Aquilent Announces Launch of Collaborative Comment Analysis and Response Application (CARA) for USDA Forest Service

Company: Aquilent
Published: 29 August, 2011
LAUREL, Md-- Aquilent, the recognized leading provider of Web-based solutions shaping the next generation of technology for the federal government, today announced the launch of the new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service Comment Analysis and Response Application (CARA). The web-based solution provides citizens with a significantly enhanced opportunity to participate in environmental planning, while streamlining related processes to reduce administrative expenses.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) manages more than 155 National Forests and Grasslands throughout the U.S. The Federal government is mandated by the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), which requires US Government agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions before making a decision or taking action. Mandated tasks include the ability to:

* Conduct appropriate analysis
* Manage and consider public concerns
* Demonstrate compliance
* Publish and distribute information

Prior to CARA, this process was conducted manually. This resulted in increased administrative workload, ballooning direct and indirect costs, and increasing difficulty in data and resource management.

The fully-hosted IT solution provided through Aquilent helps the USDA Forest Service to meet the President’s requirement for a more open and participatory government with a fully automated, highly user-friendly application. The flexible and scalable CARA system helps demonstrate compliance and:

* Reduce costs associated with outsourcing comment analysis
* Increase automation
* Increase consistency of comment management and analysis
* Provide content management and analysis tools
* Reduce clerical activities

CARA enables participants to interact through a variety of means including web and email based communication, automatically screening public comment inputs for optimal response, while eliminating duplicates. In addition to designing and developing the web-based solution, Aquilent provided integration services to accomplish the interconnections of the solution with other agency applications, support materials for the training of all Forest Service application users, and materials for the operations and administration of CARA.

“Our environment is an integral part of our lives as CARA so aptly illustrates,” stated Aquilent CEO David Fout. “This new solution demonstrates the USDA Forest Service’s dedication to increasing citizen participation in every aspect of changes affecting our nationally owned lands. Everything from hunting and fishing concerns, to recreational activities such as snowmobile sports, to accessibility issues such as bridge closings, can now be very easily addressed through a fully user-friendly and rapid process that saves both the user and the government time and resources. This is a prime example of open government at work.”

About Aquilent

Named the Government Contracting Firm of the Year by the Tech Council of MD, Aquilent is the recognized leading provider of Web-based solutions shaping the next generation of technology for the federal government. Specializing in acquisition and finance, web applications, content management, technology strategy and program management office, Aquilent is guided by an unwavering commitment to deliver solutions that maximize efficiency, reduce risk, and provide quantifiable results. To learn more about Aquilent, twice recognized as one of the Top 50 Best Places to Work by the Washington Business Journal, visit www.aquilent.com.