Department of the Treasury

Getting the Most ouf of Digital Records

Federal Agency should maximize the use of digital records by:


1. Requiring most digital records to be in optical character readable (OCR) format.

2. Providing adequate software to fully utilize digital records such as find and search software.

3. Providing employees training on effective uses of digital records.


There are various federal acts dealing with digital records such as the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) and the Electronic Records Management Initiative. The acts don’t address the use or uses of the records. Front line employees need to be given the tools and training to fully utilize the digital records. Maximizing the use of digital records saves enumerable man hours of work and substantially enhances tasks, saving the government time and money


As an employee of the Internal Revenue Service, we are not given adequate training or software to work and manage the digital records. This is probably true with most federal jobs and agencies. As an auditor with the Internal Revenue Service, I am able to navigate through huge amounts of records, review the records and find items utilizing find and search software. I also transfer parts of documents into reports or search engines, saving time not having to retype items. However, I was not given adequate training and had to request special software through my own initiative. The Internal Revenue Service has tax returns filed by corporation digitalized on a network. In the past an Internal Revenue Agent would obtain the actual tax return filed by a corporation from a warehouse, which could take months. Now the tax returns available on a digital network. The digital file is not in OCR format to save space on the digital network. Revenue Agents should be taught how to convert the tax returns in OCR format and be given find and search software, to enable them to review and find items on the tax returns which can exceed thousands of pages.



Idea No. 18854