Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Tracking Government Paper Documents Sought

Paper Records Can Be Tracked Too
April 8, 2013 - The Education Department’s contracting arm is investigating new ways to track paper documents even when regulations, security concerns or other technological limitations mean that those documents can’t be digitized, solicitation documents show.

The immediate goal is to track about 2,000 contracting files that are on paper, according to a request for information posted Thursday. The department is aiming to reduce its reliance on paper but expects it will have to maintain hard copies of many files for the next several years and some sensitive files forever, the document said.

The government’s struggle to move away from paper-based systems for information storage and citizen services has received significant attention in the past several weeks, spurred in large part by the uproar over the Veterans Affairs Department’s disability claims backlog. That backlog of paper-based benefit requests has not only forced veterans to wait a year or more for their claims to be evaluated, but it is threatening the structural integrity of a Veterans Benefits Administration office in North Carolina.

The public conversation has focused mainly on digitizing information rather than improving the tracking of paper files. read more>>>

"If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

As to the Veterans Administration:

Prior too this present Executive and Veterans administrations:

October 23, 2008 - And now VA investigators are trying to figure out if this one-time survey points to the likelihood that documents have been improperly destroyed for months or even years.

"Whatever this problem is, it didn't just start in the last two weeks," said Dave Autry, a spokesman for Disabled American Veterans. "It'd be unreasonable to assume that. Who knows what's been destroyed."

The documents, which didn't have duplicates at the VA, would have been critical in deciding veteran pension and disability claims. As a result, many veterans are asking whether their delayed or denied claims were affected by lost paperwork. read more>>>

Oct 16, 2008 - VA claims found in piles to be shredded

October 24, 2008 - House panel will target VA shredding

February 11, 2009 - Veterans' Claims Found in Shredder Bins

And more disturbing in relation to even before and through the early years of these two wars and occupations, this:

Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans
Nov. 9, 2012 - A strange thing happened when Christopher DeLara filed for disability benefits after his tour in Iraq: The U.S. Army said it had no records showing he had ever been overseas.


DeLara's case is part of a much larger problem that has plagued the U.S. military since the 1990 Gulf War: a failure to create and maintain the types of field records that have documented American conflicts since the Revolutionary War.

A joint investigation by ProPublica and The Seattle Times has found that the record keeping breakdown was especially acute in the early years of the Iraq war, when insurgents deployed improvised bombs with devastating effects on U.S. soldiers. The military has also lost or destroyed records from Afghanistan, according to officials and previously undisclosed documents. read more>>>

And that above is only a tiny portion of what the previous executive administration their congresses, rubber stamping two more wars, and especially the VA's administrations did and didn't do as to our veterans community especially those joining from these two recent long occupations and going back to the Desert Storm military personal. The only VA administration, in my lifetime and as a in country Vietnam Vet, last year of my four, that tried to bring the VA up to date in the many area's of veterans issues they are charged to carry out, the people's responsibility, was the Cleland VA administration and he was blocked from doing so by the peoples representatives, the congresses, obstruction especially of the obvious ends up costing tons more when the many issues of budget needs hit in mass especially in relation to wars ordered into, in that time.

“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

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