District 113A Works to Restore Public Access in Wake of Document Leak
Arrangements are being made for further training and discussions between District 113A and its online content management system, BoardDocs, after years of confidential documents became visible to the public last week.
Officials in Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A on Tuesday said they are still unsure when public access to its online document management system, BoardDocs, will be restored to the district website.
District 113A Superintendent Susan Birkenmaier said the district continues to work with Emerald Data Solutions, the company behind BoardDocs, to correct public access to several years worth of confidential documents that were inadvertantly made visible last week.
The site was shut down Thursday as District 113A investigated the source of the error. Since then, BoardDocs has modified the code for the district's website to prevent the files from coming up in the search engine.
As of Tuesday evening, all of the district's confidential documents have been moved to the executive content area of BoardDocs, Birkenmaier said.
BoardDocs staff members are reviewing the relocation of the documents to ensure that public access is restricted.
Birkenmaier said District 113A is also reviewing training materials and determine whether a clear distinction is made on how and where documents should be posted.
Arrangements are being made to further training and discussions between the district and BoardDocs, she said.
Until district officials verify the that all confidential documents have been transferred correctly, public access to BoardDocs will remain restricted.
"The time and date of restoration is unknown at this time but continues to be a high priority for the district," Birkenmaier said.
On Thursday, District 113A officials learned that private documents dating back to October 2008 were visible on BoardDocs, which the district uses to post board meeting agendas and related documents—including past minutes, financial statements, PowerPoint presentations and Freedom of Information Act requests.
The discovery came just three days after the district learned that the minutes from 10 closed session meetings from July 2011 through January 2012 were posted online for an unknown amount of time.
The documents were up for discussion July 17 as part of the school board's semi-annual review of closed session minutes, but were not meant to be released to the public, Birkenmaier said.
Although District 113A has yet to identify who or what caused the documents to become visible to the public, a representative from BoardDocs said the publication of confidential documents to was likely caused by human error.
"Our report (to the district) indicated that the files were stored in a way that's inconsistent with training," said Ari Ioannides, president of Emerald Data Solutions.
According to Ioannides, the incident is "extremely rare."
"BoardDocs hosts more than 70,000 documents for 650 organizations, and this rarely happens," he said.
Birkenmaier said the district has been unable to determine how many people viewed the confidential documents before they were restricted last week.
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