Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Hawaii Senate goes paperless

Two years ago, the Hawaii State Senate implemented a number of policy and procedural changes intended to reduce the use of paper. A recent analysis has concluded that this new way of business has saved $1.2 million and 8 million pages of paper during the past two years. Among the changes made were making documents available on CDs rather than in printed form, placing all bills, testimony and committee reports online, and providing all senators and key staffers with laptop computers, document-reading software and always-available wireless internet connections.

The Middlesex North Registry of Deeds has been very aggressive in making our operations paperless. We stopped printing paper record books back in 2001 at Book 12442. Since we are now on Book 23743, that means that the last 11301 record books created (representing 3,390,300 pages) exist only as electronic images. Reducing the amount of paper used to print documents in the registry was one of the primary reasons we have made all of our documents freely available on our website, www.lowelldeeds.com. Now, if a customer wants a paper copy of a document, the customer can print it with his own printer and paper. Our policy of scanning all newly recorded documents and immediately returning them to the customer has saved hundreds of thousands of thousands of envelopes (not to mention the cost of return postage). Finally, our five-year old commitment to electronic recording of documents is helping the legal profession and other entities in the real estate related private sector make the transition to paperless real estate closings, a practice that will increase efficiency in an environmentally friendly manner.

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