Electronic Imaging

AIMD-95-26R: Published: Nov 10, 1994. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 1994.

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Pursuant to a Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) request, GAO provided its views on whether the electronic images produced by the Distribution and Retrieval Image-based Value Enhancer System constitute records. GAO noted that: (1) federal agencies are not required to retain financial records in their original paper form; (2) electronic technology can be used to process, store, and retrieve data that are currently retained on paper documents as long as adequate controls are implemented to ensure data integrity; (3) the accuracy of electronically stored data can be equal to that of a paper document; (4) DFAS needs to ensure that electronically stored documents accurately represent the corresponding paper documents, any changes to an original digital image can be detected, access to the images is limited, and the digital images are not destroyed and remain accessible until applicable records retention periods expire; and (5) DFAS needs to maintain an unaltered copy of original data images to ensure data integrity.

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