Government offices to go paperless at the end of this month

Initiative: Government offices will be adopting paperless office operations starting end of this month with the guideline for institutionalising paperless operations in place.

The guideline, launched on September 17 during the World Ozone Day by Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, provides general and specific tips and recommendations for deploying paperless initiative across the government offices.

National Environment Commission Secretariat (NECS) approved the guideline during its 43rd meeting.

The guideline is based on the recent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) done in the three offices (Cabinet Secretariat, Department of IT and Telecom with the information and communications ministry, and NECS) and also on a study conducted by the Department of National Properties (DNP) in 18 government offices in 2013.

The findings of the study by DNP show that the 18 government agencies consumed more than 177.67 tonnes of paper in the year 2011 to 2012.

The LCA report on paper usage in three offices show that there are wide variations in paper use across the offices – 17.1, 7.2 and 4.7 reams of paper per person per annum in the Cabinet Secretariat, MoIC and NECS respectively.

The findings also indicate that NECS alone uses the maximum number of printers among the three offices and if efficient printing methods are adopted such as adoption of network printers, about Nu 6 million (M) saving could be achieved.

The study shows that implementation of the guideline is expected to yield significant reduction in paper use in all government offices, and even from the environmental point of view the guideline will result in significant improvement of performance on both climate change and emissions of toxins into water.

The study also shows that annual direct savings of approximately Nu 11,600 on an average per person per annum could be achieved through paperless initiatives mainly as a result of improved efficiency in office operations and reduction in printing hard copies.

The guideline provides paperless office tools that can be used in offices such as use of applications, use of online collaborative tools such as emails for communicating and sharing, storing documents and information electronically, implementing high-speed scanners and network printers that connects computers over a network and accepts printing from multiple computers.

The guideline also provide quick tips such as printing one copy of the finalised document, scan it and circulated via email, reuse or printing on both sides of the paper, creating or distributing publications electronically and employing office intranet solutions that allow open or password-protected access to documents, presentations, or database through an office network, among others.

The guideline further provides strategies to go paperless in critical areas in government offices such as procurement services, administration and finance services, human resource management and development services, policy programme and planning services, and project management and implementation services.

Government initiatives such as implementing the use of Google Apps for official correspondence and documents sharing are in place and e-government initiatives such as Government to Citizen (G2C), Government-to-Government (G2G) and Government to Business (G2B) are already in the agenda for the 11th Plan.

According to the guideline, technological difficulties (such as system stability, network stability and reliability), human capacity (not having technological skills), data security and the based policy and laws are seen as some of the challenges for going completely paperless.

However, going paperless can bring many benefits such as saving money, boosting productivity, saving space, making documentation and information sharing easier, enhancing public service delivery, keeping personal information secure, helping the environment and making an eco-friendly office, among others.

Government offices will be adopting paperless office operations starting end of this month with the guideline for institutionalising paperless operations in place.

The guideline, launched on September 17 during the World Ozone Day by Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, provides general and specific tips and recommendations for deploying paperless initiative across the government offices.

National Environment Commission Secretariat (NECS) approved the guideline during its 43rd meeting.

The guideline is based on the recent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) done in the three offices (Cabinet Secretariat, Department of IT and Telecom with the information and communications ministry, and NECS) and also on a study conducted by the Department of National Properties (DNP) in 18 government offices in 2013.

The findings of the study by DNP show that the 18 government agencies consumed more than 177.67 tonnes of paper in the year 2011 to 2012.

The LCA report on paper usage in three offices show that there are wide variations in paper use across the offices – 17.1, 7.2 and 4.7 reams of paper per person per annum in the Cabinet Secretariat, MoIC and NECS respectively.

The findings also indicate that NECS alone uses the maximum number of printers among the three offices and if efficient printing methods are adopted such as adoption of network printers, about Nu 6 million (M) saving could be achieved.

The study shows that implementation of the guideline is expected to yield significant reduction in paper use in all government offices, and even from the environmental point of view the guideline will result in significant improvement of performance on both climate change and emissions of toxins into water.

The study also shows that annual direct savings of approximately Nu 11,600 on an average per person per annum could be achieved through paperless initiatives mainly as a result of improved efficiency in office operations and reduction in printing hard copies.

The guideline provides paperless office tools that can be used in offices such as use of applications, use of online collaborative tools such as emails for communicating and sharing, storing documents and information electronically, implementing high-speed scanners and network printers that connects computers over a network and accepts printing from multiple computers.

The guideline also provide quick tips such as printing one copy of the finalised document, scan it and circulated via email, reuse or printing on both sides of the paper, creating or distributing publications electronically and employing office intranet solutions that allow open or password-protected access to documents, presentations, or database through an office network, among others.

The guideline further provides strategies to go paperless in critical areas in government offices such as procurement services, administration and finance services, human resource management and development services, policy programme and planning services, and project management and implementation services.

Government initiatives such as implementing the use of Google Apps for official correspondence and documents sharing are in place and e-government initiatives such as Government to Citizen (G2C), Government-to-Government (G2G) and Government to Business (G2B) are already in the agenda for the 11th Plan.

According to the guideline, technological difficulties (such as system stability, network stability and reliability), human capacity (not having technological skills), data security and the based policy and laws are seen as some of the challenges for going completely paperless.

However, going paperless can bring many benefits such as saving money, boosting productivity, saving space, making documentation and information sharing easier, enhancing public service delivery, keeping personal information secure, helping the environment and making an eco-friendly office, among others.

Thinley Zangmo

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply