Storage of Electronic Documents and Data at the National Archives of Latvia Read full summary in English
Ever since electronic documents with legal force equivalent to that of paper documents have entered our daily lives and the majority of state administration processes have been transferred to electronic information systems, the role of the archives has become unclear — whether an inhabitant can rely on that the archives will be able to issue statements in the areas, which are currently processed in electronic form, many years later.
The audit concerning the storage of electronic documents was carried out in order to assess the development of the area of electronic document circulation and storage in the country, realising, that NAL have extensive possibilities for improving the storage of electronic documents. Audit was performed in the Ministry of Culture, National Archives of Latvia, Centre for Culture Information Systems, State Revenue Service, Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, Court Administration, Register of Enterprises, and Riga District Court
- Transfer from the paper document storage process to the acceptance and storage of electronic documents is challenging in technological terms.
- The archives have been implementing the project for the creation of an electronic document receipt and storage infrastructure for ten years now - software developed for 4 million euros, but it has not been introduced, so institutions have not started using it.
- Inhabitants and merchants have no access to the developed e-services.
- The State Audit Office does not contest the need and significance of the project for fulfilling archive functions in order to ensure modern work with institutions and the provision of services to inhabitants, yet the achieved progress is insufficient.
- Introduction of information system will resolve only the technical aspect of the receipt of electronic documents of institutions at the NAL.
- Despite that the archives have already assessed that 108 state information systems contain data with archive value, there is no single understanding as to which data stored in state information systems and their attributes form an electronic document and are to be selected for transferring to the archives.
- The situation, in which institutions continue storing electronic data and they are not transferred to the archives, cause a risk that the NAL might no longer fulfil the function of storage of electronic documents and data in the future and the NAL’s task will be actually fulfilled by the archives of institutions.
- In result electronic documents are stored at the NAL in an insignificant amount, which equals only to 0.27% of the total number of cases accepted for storage over three years. Data only from 2 state information systems is transferred to NAL.
- Circulation of electronic documents in state administration does not work — 49% of institutions communicate with each other in paper form.
- Circulation and storage of electronic documents at institutions should be a daily challenge, rather than a future challenge, as 12 years have lapsed since the Electronic Documents Law came into force.
- Studies show that by increasing the circulation of electronic documents even by one per cent, the state would save up to EUR 114 thousand every year, because circulation and storage of electronic documents in general is several times cheaper than the storage of paper documents.