Many agencies, including ours at EPA’s Region 9, have moved to digitize documents, making it possible to retrieve reports and forms online. During our internship this summer, we recognized a way to improve government efficiency while reducing waste: making electronic tablets available for rent or checkout at the agency library/communications center.
We are cognizant that people will have different learning styles and some would prefer physical copies of reports/forms. For those that prefer using new technologies, making a certain amount of these tablets available (ie. iPad) for federal employees that need it can make them more efficient by: portable access to documents, reducing carrying load, and allowing them to annotate their notes in real-time. For example, specialists and project managers at the EPA would find an electronic tablet useful when they move onsite and need to do quick research, refer to a number of documents, and quickly send to associates.
Each department has budget allocated to purchase new, necessary electronic equipment (ie. laptops). Since some of this can be used on potentially new tablets, no additional costs are incurred. Making e-tablets available for federal employees will make government operations more efficient and reduce waste.