Department of the Interior

E-Surnaming

Surnaming is a process used within DOI to provide version control as important documents are circulated through the Department for editing and review by Department officials. I believe this process is a vestige of days gone by. As it currently works, surnaming requires one individual to hand carry the document to the next office for review, then incorporate the hand edits made to the document and reprint the entire surnaming package with edits before bringing it to the next office for signature.

 

This process is a waste of time and resources. It is not GS-5s moving these documents through offices, but rather GS-9s, 11s, 12s, and 13s whose time is expensive. Weeks can be spend devoted to this process by a single or multiple employees. Surnaming as it currently exists is a vestige of a day long gone in U.S. government. In a day with hi speed internet access in every office, high level GS employees are used to clerk documents through the Department the same way it was done in 1950.

 

Surnaming must be adapted to today's technology. There is no reason this process could not be moved onto Microsoft Sharepoint; software to which the Department already has access. The software provides version control and eliminates the time wasted hand carrying documents, and incorporating hand made edits, and reprinting surnaming packages. Not only would this spare the time of our precious employees, but also increase the efficiency of government by reducing the time required to obtain surnaming approval within DOI. In addition, electronic copies of each document are retained in Sharepont so that edits may still be attributed to the reviewer.

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Idea No. 9518