Social Security Administration

Double Sided Forms/Printing = Electronic Storage Problem

As agencies have moved towards greater electronic storage of documents, a new problem surrounding double sided forms has emerged. While many forms are all electronic of can be input electronically, there exists a small number of public self help forms that remain double sided. These forms often need to be stored electronically upon their return. Our local field office, (and all that I'm aware of) do not have fax machines capable of processing and faxing a double sided form into e-storage. As such, the double sided form will either be copied and/or collated into a single side format, wasting employee time, paper, energy, etc.


Therefore, the saving from double sided forms are wasted when they need to be stored electronically by the copying neccesary to ensure their orderly fax into electronic storage. Until such a time that duplex faxing capabilities are widely available for use in all field offices, agencies should ID forms that are public self help forms that have a high likleyhood of being stored electronically and move to print these forms single-sided. Doing so will ensure a smooth and efficient electronic filing of these documents. To the argument that having different criteria for different forms is too difficult then defaulting to doubleside printing I'd point out that many forms are already printed (and have been for years) on different color paper. Speficying single sided printing on select forms can't be any more difficult.


In short, given the benefits of electronic storage, every current and new forms, and especially those that are public, self help forms that will be directly stored in electronic folders, should be evaluated for ease of faxing or scanning - the means of electronic storage. Double sided printing is efficient and saving only if the form in question will never have to be converted into a singe side format. Once that conversion becomes neccesary, all savings are wasted.

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Idea No. 3851