LA County to Convert Paper to E-Docs

The documents are converted to electronic files to allow for automated retrieval and compliance with legal requirements

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday authorized a five-year contract, which could cost as much as $37 million, to convert paper documents to electronic files for storage.

The contract applies to documents generated by various county agencies, including the Sheriff's and Probation departments and the district attorney's and public defender's offices.

The documents are converted to electronic files to allow for automated retrieval and compliance with legal requirements to keep records for years or even decades.

SourceCorp BPS Inc. -- the winner of a bidding process that involved 13 companies -- was awarded a five-year contract, which includes three one-year extension options. The board approved expenditures of up to $37 million over the life of the contract, including any extensions.

Supervisor Don Knabe quizzed a representative of the Information Systems Advisory Body, the county group responsible for recommending the contract, about SourceCorp's 3 cents-per-scanned-page bid.

“I have some concern that someone's trying to buy the bid,” Knabe said, noting that SourceCorp had won a 2005 contract as the second-place bidder and claimed at the time that no one could make money at 4 cents per page.

Knabe said that since labor was the primary cost of the service, he was skeptical the company could now offer a profitable contract at 3 cents per page.

But John Ruegg, director of the advisory group, said due diligence had included a site visit to SourceCorp, and noted the firm had invested millions of dollars in high-speed scanners and grown into a “large, well-capitalized company” able to offer lower prices based on high-volume contracts.

Knabe ultimately joined his colleagues in the 4-0 vote -- Mark Ridley- Thomas was absent -- to authorize the SourceCorp contract, but with amended terms so that any cost over and above $37 million would require the board's specific approval.

“We will be watching for change orders -- trust me,” Knabe said.

This type of county contract, for commodity services available from multiple providers and not reliant on proprietary technology, is not subject to review by the county's chief information officer.

In a separate action, the board appointed Richard Sanchez as chief information officer at an annual salary of $214,000. Sanchez has been the acting CIO since April 2008 and has worked for the county for more than 35 years.
 

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