In June 2021, Vietnam announced its first e-government development strategy towards a digital government in the 2021-2025 period. The strategy sets out a vision to 2030 that Vietnam would be ranked among the top 30 countries in the world in terms of e-government and digital government, according to the United Nations ranking.
The strategy identifies five key target groups and a number of national key tasks; one of which is developing national databases on population, land and enterprises, alongside developing specialised data on finance, insurance, agriculture, education, health, employment and social security.
In order to meet the goals set out in the e-government development strategy, the Justice Departments across 63 cities/provinces in Vietnam needed to create a unified central database, which required all judicial records, dating from the 1800s to be digitised. The records including birth certificates, death declarations, marriage certificates and adoption records, came in many forms – including typed and handwritten documents in both English and French, in sizes ranging from A4, A3, and A2, and many were stored in book-binding format.
Document quality was also a key concern. With age, paper documents had deteriorated, some were damaged, and the information contained within had faded over time, the ink in some instances was blurred and smudged, all of which made accurate information capture more challenging. This, coupled with the variance in paper sizes and the fragility of the older documents meant that it was paramount to source a document scanner that offered exceptional image quality, was capable of handling media of all sizes, and which would not cause further damage to what were already delicate documents.
Kodak Alaris partner Digital Solutions Global Co., Ltd (DSG) recommended the digitisation process should be conducted using a combination of scanners from Kodak Alaris and DSG’s SOHO SCAN software.
DSG provided 30 Kodak i3200 Scanners, 100 Kodak S2050 Scanners along with the Kodak A3 Flatbed Accessory to manage the larger documents.
The back scanning project which was led by DSG, took one and a half years to complete and involved the capture of four million documents.
Scanners from Kodak Alaris are designed to be easy to use and deliver superior image quality which was critical in this project due to the age and fragility of the original documents.
Blurred, poorly scanned documents with blemishes, unclear images or lighter text, will result in poor recognition meaning the optical character recognition (OCR) results will suffer. Often hard-to-read documents are scanned in a separate batch with different settings, often at a higher resolution, which results in unnecessarily large file sizes or increased background noise levels. If a document is left in the regular flow of documents without image enhancement, quality control checks tend to reject them. This results in a rescan, or the requirement to conduct manual indexing or data extraction.
Scanners from Kodak Alaris deliver clear, crisp images which greatly enhances OCR, with no loss of scanning speed and features including Intelligent Document Protection which ‘listens’ for problems and alerts the user before jams or misfeeds occur and Perfect Page technology which provides state-of-the-art capabilities for image enhancement, even for very challenging documents and mixed document batches, ensured a smooth and efficient digitisation process.
The A3 Flatbed Accessory also enabled larger sized documents to be captured quickly and efficiently.
DSG SOHO SCAN software includes advanced OCR tools which when combined with scanners from Kodak Alaris ensures that once documents are captured, the information contained within is searchable and usable.
The solution automatically identifies document types and supports digitisation process definition - scanning, multiple data entry, quality checking, etc. and synchronisation between workstations enables centralised management.
Other key features include:
The digitisation of the judicial records has significantly improved the availability of information and is an important component of the national digital transformation.
By creating an electronic civil status database and enabling the use of civil status registration and management software, the department has reformed its administrative procedures. Digital documents can now be retrieved and accessed easily and in real-time. Previously, individuals had to request access to paper-based documents, for example if they needed an additional copy of a birth certificate. Each request required a civil status specialist to go to the document archive to find the original, then create another copy to return to the person requesting it. This process typically took several days to complete.
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