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US Senate to Reconsider Elimination of Paper Based Communication

Friday, March 08, 2013

Press release from the issuing company

London, UK – 'Consumers for Paper Options', a coalition of individuals and organizations advocating for the right to paper-based communications, today applauded a new Congressional resolution to protect access to paper-based options for government services and information. This bipartisan resolution (H.Res. 97), introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) and Mike Michaud (D-Maine), seeks to reverse recent federal initiatives to completely eliminate paper-based information and services, such as Social Security checks and earnings statements, savings bonds and income tax forms.

Federal agencies have been forcing Americans to go "paperless" without public comment or Congressional oversight, despite the fact that millions of Americans cannot access information in electronic formats and cybersecurity threats are on the rise. The Duffy-Michaud resolution seeks to bring these agency decisions under Congressional review, while directing the federal government to ensure that Americans receive paper information and services, unless they specifically choose electronic-only.

"Federal efforts to eliminate paper-based services and information are disenfranchising millions of Americans, including senior citizens, lower income Americans and those who are concerned about cyber-threats," said John Runyan, executive director of Consumers for Paper Options. "More than 30 million American households lack Internet access both at home and at work, and yet our government expects all citizens to e-file tax forms, manage their finances online and purchase savings bonds electronically." 

Runyan continued, "It's time for Congress to step in and protect equal and appropriate information access for all Americans. We are pleased to see Reps. Duffy and Michaud leading the charge to make federal agencies accountable for their decisions, and to defend the right for Americans to receive government information in whatever means they choose. The federal government has a duty to serve every citizen, regardless of which side of the digital divide they inhabit."

Martyn Eustace, Director of Two Sides, comments, 'Consumers for Paper Options' has done a great job in the US to highlight the growing tendency of Government departments and large organisations to drive unwilling consumers down a digital path whereas, in reality, research shows that consumers prefer to read from paper and value paper based communication above digital.

We also know that many consumers print out their bills for security so the term 'going paperless' is totally misleading. E billing and other digital communications are often promoted as environmentally friendly. There is significant evidence that this is just not true.

There is clearly a need to present the facts to large UK organisations, including Government, and discussions are continuing about launching a similar UK initiative in the very near future".

 

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