Boston is the latest of 400 municipal and county governments to implement a paperless system for official record keeping, according to a recent item in the Boston Globe.
An investment of $35,000 plus $23,000 in annual fees is expected to save Boston taxpayers $35,000 per year over current practices which include paper filing systems that exceed 300,000 copies per year, stenographers, and slow, spotty access to official data.
The system and support package provided by Utah based SIRE Technologies will allow citizens and council members alike to search online in real-time for documents, memos, discussions and indexed clips from official archived videos of meetings, conferences, scheduled events and announcements.
A SIRE spokesman said the greatest benefit of the system will be the ability of people not at the meetings to research what took place, whether they are looking today or years from now. This could radically affect the "closed door" atmosphere we see all too often in local politics.
Las Vegas, Nevada has a version of the system online here, with available public records going back to 2003. Irvine, CA estimates they save $100,000 annually over their old printing distribution methods. Other clients include Modesto and Sacramento, CA and other locales in Arizona, Florida and Utah.
Some clients have seen user requests for information go up by triple because of the new ease of access. SIRE boasts that saved trips to the county clerk reduces traffic, fossil fuel use and pollution. The Office of the Attorney General in Florida claims to have saved $660,000 upon implementation of the package.