Hmmm…what to do with 37K pieces of paper?

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Hmmm…what to do with 37K pieces of paper?

It seems that the Veterans Benefits Administration in North Carolina needs to go on a paper diet. Although Roger Baker, the Veterans Affairs Department CIO, has promised that the VA will have a paperless claims processing system installed in all of its regional offices next year, the North Carolina employees will have to continue to risk their lives wading through paper.

They have so many backlogged claims that employees have stacked 37,000 paper files on top of file cabinets, on the floor, and in boxes along the walls. More seriously, according to the VA inspector general, “these files have the potential to compromise the structural integrity of the sixth floor of the facility. We noticed floors bowing under the excess weight to the extent that the tops of file cabinets were noticeably unlevel through the storage area.”

Although it makes one chuckle to imagine what this sixth floor looks like, but seriously what is the impact to people waiting for claims to be processed? So when someone calls to find out the status their claim they have to go wade through 37K documents to find it? Obviously they have not implemented an information lifecycle strategy, and it does not appear that they even have a records management process.

With all the push on innovation in government, cloud computing, social media, maybe they should just stick to the basics for the time being.

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