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Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there. You must be in search of a document. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s electronic file room.
This is what IDEM’s file room used to be like. Looks big, doesn’t it? It was big. The IDEM file room used to hold more than 54 million pages of information. It had so many documents, they couldn’t even all be put all together in the same location. And IDEM’s files only continue to grow, because with each passing day, more documents are created and must be stored.
Luckily for all Hoosiers, IDEM has a new way to manage this ever-expanding mountain of paperwork – the Virtual File Cabinet, or VFC for short. In March 2008, IDEM began the process of digitizing all of the agency’s files and creating a way that Hoosiers could access the files via the Internet 24/7. Thus, the VFC was born!
The only problem is, how do you find files and information in a “virtual cabinet”? While it may seem impossible at first, I’m here to show you just how easy and simple it can be. I think you’ll love the VFC so much, you’ll never want to search through paper again! Let’s check out the VFC.
The VFC was created to help all Hoosiers easily view public documents, but it also improves efficiency by preventing IDEM staff from doing the same work twice and raises our level of service to the public. The advantage is that you don’t have to physically visit IDEM’s file room in Indianapolis to view files and documents. You can view them online, 24/7, even if you’re working from home and you’re still in your jammies!
Just think! No driving, inconvenient schedules, or parking. Or, you know, getting your car towed... when you park illegally... in a fire zone... not that I did that on purpose.
The VFC works like an Internet search engine. Users enter various search criteria, for example, a business name or address, to find the documents they need. Many documents are already available on the VFC, but some will need to be added. Don’t worry; public documents are either already available or will be made available for your viewing on the VFC. Let me explain.
Once you have completed a search and located the title of the document you need, the VFC will offer you up to three options: “view,” “request” or “additional information,” depending on the document’s availability. If you are offered the option to “view” the document, you’ll have access to it right away. If you’re offered the option to “request” the document, it will need to be loaded onto the VFC and you’ll need to perform your search again in 2 or 3 business days.
Are you ready to learn more about your search options? Let’s go!