ISG eForm Project Gets the Green Light from the Forest Service
WASHINGTON, March 7, 2011 – The USDA Forest Service has successfully deployed a paperless Request for Reimbursement of Miscellaneous Expenses Form (FS-6500-0229), one of the first eForms to be deployed into production for the agency. U.S. Forest Service employees submit nearly 10,000 expense forms annually. Automation of the process is estimated to save the agency nearly $350,000 per year, thus reducing taxpayer financial burden.
“It’s great to be on the cutting edge of change”, says Paul Kennerly, Senior Financial Analyst with the Forest Service Office of Budget and Finance. “This truly is a smart form.” In addition to the significant financial savings, a paperless expense form offers employees peace of mind. The entire reimbursement process takes place transparently and in real-time. Employees are updated electronically when their expense reports have been approved, processed, and distributed.
Implementation of the electronic solution lays the groundwork for the Forest Service to begin large-scale conversion of a host of agency forms. Featuring digital signature, the automation program re-engineered business processes that will pave the way for the Forest Service to operate more efficiently. “This was a complex form and a major breakthrough,” says Sandy Watts, Forest Service Resource Information Manager of Business Operations. “Many of the functionalities developed with the Request for Reimbursement of Miscellaneous Expenses form will be extendable to other business processes with
The Request for Reimbursement of Miscellaneous Expenses eForm was launched for use by Forest Service personnel this month in four pilot regions, the Gifford Pinchot and Medicine Bow Routt National Forests, as well as the Albuquerque Service Center and the Washington Office. A similar electronic form for non-agency personnel is currently in development, and when deployed, will double the agency savings on the form annually.
George Vargas, Assistant Director of the Forest Service Office of Regulatory Management & Regulatory Services (ORMS), who oversees the agency’s national forms program, adds that “the E-Forms initiative represents a great collaborative effort between agency technologists and the operations staff to support Forest Service operations.”
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