The USITC implemented new e-filing requirements on November 7, 2011. Lisa R. Barton, who supervises the USITC’s Docket Services Division, agreed to answer some questions about the new system’s progress.
Q. It has been about two months since the USITC implemented its new e-filing requirements. How’s it going so far?
Lisa: Overall, implementation of the new e-filing requirement has been going well. With any significant change, we usually anticipate a period of difficulties while filers become accustomed to the new requirements. I've been quite pleased that the transition has been relatively smooth.
On November 21, we held an EDIS [Electronic Document Information System] training session at the USITC that highlighted new features in the system to facilitate the new filing requirements. The event was well attended with over 80 attendees. We had a robust question and answer period with very good questions that enhanced an informative session. As with any new system, there is always room for improvement, and we've received helpful feedback.
Q. Regarding training, what kinds of training does the USITC typically provide for EDIS users?
Lisa: Our EDIS training normally covers filing, search, and notification features in the EDIS system; however, we can modify the scope based on the attendees' particular needs. We tend to focus on specific practice areas, such as section 337 and import injury matters, but will cover questions on any type of matter filed before the Commission.
We also highlight helpful resources on EDIS as well as on the USITC website. For example, we emphasize resources such as the Petitions and Complaints link, links to the Commission rules, the Handbook on Filing Procedures, and other related guidance material.
We provide EDIS training in various forums to balance the needs of the filers and our resources. If one or two people desire training, we can provide in-person training in Docket Services. If a larger group -- say, five or more people -- is interested in training and their office is close to the agency, our staff will conduct the training at the office of the requester.
Additionally, we can provide EDIS training remotely to customers via a webinar platform. We've found this option very helpful for users outside of the DC-metropolitan area. Users interested in EDIS training should contact Jennifer Rohrbach, Attorney Advisor in Docket Services, at 202.205.1802, or via email at Jennifer.Rohrbach@usitc.gov to schedule a training session.
Q. How does the agency handle the requirement for signatures when documents are filed electronically?
Lisa: E-filed documents must be either signed with an actual signature or signed with an electronic signature in a "/s/ Jane Doe" format. Documents that may not be electronically filed or have received an exception to the e-filing requirements should be signed with an actual signature. Users can consult the Commission rules and the Handbook on Filing Procedures to review the exceptions from the e-filing requirements.
It is also important to make sure the name of the signatory appears in the signature block below the signature. This allows for easy recognition of the filer to ensure that the filing is compliant with Commission rules. Users with questions regarding signatures should contact Docket Services at 202.205.1802.
Q. You’ve suggested some resources for the new e-filing requirements. Are there any other suggestions you have for where filers can look for EDIS information?
Lisa: We have several other resources available that may be helpful to customers with questions. The Docket Services page on the USITC web site has resource and guidance information, such as links to our EDIS User Guide and the EDIS Coding Manual, as well as links to related webpages in both Section 337 and Import Injury matters. The EDIS homepage also has a number of procedural guidance materials.
Dockets Services personnel are available to assist filers with any questions or concerns. Please contact us at 202.205.1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.