The core idea of this article is to comtemplate on a most commonly discussed topic – Does making documents accessible over the web eliminate the need for printing documents? Here is the answer which you may not find in other all articles.
This is an interesting question! The answer is NO. The very simple explanation would be that until we build computer systems that is 100% reliable and accessible, we will require to have paper documents. Take the example of medical documents of a patient accessible by a doctor over the intranet website. Suppose there are no paper records and there is a system outage – Where will the doctor look into to review the patient’s medical history and such?
Also, Looking at the current E-Government sites of US, it seems like an islands of information. I don’t know about the current system framework that US E-Governance system, but it would be a nice strategy to categorize the scattered information, build a centralized database which improves performance and data integrity and then replicating it in multiple locations. There is lack of centralized information (authoritative, legal, sensitive) that is fully reliable. This is an issue in the global Internet spectrum. Most of it are covered by copyrights, still there is huge information out there, as you said, which has no authority.
NDIIPP’s effort is praiseworthy and is on a different line – preserving digital information that might otherwise get lost by act of nature or by negligence. High dependence on digital storage and not leaving behind structured paper documents is a real problem. In my opinion, NDIIPP’s efforts should also be directed so that it leads to storage in multiple digital formats in multiple geographical locations to aid disaster recovery.