Move to Digital Government Requires Extra Document Security

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As a new report urges the UK government to eliminate paper and completely digitise its activities, PHS Datashred warns that redundant documents need to be disposed of securely to maintain confidentiality.

PHS Datashred
There is a risk of confidential information being leaked if the old paperwork is not disposed of securely.

Independent charity Policy Exchange released a report earlier this month stating that the government is wasting billions of pounds by relying on paper based documentation in public services.

The report, called ‘Smaller, Better, Faster, Stronger’, estimates that the government would save up to £70 billion by 2020 by bringing paper-based services to a central online location like the Gov.uk website.

Plans have already been released by the government to digitise some of the most popular transactions carried out by the public, such as paying car tax and booking driving tests.

But secure shredding company PHS Datashred warns that data security should be priority in the switch from paper to digital format.

Anthony Pearlgood, Managing Director of PHS Datashred, said: “The waste from the current government system is staggering, with the Crown Prosecution Service printing one million sheets of paper every day.

“Luckily there are some really easy ways that the government could start reducing this waste, like accepting electronic proof of ID and using a universal system for accepting online payments.

“But whilst switching to digital would generate billions of pounds worth of savings, there is a risk of confidential information being leaked if the old paperwork is not disposed of securely.”

The Data Protection Act 1998 states that organisations must employ a data destruction service to dispose of redundant confidential information. If a business fails to do so, they risk being fined up to £500,000.

Anthony Pearlgood said: “If the government does start bringing its paper-based services to a central digital location, it will need to destroy old documentation in compliance with legislation.

“One way of doing this would be using a secure shredding company like PHS Datashred. As well as onsite or off-site shredding services, we offer a Certificate of Destruction and a full audit trail to prove that the sensitive information has not been leaked.”

Notes for editors

About PHS
The PHS Group is a leading workplace services provider, and has traded in the UK since 1963. It has a diverse service portfolio aimed at improving work and leisure spaces, while making life much easier for facilities, building and people managers.

PHS really does ‘do more than you think’, providing products and services for:

  •     Crate rental and packaging
  •     Interior and exterior planting
  •     Laundry equipment and workwear
  •     Matting and flooring
  •     Records storage and management
  •     Shredding and recycling
  •     Testing and compliance
  •     Washrooms
  •     Waste management
  •     Water machines
  •     Workplace consumables

PHS provides these direct to UK companies, and also operates as a tier one supplier to the facilities management market, supporting the integrated service propositions of most of the major FMs.

The PHS Group’s annual turnover for the year ending March 2012 was £422 million. It employs around 5,000 personnel, operates from a wide network of 153 regional service branches, and takes care of over 250,000 customers at over 450,000 locations in the UK, Ireland, Holland, Belgium and Spain.

http://www.phs.co.uk/

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Chloe Hibbert
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