The federal government has announced that, as of July 2013, all departments will be required to publish their documents in an electronic format on their websites. This new policy will make documents more accessible to the public, reduce paper waste, and save the government a significant portion of the $19 million it spent on the printing, distribution and storage of these documents in 2011-12.
President of the Treasury Board Tony Clement said the goal of the policy is “delivering information to Canadians in the most efficient and cost effective way.”
In addition to savings and accessibility, the policy has other potential benefits: it could provide better preservation of government documents, including audio and video recordings, through emerging digital technologies.
Those who prefer hard copies of documents need not fear, however. Although electronic publishing will be the primary standard for the distribution of documents, publications will still be printed for those who request it. Publications related to health, safety and security will also continue to be published in print formats.
This policy is just one of many ways the government is turning to technology to decrease costs, boost efficiency, and demonstrate that it can innovate. In recent years, they have also looked at using social media, mobile, and cloud technology to distribute information and connect with citizens.