7-2 Electronic Discovery

Electronic discovery involves the identification, collection, processing, analysis and production of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) in the discovery phase of litigation. The Postal Service has other obligations to preserve and produce electronic documents, such as complying with audit and regulatory information requests and complying with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

ESI includes not only electronic mail, attachments, and other data objects stored on a computer system or storage media, but also any associated metadata, such as dates of object creation or modification, and non-rendered file content (i.e., data that is not explicitly displayed for consumers).

The capabilities and processes of a CP, such as the form in which data is maintained and the electronic discovery-related tools available, affect the ability of the Postal Service to meet its obligations in a cost-effective, timely and compliant manner.

For example, a CP’s archival capabilities may not preserve the original metadata as expected, causing spoliation (i.e., the intentional, reckless, or negligent destruction, loss, material alteration or obstruction of evidence that is relevant to litigation), which could negatively impact litigation. The CP’s electronic discovery capabilities and processes must not compromise the privacy or security of the data and applications of the Postal Service in satisfying the discovery obligations of other cloud consumers and vice versa.