In 2010, The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - Florida District completed approximately 929 Domestic Inspections. The copying and distribution of these reports and exhibits were completed by technicians and required approximately 3716 man hours, 1,114,800 ($7300.00) pieces of paper , 550 toner cartages, use of limited filing space, and UPS shipping charges based on weight. Instead, these reports and exhibits could be scanned and saved onto CD-Rs. The original paper copy would be stored in the district file room and the CD-Rs would be distributed to the appropriate offices/agency centers for their files. The use of CD-Rs would decrease the use of resources to approximately 1000 man hours, 3716 CD-Rs ($520.00), 0 toner cartages, ample filing space, and a decrease in UPS charges since a CD-R weighs less than paper. The savings of paper vs. CD-R would save the Florida District $6837.00 not to the mention the savings in time, toner, and UPS charges. If all FDA districts implemented this practice it could save $107,392 in paper alone. The technicians that I have spoken to agree that this would allow them to focus their efforts on more critical tasks, as well as support the green innovative of the federal government.
Additionally, the electronic version of these reports would be scanned in color and searchable. Often times when black and white copies are made of photographs/labels content is lost. The next person to review the report can not see the green mold in the ice or the rust inside pharmaceutical equipment with a black and white photo.
This is a practice that could be implemented immediately. A future improvement would be to have an agency wide intranet website that all inspection reports and exhibits are saved to, but that would require a development and pilot program time period that would allow the waste to continue until it is approved. My proposed idea will save precious federal dollars immediately.