Guest post by Liz Vega, Senior Manager, Government, Education, Healthcare Global Marketing, Xerox Large Enterprise Operations, @lizvega1

Dealing with documents is a daily routine for government agencies. Permit applications, title transfers, vehicle registrations, tax returns, certificates of all kinds: the variety of documents and records handled by government agencies is endless. And every document represents a touch point in a process; a process that often links to a request from a citizen, another agency or department.

Liz Vega

Good document management then, is a priority for a successful government operation. But success becomes harder to achieve as document volumes increase, and as citizen expectations challenge traditional ways of service. Given this environment, could government agencies be any more primed for digital transformation? Consider this:

  • 60% of citizen-facing government processes are paper-driven.
  • 76% of government agencies lag behind the private sector in digital adoption.
  • 2/3 of government agencies spend more than 1/3 of their time processing paper documents.

Frustration with Paper-based Processes

Most citizens favor digital government modernization, and many are frustrated with current processes that are most likely paper-based. With more digital processes, agencies are more productive; documents are more secure, and government employees have more time for personal service to constituents.

Citizens aren’t the only ones frustrated by document challenges. “The mountains of paper in our file room showed us we had a problem, but the length of time it took us to find specific documents slowed our processes and constituent service. That’s what really hurt,” said Nicole Sackman, Clerk of Commissions, City of Westlake, Ohio.

When important processes are paper-based, your employees can’t easily access or share information, especially when teams are mobile doing fieldwork or in another location. Paper puts barriers between people and processes, and creates silos between different functions and locations.

The Path of Workflow Automation

If this is such a problem for both government and citizens, why isn’t change happening faster? It’s starting to. Workflow solution providers are delivering new choices for government agencies. Consider this example of how a workflow automation solution for public records requests transforms the experience for both workers and citizens. High volumes of records requests can overwhelm state and local agencies. A typical agency spends more than 1,000 hours a year handling inquiries about public records. That’s the equivalent of 25 40-hour work weeks!

Digitizing these documents automates open records management and improves transparency. Workflow solutions for automation of Public Records Requests can also help government agencies:

  • Allow citizens to submit records requests online or on paper.
  • Automatically distribute requests to the appropriate department.
  • Time each request and let coordinators track the status.
  • Provide citizens with convenient, self-service.
  • Store packaged responses in a repository for quick future use.
  • Provide an audit trail and integrated redaction.

A workflow automation solution for Public Records Requests can improve how you store, retrieve and bundle documents. It also provides better self-service for citizens and automates the request process end to end. Such solutions designed especially for the government sector are available today. For example, Xerox offers a workflow automation solution for Public Records Requests that might be your gateway to digitizing a critical process.

New Paper-to-Digital Workbook Can Help

Learn more tips for your paper-to-digital journey in this new workbook.