Project Description

Redaction times improved by 50%, whilst having a positive impact on the environment.

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The challenge

Hereford County Council were used to manually redacting 3,500 planning application document every year with another 160 subject access requests and FOI / EIR requests. Each planning application is a minimum of 60 pages and other files could scale up to 1,000 pages.

In planning documents alone, the council would have to redact over half a million pages per annum! 

Based on an average manual processing time of 2 minutes per page, it would take the Hereford Council’s redaction team over 7,000 manual hours – that’s nearly 1,000 days!

Before using e-Redact, all client cases were in a paper format and a marker pen was used to remove sensitive information from a photocopy of the original document. Processing these documents was very time-consuming and some of the paperwork had to be photocopied twice, not to mention the impact on the environment with the paper waste.  

The manual process also provoked concerns about the security of the printed information shared between parties.

The strategy

Hereford Council was desperate to gain a firm hold over their redaction procedures internally. They recognised, early on, that they were spending far too long redacting planning documents and FOI/EIR requests. 

There was additional concern about the issue of confidentiality and the appearance of the redacted documents. Using a marker pen made the completed documents look unprofessional and, oftentimes, the information hiding behind the marker pen showed through.

It was important for the Council to move into the future and to work electronically in order to reduce the paper output and save costs on photocopying and postage. They were also mindful of the environment and felt they wanted to ‘do their bit to help’.

Hereford Council was looking very specifically for a software solution that was financially viable, secure, simple and easy to use and that delivered the time savings they were in need of.

A formal tender process was initiated and e-Redact came out the clear winner.

The benefits

  • Significant cost savings on postage and photocopying

  • Millions of printed papers no longer required

  • Thousands of trees saved

  • Compliant with ALL file formats

  • 100% FOI, DPA, EIR compliant

  • Supports multi-session working – vital with large files

  • Output looks professional

  • Fast and simple to use

ROI for Herefordshire Council

50% time saving when processing files for redaction

Man-hours halved from 7,000 to 3,5000 per annum

500 work days saved every year

Print savings of 500,000 pages per annum

e-Redact worked out to be the most financially viable solution in terms of the procurement exercise we undertook. What impressed us most was the ease of use, the support throughout and the ongoing development of the product.

Anthony Sawyer, Information and Records Management Team Leader , Herefordshire Council

The solution has allowed us to optimise all of our different work scenarios.

Anthony Sawyer, Information and Records Management Team Leader , Herefordshire Council

The benefits of e-Redact