Businesses and citizens now expect government information to be readily available online in a format that is easy to understand and follow and at low or no cost. Document conversion is helping governments at the national, regional and local levels to meet these demands. Conversion of government records into electronic format ensures better services for the citizens by providing convenience, transparency and reliability of relevant information. Successful eGovernment initiatives in countries like India are streamlining departmental processes and improving the efficiency of government organizations.
Importance of Digitizing Government Records
Driving licence issuance, property registration, trade licence issuance, and land record registration, etc., are citizen-centric services which require extensive handling of documents for effective service delivery. When the documents are digitized, they can be easily accessed, ensuring quick delivery of services and efficient decision making.
Converting physical records into electronic format helps in computing operations and enables research, predictive, quantitative and qualitative analysis for informed decision-making and proactive governance. It improves the quality of the records and allows the public to access the information they need quickly. At the same time, digitization allows government departments to restrict access to documents with confidential information.
Challenges of Digitization
- Assuring the quality of the computerized documents: Government projects include huge volumes of documents and assuring quality of electronic documents is very important; however, only 2 to 5% of documents can undergo through direct quality check, according to a NewGen Software report. So ensuring quality of digitized documents is a major challenge. A minor error in a document will make it usable. There are many chances of errors during digitization like improper margin, orientation, too light or too dark, black edge, size of file, etc. Experienced document conversion companies that undertake such bulk scanning projects have stringent quality checks in place to detect and correct all these errors.
- Ensuring accuracy in document indexing: Indexing the documents accurately is important once all the documents have been converted into digital format. Proper indexing enables quick retrieval of and easy access to important data. Format validation, checking accuracy against the master data base, and audit processes are some of the measures used to ensure accuracy of scanning and indexing of documents.
- Ensuring authenticity of critical documents: The quality of documents scanned is very important but it does not guarantee the authenticity of a document in the digital repository. Ensuring authenticity of digitized documents is very essential. Applying digital signatures of the vendor’s officials after vendor’s verification or finalization step or applying digital signature of the organization’s officials after departmental quality check are two measures that can ensure authenticity of digitized documents.
- Adherence and compliance: Digitized documents may be need for reference in the future and therefore it is important that they are archived in a way that they can be easily retrieved. Standardization and consistency can be ensured with open standards such as PDF/A.
Established document conversion outsourcing companies work with their clients to develop efficient document management systems to ensure proper record keeping and management.