Diligent Federal Government

Committee Management Software

Diligent Committee Management Software allows government committees and advisory board members to securely access documents and work with other colleagues from their phones, tablets, computers while protecting private, privileged, and sensitive, confidential or classified data while automatically recording committee records. Committee member convenience is coupled with access control and encryption to secure and prevent leaks of privileged or sensitive information.

Committee Management Officers: Data Security and Compliance for Federal Advisory Committees and Boards

More than 1,000 committees, panels, boards, commissions, councils, and similar groups of private citizens work with various government agencies furnishing expert advice, ideas, and diverse opinions on strategy, policy, regulations, and other agency decisions. Diligent products will enable committees and panels to perform their roles, to compile materials and share sensitive or classified data, personal identity information(PII) trade secrets, For Official Use Only (FOUO) files, etc.

Protecting data collected, maintained, and shared by both the agency and its committee and panel members is the responsibility of a Federal Committee Management Officer (CMO). The CMO is responsible for establishing standards and procedures to govern the establishment, operation, and administration of advisory committees, to include how they share and protect sensitive information.  The CMO is also responsible for assembling and maintaining the reports, records, and other papers of such committees.  Diligent Committee Management Software facilitates securely sharing and protecting sensitive data from inadvertent or deliberate leaks, administering committee meetings, and maintaining records, because it enables all business of the committee to be conducted within one secure software application.

Protecting Sensitive Data: The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the Privacy Act, the Defend Trade Secrets Act, and several other government regulations promulgate requirements to the CMO and other federal employees for ensuring that data used by committees and advisory boards is properly protected. Privileged information, PII, market data, or trade secrets shared with committee members by paper, email, or portal are only as secure as the practices and devices of each individual member. Using non-secure messaging and data handling applications such as free email services, Sharepoint  and other non-secure file sharing drop boxes may allow unauthorized access to others including service providers who have access to all data stored there! The email accounts and computing devices members use for committee business are outside the agency’s control and therefore vulnerable to phishing, malware, and unauthorized access – in this situation, the committee’s confidential materials can end up in anyone’s hands. Because the liability for leaks and hacking of committee data is the CMO’s, you need to equip your committees and Designated Federal Officers (DFOs) to efficiently perform their work within a closed, encrypted, exclusive environment. If this environment is complete, intuitive, easy to learn, and more efficient to use than a hodge-podge collection of office applications and emails, members will use it exclusively and this security vulnerability will be eliminated.

The CMO needs to provide a secure environment for conducting committee business with data protected and controlled all the time wherever and however members work. Diligent Committee Management Software replaces paper, email, and portal distribution of files with an easy to use application that members download from their device application store.

  • A committee’s DFO pushes meeting materials out to authorized members from the cloud. Members see materials only by logging into the app.
  • Files are encrypted in-transit and on the devices and cannot be downloaded, printed, or emailed.
  • Screen shots are controlled by watermarking with the user’s name.
  • Access and materials can be remotely withdrawn by the DFO.
  • Application logs enable the CMO to demonstrate compliance with data protection requirements.

With Diligent, the CMO and DFO keep ownership and control of protected data at all times. Since member meeting minutes, deliberations, and votes are documented within the application, compliance with FACA reporting and record-keeping requirements is greatly simplified.

More than Security: Convenience and Efficiency

Governance leaders, executives, and board directors rely on Diligent industry-leading Committee Management software to securely manage their most sensitive committee and board materials, collaborate anywhere they go, and participate in voting and resolutions quickly and easily. With all of committee documents stored in our industry-leading secure data centers located in your region, board activity is simple. The Designated Federal Officer can easily manage agendas, annotations, documents, discussions of board meetings, and minutes quickly and securely. Board members can access real-time updates to board materials anywhere on-the-go from their phone, tablets, computers, or even offline—enabling them to ask better questions, gain deeper insight, and add value to their meetings.  After meetings, DFOs can quickly compile and summarize records and reports.

For Federal Advisory Committees, Panels, and Board Members and support staff

Diligent distributes an application that operates securely on any mobile device and personal computer operating system.  The DFO creates user accounts and assigns users to roles.  Users download the Diligent app from their App Store and login.  The app authenticates the user and unlocks the encryption, so they can view and interact with materials.  Busy members can stay in touch with real-time updates across all of their devices. With the ability to manage and access their multiple boards, members can seamlessly collaborate on board materials anywhere, anytime.

  • Industry-Leading Customer Support

If a member is having a problem, they can call our award-winning, white-glove customer service team and have a human talk through any pain points

  • Access Materials 24/7

Committee Members can complete questionnaires, ask questions, place votes, sign meeting minutes and more at any time of the day, anywhere in the world – with or without Wi-Fi – on-line or in airplane mode.

  • Easy and Secure Collaboration

Annotate documents, manage notes or comments, and get real-time notifications for any changes. With in-app messaging, members can collaborate to mark-up and discuss committee materials, with all their messages, deliberations and notes also encrypted and accessible only within the app.

  • Voting Made Easy

Customizable voting enhancements provide even more options to issue a vote and track results.

  • Communicate in Virtual Rooms

Manage committee decisions and materials in a dedicated space.  Materials, messages, deliberations, and voting decisions are all performed from within the application and are encrypted in motion and at rest so that they cannot be viewed outside the application.

For Designated Federal Officers

Building committee or advisory board agendas, managing approvals for a resolution, and creating meeting minutes should not be a burdensome task. With a committee management application that is complete, intuitive, easy to learn, secure and more efficient to use than a hodge-podge of office applications and emails, the DFO can easily create, distribute, and control the materials distributed to members and protect sensitive information from inadvertent leaks or security breaches.

Our Committee Management software is easy-to-use and helps to streamline the work of assembling committee materials. Our software allows the DFO to spend less time on administration and more time, and information that they need, to contribute their expertise and add real strategic value to their role. The efficiency and ease of use members and the DFO obtain from Diligent keeps them working within the app, which keeps their work secure and eases compiling reports.

  • Build Committee Books Quickly

Drag-and-drop book building gives you the ability to duplicate forms in a faster and more effective way than traditional meeting books. The DFO has the ability to annotate and update documents instantly without having to collate, re-print, re-send, and collect and shred materials.  The DFO can wipe out-of-date or deliberative materials from the record, and automatically save voting, minutes, and materials for the record.

  • Manage Meetings and Calendars

Putting contacts, calendars and committee documents in one place makes managing meetings faster

  • Create Virtual Rooms

Create virtual rooms for committees or subcommittees to allow secure collaboration before and after meetings

  • Set and Restrict Permissions

Customizable permissions for data access can be personalized down to the document-level and user-level to improve privacy and security. If a member leaves the committee, the DFO can instantly remotely remove his authorization, at which point he can no longer read the materials that were on his device – they become encrypted gibberish.

  • Enhance Security

If a device is lost or stolen, remote locking and data wiping tools ensure your sensitive/confidential information stays that way with the help of your dedicated customer success manager.

For Chief Information Officers

  • The Diligent platform is typically implemented with a simple software-as-a-service subscription and log-in. Implementation and configuration services are not required.  Diligent’s experts will train and assist the DFO or committee administrator in using the application and provide on-call support.
  • Diligent hosts its content processing and service delivery on a cloud service operated from FedRAMP-rated Equinix data centers. Information is encrypted with AES 256-bit encryption on server and device.
  • Disaster Recovery is provided by instant mirroring between Equinix data centers in separate geographic regions of the US.
  • Diligent Committee Management Software is available for purchase as a commercial item. Committee Member count is the primary driver of price. The typical five-member board’s annual subscription for Diligent’s full functionality is less than $30,000.

Where It’s Been Done Before

40% of the Fortune 100 firms, and 145,000 board members and executives, use Diligent. Public sector customers include the US Postal Service, Department of Commerce, Amtrak, and several Federal Reserve Banks. Corporate general counsels, corporate secretaries, and CFOs use Diligent in managing the distribution and control of documents used by boards of directors. Committee and board members pick up the app and use it after a half-hour or less of training.

Example Federal Agencies, Committees, Councils, Panels, Advisory Boards, and Commissions who use Sensitive, Privileged, Private, PII, and/or Trade Secret data in their missions.

Thousands of citizens advise federal agencies on national policies and issues, scientific and regulatory decisions, strategies and programs. In many cases they receive privileged information that, if leaked, could damage security, the economy, competitiveness of companies, and personal privacy. Examples where sensitive data are used in committee work:

  • The Food & Drug Administration has 33 advisory committees, one of which, the Medical Devices Advisory Committee, has 18 panels. Many of these receive information and advise the FDA concerning the efficacy and safety of upcoming and current medical and pharmaceutical products.
  • The Federal Advisory Council is composed of twelve representatives of the banking industry who consult with and advise the Federal Board of Governors on monetary policy and other matters within the Board’s jurisdiction.
  • The Homeland Security Advisory Council provides independent, strategic, timely, specific and actionable advice to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary and senior leadership on matters related to homeland security. Members are drawn from first responders, state and local governments, and the private sector.

The Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) advises, consults with, and makes recommendations to the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard on matters concerning the safe and secure marine transportation of hazardous materials in bulk. CTAC members represent chemical manufacturing companies, companies that handle or transport chemicals in the marine environment, vessel design and construction companies, marine safety or security companies and marine environmental protection groups.

Federal CMO: Do you know where your sensitive data are?

DFOs and committee administrative staff ship paper committee meeting books or share files with members by email, portal, and file sharing sites. Materials available to committee members for download from a federal portal are no longer protected as soon as the member gets them.

How does the DFO know and control who sees confidential information once it is distributed? Do members save materials to their hard drives? Do members keep up with security updates to their computers? Do they use strong passwords? Can committee members send materials to a personal email account? Is that account on a secure and encrypted server? Do members use freeware that lets service providers harvest private information? Are their computers infected with malware or hacked by bad actors? Who else uses those computers?

The answer is, in the current approach to sharing data with committees and boards, sensitive and privileged data are not secure.

There are over 1,061 federal advisory committees, with 657 subcommittees, with more than 22,0001 members government-wide, many of whom are not federal employees.  Without Diligent Committee Management Software, each one is a potential sensitive data breach.

1 Source: facadatabase.gov 8/2018

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