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eOAS - Electronic Document Management System

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The ultimate aim of eOAS is the electronic management of all documents of the Public Service, as well as the automation of the procedures and regulations ruling their creation, archiving, security, distribution and disposal, including their final destruction or long term preservation for future accessibility by the public and researchers. eOAS is a pioneering system in the area of Document Management, since it satisfies all the requirements of an integrated Electronic Records Management System and is currently the only one in Europe that provides such a degree of completeness in functionality.

Policy context

In the late 1980’s, as a result of a strategic study, the Government Computerisation Master Plan (GCP) was compiled. GCP was revised from time to time to reflect technological advancements as well as requirement changes.

The latest revision of the Government Computerisation Master Plan needed to include new infrastructure and strategic projects and to adjust the national Information Systems Strategy to a fast-changing technology environment for the implementation of the eEurope2005 and the i2010 programs.

As a result, the Strategy has as a major objective: the implementation of eGovernment, aiming to achieve the best possible quality of electronic services offered to the public, making full use of the new information and telecommunication technologies.

eOAS is one of the infrastructure projects included in the Information Systems Strategy of the Cyprus Administration and falls under the “Efficiency and Effectiveness “ objective of the i2010 program.

Description of target users and groups

All Cyprus government employees

Description of the way to implement the initiative

eOAS is currently installed and operates in real environment in 10 government organisations serving 800 users. Five of these organisations are using the newest web version. It is anticipated that within the next 5 years, eOAS will be installed to the entire public service of Cyprus, covering approximately 10.000 users in 80 organisations.

To coordinate the rollout of the system a Board has been constituted with members of several ministries and departments. Departmental Project Boards are also established for every new site in order to manage the installation and changeover efforts. Each board is chaired by the director of the user department. Senior Officers from the Department of IT Services and the Public Administrations and Personnel Department also participate.

The assigned Project Manager, the Technical Steering Committee and the Quality Assurance Team reports directly to the Project Board. Resources from System Support Group, User Liaison Officers and Trainers are made available to the PM according to specific project requirements.

The Public Administration and Personnel Department have set the official rules for handling the paper documents received by the departments after their insertion to eOAS and their handling as electronic documents.

Main results, benefits and impacts

The main functional characteristics of eOAS are: Records Management and Document Processing, including inbox style processing capabilities, extensive search and retrieval facilities; Retention/Disposal to facilitate the destruction or transfer for permanent preservation; Security and Access Control; Workflow Services; Management tools for job monitoring and status tracking; Remote access, enabling tele-working, and Audit Trail

eOAS is a pioneering system in the area of Document Management since it satisfies all the requirements of an integrated Electronic Records Management System. It has been designed in accordance to European and other international standards and is one of the few that provides such degree of completeness in functionality.

eOAS has been designed in such a way that offers a great degree of flexibility and allows customisation to fit the specific needs of the user organisation.

The functionality offered covers requirements in the areas of work assignment and processing (document filing, distribution, search), document disposal (destruction, permanent preservation, accessibility by the public and researchers) and Security as this is described in national and European regulations.

The system incorporates predefined electronic workflows, which automate the formal procedures and rules. it applies different workflows for different document types (incoming, outgoing, internal), as well as workflows to ensure authorisation and to enforce document security. Workflows are also applied on Disposal (between the organisation and the State Archives).

After one year of its operation at the Department of IT Services, the following savings where observed when the manual system was compared to the electronic one:
- There was approximately 50% reduction to the registry staff (measured on registry related work)
- 60% decrease in the average time required for filing a single document
- Average document forwarding time (ie transfer a document from one employee to another) was reduced from an average of 2 hours to less than a minute.
- Average time required for an incoming document to reach the employee responsible to take action was reduced from 20 hours to 1 hour.
- There was approximately 40% reduction to the number of document folders required by the electronic system as compared to the manual one.
- There was 100% reduction in folder circulation within the department (ie no manual folders where needed to be forwarded )
- “Missing” document or folder cases were eliminated.
- All requests for document/folder access were satisfied.
- Lower Administrative costs

Track record of sharing

Apart from the Government Organisations that will be included in the system rollout, the success of the system created an interest amongst other organizations (mainly Legal Entities under Public Law). In particular the following organisations have already signed a licence agreement with the Government in order to install and use eOAS:
- Cyprus Tourism Organization
- Technical University of Cyprus
- Commissioner of Telecommunications and Postal Regulations
- Cyprus Police Force
- University of Cyprus

The following organizations have also shown interest in purchasing eOAS and their applications have been forwarded to the Ministry of Finance for further processing:
- Cyprus Sports Organization
- Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber
- Water Board of Limassol

Lessons learnt

Lesson 1 - The successful implementation/operation of eOAS at a specific department relies extensively on factors other than the system's technical excellence. These factors have been identified during the first installations of the system and special attention is paid to them before the operation of the system in a new site. These factors are:
- Failure to secure strong management commitment
- Management reluctant to use the system
- Undisciplined departments - Resistance to change
- System initial teething problems and deign flaws biased the users
- Non-timely User Training
- Low degree of computer Literacy

Lesson 2 - Therefore, an action plan precedes the installation of the system in a new site. These measures include:
- Rollout Strategy dealing with Management and Technical issues.
- Management of Change
- Seminars to inform and prepare users
- Presentations and Workshops for Managerial Staff
- Funds for IT awareness seminars and Electronic Office tools training
- User involvement during System implementation
- User Awareness through publications (eg leaflets, posters, newsletters)
- User Training shortly before the live operation of the system

Case Info

Acronym:
eOAS
Start date:
2004
Operational date:
31 May 2006

Information

Target Users or Group:
Administrative
highlight:
Benchlearning Community, eGovernment, ePractice, IT-Governance, National Interoperability Framework Observatory, Procurement, IT & Standards (PITS), Telemedicine & Chronic Disease Management, Test Community example for Build up
Funding source:
Public funding national
Implementation cost:
€1-5,000
Keywords:
archiving, Preservation, records
Themes:
Efficiency & Effectiveness, Benchmarking, eGovernment, Infrastructure, Interoperability, Policy
My languages:
English, Greek
Type of service:
IT Infrastructures and products, Not applicable / Not available
Scope:
National
Technology choice:
Not applicable / Not available
Yearly cost:
Not applicable / Not available
Return on investment:
Not applicable / Not available
Type of initiative:
Project or service
Overall implementation approach:
Public administration