All documentation within our systems should be electronic, as it allows us to better manage, organize, store, transport and replicate information. We will save a lot, by implementing this initiative completely. With the production of large amounts of documentation there is a lot of overhead.
Agencies must supply not only the printers but all the parts to maintain them – along with service contracts and of course, paper. Time must then be invested to fix any issues, obtain supplies and transport data. Although, residual supply and time demands are a big portion of the overall overhead, the biggest supporting factor involved is the funding needed to support this disease.
We are currently supporting the “bad habit” by allocating funding for hardware and paper costs, equipment and documentation transportation costs, equipment and documentation storage costs (facility space).
A working environment, such as the US Government, with the ability for everyone to print data that exists electronically creates an environment perfect for huge budget waste and abuse. Granted there are some items that need a hard copy version but a lot of items nowadays don’t need to be. When you go to Apple to pick up a new iPhone, iPad or accessory you don’t get a receipt handed to you, they email it to you, right on the spot. Most of our agencies can function in this same manner. We too can electronically communicate with our constituents, fellow employees, vendors and other customers. Not only should this allow for quicker communication but will also allow for a trail or log to be maintained and replicated, if needed. The “paperless” initiative will allow us to work more securely as a collective organization and will also help the government become and act as a more streamlined and efficient organization of the people.
Bottom Line: It won’t cost much implement and will save the government millions, if not billions.