Each year Federal Government agencies collectively spend billions of taxpayer dollars and thousands of hours to create, use, and store paper and other non-electronic Federal records, prompting the need to modernize the Government’s handling of its paper and non-electronic documents.
In March 2018, the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) established 14-Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goals, one of which included the move to an electronic – or “paperless” – government; and in June 2018, the Executive Office of the President’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) further outlined in its 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations document a proposal to transition Federal agencies’ business processes and recordkeeping practices to a full electronic environment.
As set forth in the 2019 Memorandum for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies: Transition to Electronic Records in which OMB directs “Federal agencies to ensure all Federal records are created, retained, and managed in electronic formats”, the Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrative Support Services for the Office of Secure Transportation (OST) enacted the Paperless Payroll Process (PPP) Initiative with the goal of becoming 100% paperless by December 31, 2022.
AMSG is leading this effort in collaboration with DOE OST Administrative Support Services Team and converting approximately seven years of records totaling 69,342 pieces of paper into one digital source. Transitioning to a paperless environment eliminates antiquated practices in which OST Financial Specialists collect paper copies of timesheets and leave slips on a weekly and bi-weekly basis. It also reduces manual labor associated with these practices in which data is manually entered into the Agency’s Automated Time and Attendance Production System (ATAAP), and employee files are physically stored and maintained for several years.
Transitioning and replacing these outdated procedures takes considerable effort. Our AMSG Team, however, has developed highly intricate processes to manage the paperless initiative to meet the December deadline. When the initiative was implemented in June 2021, our team sprang to action developing a now approved mockup solution. The solution involves a SharePoint capability that streamlines how OST’s data is stored and submitted, and provides the ability to easily audit records, and save on storage, printing, and paper costs. Further, our team meets regularly with our OST Customer to ensure a smooth transition from paper to paperless.
While spearheading the paperless initiative, AMSG continues to provide Federal payroll data entry, invoice tracking, project and budget analysis, technical writing and editing, travel voucher and purchase request processing, and management and administrative support for document controls to our OST Customer. And we have developed essential checklists, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), and trainings that were nonexistent prior to AMSG joining OST.
As recognized by our OST Customer during our routine semi-annual customer satisfaction survey, having SOPs that define processes to carry out routine operations cannot be understated:
“The contractor (AMSG) continues to be proactive in developing and implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that are relevant to support mission operations. The impact (AMSG) has had in process standardization cannot be under emphasized. (AMSG has led to operational efficiency and excellent customer services.)”
These SOP, checklist, and training resources have created the ability to cross utilize staff and ensure quality checks are performed and accurate deliverables are submitted, and are critical to OST’s overall functionality once it is fully paperless.
By going paperless, the Federal Government saves taxpayer dollars and increases its efficiency. Further, as outlined by Forbes Council Member Eugene Xiong, the benefits of going paperless “protects documents from getting lost or destroyed, improves the security of data and confidential information, streamlines and accelerates critical business processes, and makes accessing documents and information faster and easier”.
Having built out the product and converted 17,900 pieces of paper records, OST and the AMSG Team is well on our way to becoming 100% paperless. Congratulations to our OST Customer and our AMSG Administrative Support Services Team for spearheading this transformative Government initiative.
Written by: Juania Owens, AMSG Investment Analyst Team Lead with Ashley Walker, AMSG Account Manager