United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Goodbye Binders, Hello Encrypted Flash Drives

The recruiting team for USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) supports the procurement of Personal Service Contractors (PSCs) in order to provide fast, flexible, short-term assistance targeted at key transition needs. Due to the rising popularity of OTI, the recruiting team has had to handle thousands of procurement sensitive documents and provide copies of them to Technical Evaluation Committees. For example, FY2011 has brought over 1,000 candidates seeking opportunities with OTI. As one might imagine, printing each application and making copies for evaluation panel members adds up.


Let's assume that the average number of pages of application materials per candidate is 12 pages. This means that the recruiting team would have had to used 48,000 sheets of paper to provide application books for the respective Evaluation Committees. We understood the environmental impact this was causing and sought innovative ways to improve the process of recruitment and procuring PSC contractors. With the support of our Senior Leadership Team, the recruiting team conceptualized a plan to eliminate all paper usage and move forward with encrypted flash drives.


The use of Kingston Technology's Data Traveler flash drives provides secure drives that keeps procurement sensitive documents safe. Due to procurement regulations, the sharing of application materials can only be viewed by members who sign Non-Disclosure Forms and abide by the rules of procuring PSC contractors. Using encrypted flash drives, both applicants and panel members are protected from any breach or possible misplacement of sensitive documents. For example, a lost flash drive cannot be breached due to password protection. After 3 failed attempts, all materials are automatically erased.


Moving forward, the Office of Transition Initiatives can save money but more importantly, play a positive role in helping our environment with the use of encrypted flash drives. We can now say goodybe to those large binders.



Idea No. 15117