Document imaging of public records has made document management and access easier for town clerks as well as citizens. The Indian River County Clerk recently used document conversion services for an electronic database, which employees find easier to navigate. The document imaging system scans all documents and uploads them to an online database so citizens can access them quickly and efficiently. The system also has advanced search capabilities, easing the process of finding certain records.
Converting documents to an electronic format has significantly reduced the burden on officials to provide the public with files. Baker City Hall, which stores records dating back to the 1800s, receives overwhelming demands for these documents, according to the Baker City Herald. These requests can range from inquiries about committee decisions to records of historical events, and fulfilling them can prove a laborious task for officials. Baker City implemented a paperless solution to digitize copies of all town documents, which are slated to be accessible early this year.
A major advantage to the conversion process is that not only will it make documents easier to find, but it will preserve them so that they stand the test of time. City manager Mike Kee told the newspaper that physically handling the documents has become a very delicate process as pages can easily tear. Kee explained that the oldest, most fragile documents were submitted for imaging first, and the ink on some of them has already become illegible. By making digital copies, the aging process is no longer consequential.
The Baker City Herald reported that Oregon Administrative Rules have made it imperative to have a permanent, electronic copy of all incident reports, council meeting minutes and most organizational records. Electronic document imaging technology is empowering local governments to simplify information management while giving citizens the ability to bypass the process of requesting needed files.
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