Government paperless initiatives on the rise

February 21st, 2013 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document Management | Information Management | Workflow

Government agencies and legal departments are increasingly deploying electronic document management systems to streamline processes and reduce the administrative burden on staff. By improving accessibility to important files, these systems allow government officials to be more productive and collaborative.

James Jarvis, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel contributor, explained that a primary reason for this shift toward digitization is to increase the efficiency of communications between officials as well as with citizens. He asserted that instead of applying separate solutions for content management, such as legal workflow solutions, agencies should deploy tools that unify the automation of processes across departments. He cited recent Hyperion research findings that the majority of legal departments are going paperless, and additionally, increasing the effectiveness of these strategies by integrating tools within an electronic document management system.

Consolidation eases spending
The Mid-Hudson News reported that the Dutchess County Government is investing $960,000 for a document management system that will store, organize and share files electronically. The system is predicted to save $1.1 million within the first two years of operation by streamlining processes and accelerating service delivery. The digitization process is part of County Executive Marcus Molinaro's overall strategy to allow government agencies to consolidate records and better share services. Additionally, the electronic system will cut down on paper use in the county government and make digital copies accessible to the public. By digitizing historical documents dating back to the 1700s, the electronic solution will preserve delicate and important files.

Other counties are going paperless to conduct more efficient meetings. According to The Missourian, the Franklin County Commission may soon be replacing the antiquated paper system with an electronic solution to save both money and time. Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer told the news source that currently, commissioners are responsible for handling burdensome stacks of documentation at every meeting. By allowing officials to review lengthy contracts on a computer screen, the county could cut considerable costs from paper and ink. Additionally, the new system will remove the need for a court reporter to plan and zone meetings, as minutes from meetings can now be electronically recorded. The Missourian reported that other local governments have also gone paperless for these advantages including the Washington City Council and Union City Council as well as the Washington and Union School Boards.

Electronic document management solutions can help commissioners and other officials to work more productively and make more informed decisions by providing easier access to information.

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