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Corona PD Sets the Stage for Conversation on Government 2.0

September 25, 2008

In a recent case study, we pointed out a problem that many law enforcement agencies are facing: growing paper archives. One California police department, which averages 17,000 new records entering into its system a year, including case files, citations and animal control records, decided to research innovative methodologies in order to streamline its document management processes. Through Laserfiche (provided by ECS Imaging, Inc.) and AbsoluteProof (provided by us), the City of Corona Police Department (CPD) will be reducing the storage space needed for the growing heap of paper and will also eliminate employment costs associated with funding staff. But the main perk the CPD gets by implementing these two solutions is tamper-proof records through AbsoluteProof’s data authentication technology.

AbsoluteProof’s digital timestamp validates the date and time of any document that is generated, while also maintaining the integrity of any electronic record. No matter what part of the process, each document will have proof that an electronic record existed at a specific point in time during the chain of custody and was never manipulated.

So where are other areas of government that could benefit from this?

On Sept. 22, The City of Elk Grove, north of Corona near Sacramento, issued a press release from the city’s human resources department announcing that it has moved toward a paperless environment and is now offering its job applications through an automated employment application process. While it will replace pen and paper—will it ensure document integrity?

BestWeek reported this month that the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner are going green when it comes to rule and form filings by insurers. Once the New Year rolls around, all insurance rate, rule and form filings must be submitted through the System for Electronic Rate and Form Filing (SERFF), with related fees paid through electronic funds transfers, according to the state.

The news report says West Virginia will become the 14th state to adopt the NAIC’s SERFF system, a rapidly growing trend.

The DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has also caught the bug to go green and has introduced its new online system PULSE, which will allow tens of thousands of licensed professionals in the District to apply for professional licenses, renew existing licenses, check on continuing education, and perform other tasks such as updating an address, according to a Sept. 18 release DCRA issued.

Currently regulating roughly 72,000 practitioners in 127 occupations and professional licensing categories, from plumbers, accountants and real estate agents, DCRA will see a reduction of paper by the tons. By going this route, it will also “streamline the licensing process, provide easier access to online resources and eliminate many redundant business practices,” said the article.

Robert Whelan, the president of Pearson VUE, which licensed the technology for DCRA said his system is “a natural progression of our vision for technology, efficiency, and sustainability for our products and services.”

While the reasons behind each agency’s move to electronic records likely varies—green initiatives in support of the environment, improved efficiencies to maximize space and avoid time spent combing through crazy amounts of paper, cost savings, improved services for the tax payer, etc.—the reason they all need to be concerned about data integrity, and thus consider a content security solution like AbsoluteProof, remain the same.

All of these government records—whether they contain HR information, professional license information, criminal case files, police citations, etc.—contain sensitive information. In each instance, the government agency that maintains the electronic records has a responsibility, both legally if they want or need to use the electronic records for legal proceedings, and ethically, as custodians of this sensitive information to ensure that the data contained in the records is not subject to accidental or malicious tampering.

With the advent of technology, there’s always been ways of doing things better and, not to mention more efficiently. The next step for these government agencies is taking responsibility in providing peak data integrity as they move toward electronic records.

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