Rhode Island government still uses typewriters, microfiche
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Some areas of Rhode Island government still rely on machine relics like electric typewriters, dot-matrix printers and microfiche for personnel filing and other uses.
State workers handwrite their time cards, which are stored in boxes and then eventually typed out and printed on dot-matrix printers, WPRI-TV reported.
“I trained a couple of younger employees,” said State Human Resources Analyst Kelly Durkin-Murray said. “They were quite shocked."
The five-ply paper from the dot-matrix printers is separated and hand-delivered to other state offices, and long-term personnel documents are stored on microfiche.
“Human resources takes those forms and then they enter all that information in the (computer) system, after they make sure the calculations on those forms are correct,” said Kyle Adamonis, executive director of human resources for the Department of Administration. “It takes far more time than it should.”
The inefficiencies are also expensive, as they require more paper, ink and repairs to decades-old equipment with parts that aren't easy to find.
Gov. Gina Raimondo's current budget proposal includes a line for a new system to modernize state HR, payroll, finance functions, grant management and other tasks. The total cost of the project is projected at $93 million, minus $37.7 million in what the DOA said would be “cost savings.” Some of that would come from federal funding and other sources.
Rhode Island is one of 12 states with antiquated data systems, according to the Department of Administration. Seven of them, including Florida and Illinois, are currently trying to modernize.