Senior bureaucrats in Kerala could soon be working their smartphones to sign files in their department, even when they are on official duty abroad. They will be able to track files and sign them from across the world and even keep a constant tab on the work of employees in their office back home without missing a single overseas assignment.

All this will be possible because of a new mobile application developed by Ospyn Technologies, a Technopark- based firm, for its proprietary electronic file processing system that is being implemented in government departments. The Digital Document Filing System (DDFS), as it is called, networks the different functions in an office and is a critical element of the e- governance project launched by the government.

The mobile app has been developed to work on the iphone and ipad as well as Android- powered smartphones, according to the company’s chief executive and managing director Prasadu Varghese and Chief Technology Officer Kishore Kumar. They say it is the next step in the evolution of DDFS.

DDFS is designed to address the delay in the physical movement of files from one table to another in government offices. What it essentially does is to replace paperwork with electronic files. The system is currently operational in 57 offices of 15 departments. As many as 2,000 government employees are networked through the system.

In the Secretariat, the seat of the government administration, DDFS has been implemented in the departments of Higher Education, Information Technology and Food and Civil Supplies. Ospyn has been given the mandate to implement the system in seven departments.

DDFS provides tools to create, retrieve, distribute and organise documents. It significantly enhances efficiency while reducing the cost and difficulty of maintaining paper records, Mr.Varghese explains.

In the Secretariat, DDFS has been integrated with the archival database prepared by scanning old files and converted them to the digital format. This makes it possible for officials to access old record files without leaving their seat.

“In the conventional system, the average time for a tapal to become a GO is one month; with DDFS, it has come down to one week”, says Mr. Kumar. “Decision making is much easier. Files can be tracked online and traced to officials”. Even putting a chit on a file, a common practice among government employees, is possible electronically. Linking, bookmarking- everything can be replicated in electronic form.

The system minimises the scope for manipulation of files. Missing files, a common complaint in government offices could soon be a thing of the past, says Mr.Varghese.

The third version of DDFS to be released soon will be a minimised variety of the system