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The Real Cost of the Federal Government’s Paper Processes

December 1 2022

3 min read

“We are a paper-based organization operating in a digital world economy.”

These are the words of IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC).

The Federal Government’s cost of lagging behind? Nearly 39 billion dollars each year, according to C_TEC’s report.

The Problem with Legacy Paper-based Processes

Americans have come to expect a paperwork nightmare when dealing with the government. Confusing forms, varying requirements to complete them, and lack of digitization lead to a staggering number of hours and dollars lost.

Processes such as drivers’ license and passport applications and renewals, social security card applications, and health record access all fall victim to the government’s lagging document processing solutions. Legacy document processing technology simply can’t keep up with the needs of the U.S. population.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. By using intelligent automation, the Federal Government can streamline paper-intensive processes to increase citizen satisfaction, especially among historically underserved populations.

Bleeding Wallets

When Americans access federal government services, they are using one of the nearly 10,000 government forms available to process their request. From those 9,856 forms, the federal government must process 106 billion submissions each year.

This results in 10.5 billion hours of work for American citizens—at an estimated cost of $117 billion to the public. Furthermore, the cost for the federal government to process all these documents using the current paper methods costs $38.7 billion, based on statistics from June 2022.

Citizen Facing Services are under the microscope to operate faster and at higher quality levels: tax returns, disability claims, passport applications, visa applications, immigration status, airplane and maritime vehicle registrations, government assisted home loans, etc.

To stop the hemorrhaging of vast amounts of money and lost labor, the government must automate its document processing operations.

Looking to the Future

According to McKinsey, government digitization could generate $1 trillion in additional growth worldwide. And digitizing government services would do more than just better serve Americans, it would also cut costs, increase efficiency, and reduce waste. But it doesn’t stop there.

Says C_TEC President Jordan Crenshaw, “Increased government digitization doesn’t just mean saved time and money. It also means providing greater accountability and access to underserved communities when it comes to utilizing government services.”

Document processing automation will help government agencies improve productivity while reigning in spending by automating repetitive tasks and manual processes—making it possible to collect and process data faster, at less cost, and with more accuracy.

Automation in the public sector can drive a broad range of benefits far beyond cost savings too, including:

  • A better citizen experience with improved outcomes
  • Greater efficiency
  • Higher job satisfaction & more meaningful work for government employees
  • Data-driven decision-making

Meeting Expectations

Consumers expect to interact with businesses online. They shop online, schedule appointments online, and pay  bills online. It only makes sense that in the 21st century, the government meets citizens where they are when it comes to using public sector services.

The good news? Hyperscience can help government agencies modernize legacy technology and get spend back under control. By combining human rationale with the processing power of machine learning, document processing can be made a highly automated operation—one that empowers employees, streamlines business processes, and better serves citizens.

To see how Hyperscience can make a difference, contact us or join us for one of our regularly scheduled demos.