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Quinn press release: Legislation to Increase Use of Electronic Records in State Government

The office of Gov. Pat Quinn issued the following news release Wednesday:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Increase Use of Electronic Records in State Government New Law will Save Money and Resources by Allowing State Agencies to Send and Store Records Electronically

CHICAGO - July 28, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that allows state agencies and constitutional officers to send and store records electronically. The new law will help the state save money and conserve natural resources.

“State government must better leverage technology to conserve our natural resources and protect the environment,” said Governor Quinn. “This new law will help the state use our resources more efficiently, save money, and help the environment.”

Senate Bill 2630 updates Illinois law to allow state agencies to transmit or retain records electronically, unless doing so conflicts with the State Records Act or the agency’s administrative rules. In many instances, current state law does not allow agencies to e-mail documents or to store them electronically, requiring instead that they be printed for mailings and for storage.

The law does not require agencies to transfer previously archived documents to electronic format.

The new law also creates an advisory board that will develop best practices for state agencies on how to implement electronic records management and retention policies. The best practices will be developed by July 1, 2011. Every state agency and constitutional office will be required to use the guidelines beginning in early 2012 to promote the use of electronic means of creating, transmitting and retaining state records.

The new law was an initiative of State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.

“This new law will help bring state government into the 21st Century in both a fiscally and environmentally responsible way,” Giannoulias said. “Making the switch to electronic records will not only help save natural resources, it will ultimately reduce costs associated with mailing, printing, and storing documents as well as buying paper and envelopes.”

The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Thomas Holbrook (D-Belleville) and passed the Illinois General Assembly unanimously. It takes effect immediately. ###

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