The National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional del Ecuador) is the legislative branch of the government of Ecuador, responsible for passing laws. In its daily work the Assembly generates a huge number of documents – some of them for legislative procedures, others part of administrative work.
Most documents are registered by the General Secretariat, namely the Document Management Unit. Paper documents are scanned to PDF files and uploaded into the System of Procedures Management DTS. Previously these documents were indexed manually on some desktop applications before being uploaded into DTS. On the one hand, the indexation allowed classification and searching of the documents within the system. On the other hand, manual processing took up too much time, thus further delaying all crucial lawmaking processes.
scanned per day
to manage the process
Within the framework of apparat optimization strategy, Provision #125398, issued by the President of the National Assembly, resolved that the documents were to be scanned to PDF and processed with optical character recognition technology, which allowed indexing, search, text mining and other benefits.
Specializing in optimization and document management software solutions, Inteli8 Ecuador is a licensed and certified representative of the world leader in document recognition and data capture technologies – ABBYY. So when the National Assembly addressed the system integrator for a solution, the answer was obvious – ABBYY Recognition Server.
Thanks to being server-based and thus highly scalable, ABBYY OCR solution not only resolved the problem of processing a huge volume of papers, but also provided centralized availability of the OCR service for the whole apparat.
The special Hot Folder feature allowed ABBYY Recognition Server to automatically import scans from e-mail and FTP folders. Thus law proposals and various other documents entered the system, where they were separated by key words and sorted.
After recognition and verification the documents were transferred to the indexing station for specifying document types and attributes. For some of the documents, type detection and indexing were done automatically, based on the structure and content of a document. For others, the “rubber-band” indexing feature made the process fast and efficient: instead of typing in the text, an operator simply outlined the necessary areas on the page, and the attribute fields were filled in automatically.
The daily document scanning and processing workflow (which included law proposals, administrative documents, financial papers etc.) made up about 6000 pages. By eliminating user involvement in the conversion process and connecting several processing stations to the server, the National Assembly’s apparat significantly reduced the time spent on document processing.
Moreover, searchable PDF files created by the program complied with the Assembly’s standard for long-term digital document archiving and fast access to the information.
There were only 7 operators managing the whole process: 3 for scanning papers, 1 for verification and quality control and 3 for document indexing. The total solution was deployed on the existing working environment. For instance, some workstations were set up for round-the-clock operation, and others for night-time OCR processing, while in the daytime these workstations were used to perform the usual office tasks.
Thanks to all the above-mentioned options the National Assembly of Ecuador not only improved its efficiency in fulfilling primary tasks, but also reduced the cost of daily paper processing.