Commerce releases plan to go paperless

Commerce releases plan to go paperless

By Tony Lee Orr

GCN Staff

FEB. 10—The Commerce Department, after several delays, has released its Digital Department Initiative calling for a paperless environment by the end of 2002.

The plan, prepared by department chief information officer Roger Baker's office in August and formally released this week, sets out the time frame for the department to meet Secretary William Daley's goal of becoming an 'E-Commerce' department over the next two years.

Some of the plan has already been implemented. By the end of last year, staffers in Daley's office had use of a secure intranet with access to an employee directory, forms, and information on events and employee benefits.

By the end of this year, Commerce employees in the Washington area are expected to have access to the intranet and an expanded information base, if the budget allows, according to the plan. Internet users will also be able to access and download information and forms at an agency Web site.

Much of the implementation focuses on the departmentwide internal administrative process, an area the plan maintains has received the least attention and resources, and requires the most coordination.

Also included in the first two years of the initiative are plans to modernize the Herbert C. Hoover Building, which houses the secretary's office. The technological renovation of the building is expected to cost about $6 million, which the department seeks in President Clinton's proposed fiscal 2001 budget.

Money may be the real problem in realizing the department's goal. In an assessment of various risks that could hinder success, the plan notes that administrative systems historically have had difficulty receiving full funding.

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