Electronic File System (ELAK)
System of electronic file processing in Austria
As experience has too often shown, paper files can be lost, misplaced, incorrectly filed, or land in a back corner of the archives. One of the most important developments of eGovernment for public administration is the Electronic File System, called ELAK. It enables seamless communication between public authorities and other governmental or private sector service points and shortens reaction and processing time by up to 15 percent.
In as early as 2001, the ELAK system was launched department-wide in the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Federal Chancellery. Since then, ELAK has been rolled out country-wide and ELAK systems are also being introduced step by step in provincial governments.
The advantages of electronic file processing are obvious. ELAK substantially reduces the amount of time required for processing applications since documents no longer need to be sent back and forth between ministries and public authorities. Instead, they can be processed conveniently online. Processes are standardised and can run parallel to one another. Enquiries can be carried out directly from a desk and the process workflow is completely transparent. With practically just a push of a button you can find out at any time of day how far the file has been processed. Furthermore, there are never any problems due to changes in the format of the file (printed copies, scans) because ELAK is based on a standardised system with consistent user interfaces.
At any rate, the days of traditional paper-oriented file processing are numbered in the majority of cases; file handling and processing is done by automated business processes and the administration is working continuously on the further development of the ELAK. The ELAK of the future will thus also integrate fundamental elements of Social Enterprise Network solutions in order to adapt the administration workplace to the ever new requirements.