The New York State Legislature is looking to get the same savings in time, money and natural resources that other business have been experiencing for years by going paperless.
According to a recent article by the Syracuse Post Standard, members of the NYS Legislature have long noted the downsides of a paper-based system. These downsides include, but are not limited to:
- $13 million/year in printing bills.
- $40 million/year in hauling and recycling costs to dispose of the paper copies, according to Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Glenville.
- A mountain of paper copies: On average, 639 feet of paper are produced to print each bill.
There are also costs in a paper system that are not directly related to the paper itself. Delays related to printing are common, and played a role in holding up the passage of the 2012 state budget due to a printer breakdown. “Half the time when we’re sitting around here, we’re waiting for something to be printed and distributed,” says state Sen. Carl Marcellino, R-Syosset.
Environmental costs are significant as well. “We could have been the number one destroyer of Mother Earth’s forests,” says Tedisco. Marcellino states that over six feet of paper is generated every week… for each of the 213 Assembly members, “We level whole forests on a weekly basis.”
“Going digital” is certainly not a new activity in government. The National Coalition of State Legislatures says that more than half of all states have begun or are already deeply engaged in initiatives to reduce paper in legislative chambers. New initiatives and mandates have moved Washington to rely on digital records, according to Forbes online.
Here at eBizDocs, we know that the move to paperless government isn’t a new initiative in New York State. As a preferred NYS vendor, we have been hard at work helping NY “Go Paperless” for over 13 years. Some of our past successes include long-term projects with the NYS State Education Department, The NYS Dormitory Authority (DASNY) and The NYS Office Of Mental Health.
With the proliferation of cloud-based technologies, managing electronic documents and making them accessible wherever and whenever they are needed is much more affordable. The use of secure cloud-based document management systems also eases security, access and business continuity concerns related to sensitive records. Online hosted applications (such as eBizCloud©) allow users to set specific access rights and audit tracking, workflow processes and records retention policies. They can also provide secure web access to needed files from any location on any web-enabled device. Hilary Kramer (Washington Moves Into The Cloud: Saving Money And Securing Data) notes another major advantage of using cloud-based applications–the ability to organize and archive huge amounts of data and documents. Meanwhile, less hardware is used for onsite storage and fewer staff members are necessary to manage it directly. This provides tremendous savings through a more efficient use of ( often limited) IT budgets and staff resources.
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