In an effort to make records public and easy to access, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, has implemented a plan to put marriage licenses, wills and other archived documents from the past 200 years online. Using document conversion services, the county announced that it will be uploading records, freeing up office space and making it easier to organize and make those documents available to the public for a small fee.
According to the Times Leader, the county deeds office has already loaded documents from 1963 to the present. The county expects that, in addition to providing savings through better utilization of real estate, it will make more than $50,000 in revenue in a year from online viewing of these records.
The process of document imaging and uploading for public access allows county offices to also make working with records more efficient. Productivity incentives add to the other benefits of converting records to digital formats, with overall document management the end goal. Any business can lower costs and improve workflow through these methods.
In addition to these advantages, the county is looking forward to better preserving original records after utilizing the document conversion service, as wear and tear will be reduced, according to the news source.
"We want to improve public access," said county manager Robert Lawton. "The maintenance of these records is a core county function, and if it becomes a revenue generator for the county, that’s consistent with how we need to do business."
Ultimately, while document conversion provides an initial cost that may deter some offices, it pays for itself through the savings in storage and benefits of productivity. In addition, the county's low fees for public access will help it pay for the system in just a few years.
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