 35,000 employees that are responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices; and by ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) invested in the FDA Enterprise eDiscovery System (FEEDS) to respond more efficiently and effectively to increasing number of requests for data related to FOIA requests and legal matters. Relevant Electronically Stored Information (ESI) spans many organizations, many servers and personal devices, and many years of work for current and former employees. Data gathering, currently done manually, can take up 75% of the target time to process a request. To reduce search times, get more value from staff time, and maximize the value of FEEDS, the FDA required a method to consolidate metadata from HR, email, and other IT systems to provide a dashboard view of storage locations.


The FDA identified the need to custom develop an Integrated Metadata System (IMS) to support integrated metadata searches. Arlluk worked with FDA to institute a plan based on Agile development and engage with subject matter experts across the domains of email, personal property, human resource information, and network storage) for both headquarters and regional offices) to understand the nature and sources of relevant metadata. In parallel, the team used available resources (both flat files from system owners and available application protocol interfaces (APIs)) to build queries and front-end presentation of the metadata needed for FEEDS. This meant FDA users could see value without waiting for months to resolve requirements and access legacy systems.


Within months, Arlluk has connected to two legacy systems to get metadata (Office 365 for email and EASE for HR information), obtained metadata structures and content for personal property and network storage, and built a front end to present that metadata. Arlluk has also engaged FDA OIMT as another potential user organization to determine how to support IT cost allocation for the same resources being searched for eDiscovery, to expand the value to FDA of the funds invested to date. Planning for full implementation of IMS is being evaluated.