Following in the footsteps of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Copyright Office and several other agencies, the USDA Farm Service Agency has declared its intention to start migrating its operations to paperless workflows. According to Farm and Dairy, the group is implementing the new GovDelivery system in an effort to go green and enhance its efficiency. Notices and newsletters will be delivered via email and other digital formats going forward.
This change will occur on the national level and provide key improvements to operations for federal and local offices, as well as the farmers they serve.
The government push toward paperless operations is important as it supports not only the digitization of information, which allows agencies to keep the public better informed, but for the reduced cost of operations as well. According to iPost, the United State consumes approximately 5.57 40-foot tall trees per citizen each year, approximately 88 pounds worth of paper. While not the highest paper usage rate in the world, this puts the U.S. within the top 10. Since the implementation of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act many agencies have been striving to reduce their paper, ink and printer use, but the going has been slow.
According to FedTech Magazine, only 28 percent of federal IT managers believe their efforts in information management have been adequate to meet their needs. However, 82 percent believe that improved document management software and related efforts are essential to their operations. Yet the average grade these managers have received for their efforts in implementing a high-quality information management and paperless solution has been a C. Agencies need to step up their efforts are start investing in the paper conversion services and imaging solutions needed to expedite the migration to digital.
The benefits of going paperless are many, from increased information security to remote access to data. The slow movement to digital formats has hindered the leveraging of there valuable advantages and slowed overall innovation in these areas. However, as more groups embrace the appropriate technologies, like the USDA FSA now has, the overall push towards success with these efforts increases.
Ultimately, the more agencies that embrace paperless operations the more the benefits will be passed on the American citizens, and the growth of the nation as a whole can be brought into focus.
Brought to you by Image One Corporation, providing government and industry compliance solutions since 1994.