Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt congratulated five state employee work teams for receiving the prestigious Governor's Award for Quality and Productivity. Receiving the Technology in Government Award was the eFolder Project -- Department of Labor and Industrial Relations/Office of Administration.

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations' Employment Security Division and the Office of Administration's Information Technology Services Division achieved a completely paperless operation by developing and implementing the eFolder System, an advanced electronic document management systems for unemployment insurance benefit claim processing. The initial challenge was to document all current and future business processes in order to convert the manual workflow and paper document file system to an electronic process. The goals were to improve staff productivity and customer service, reduce cost and risk, and provide for disaster recovery.

Improved customer service, productivity, reduction in risk, and cost were realized through an instant electronic redistribution of workload for maximum utilization of staff. With the implementation of the eFolder System, 14 percent fewer staff resolved 7.8 percent more cases in 2008 over the same quarter in the two previous years. Such a substantial increase could not have been realized without the eFolder System, according to a release from the Governor's Office. Additionally, annual expenditures for mailing, faxing, and printing were $104,268 which was immediately eliminated upon implementation of eFolder and payroll savings of $2,971,056 are anticipated based on current production and staff levels.

The Division of Employment Security (DES) realized an exceptional increase in processing cases from 54,027 in the first quarter of 2006 to 58,201 in the first quarter of 2008. This is a 25 percent increase in production per technician. Prior to the eFolder System, customers often had to wait for staff to find their paper files. If the file did not reside at that unit, the caller had to phone the center where the file was located. eFolder provides reduced phone time and improved customer service by providing all staff immediate access to information for customers statewide.

Originally the DES had no disaster recovery plan. A disaster striking one unit could potentially wipe out over 25 percent of the active claims documents. The daily transport of completed case documents to Central Office from three remote sites for imaging came with a risk and liability of losing documents for thousands of claimants. With eFolder, all correspondence is received in Jefferson City, immediately scanned, and distributed electronically to the appropriate unit affording complete recovery capability.

As the future of the DES continues to operate in the ever changing dynamics unemployment insurance environment, the eFolder System is poised to adapt to these changes and allow for future enhancements.