Is it possible for a government to go paperless? Many have said no, not for many many many years, at least. The Australian government disagrees. In 3 years, the government is hoping to shatter naysayers’ expectations and have it’s entire archival system digitized.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports, ”National Archives of Australia director-general David Fricker says federal government agencies are now spending about $220 million a year storing their paper records,” and that amount will continue to go up as more data is generated.
Companies and agencies spending egregious amounts on paper creation, storage and management has become a familiar story in the US and abroad. US businesses spend billions annually just handling their forms. What’s unique about the AUS story is that they’re taking an initiative to really tackle their problem, against odds and pessimistic opinions about successfully creating a paperless office, or government. The Aussies are serious about their digital transition initiative, and moving forward. Arts Director Simon Crean oversees the Archives and has said that all public servants will be forced to shift to the digital archiving system by 2015, because the government will not allow paper forms and files to be produced after that date.
That can-do, will-do attitude is impressive, and inspiring. If the NAA succeeds in completely going paperless, theirs will be a success story that shatters expectations for companies and governments around the globe. We’re wishing them luck here at Formzapper, and hope to see them succeed so as to make history and cut a path that other governments (like ours) can follow.