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Bahrain Government Agency Tracks Files With RFID

The island nation's Survey and Land Registration Bureau has reduced the amount of time its staff spent searching for files, while also improving workflows, with a system from TrackIT Solutions.
By Rhea Wessel
Additionally, SLRB utilizes 20 desktop readers, though Ragib declines to name the company and model of the readers and tags used for the project, due to an agreement with the bureau. An employee processing a file immediately interrogates its RFID tag upon taking that file to his or her desk. The system is then updated with the particular file's location. Before moving the file to another desk, the worker once again interrogates the tag with the desktop reader. Tags are embedded in an adhesive label printed with SLRB's logo, and are attached to each file on the front, in the center of the folder's lower half.

Husain Ragib, TrackIT Solutions' applications manager
According to Ragib, improved workflow management is the system's main benefit. SLRB did consider a bar-code-scanning system, but chose RFID due to the reduced manual scanning it allowed, since workers must only remember to scan tags when taking files to their desks or moving them off their desks, thereby reducing the number of human errors. Little training was necessary for the staff to adapt to the new system, he says, though managers did require training on TrackIT's workflow-management software.

“The benefits of the file-tracking solution include saving time for our customers and money for our department. We are able to create an electronic record of process steps and retrieve records quickly, things that are important during internal and external audits,” said Bharucha.

SLRB plans to link the system with Bahrain's National ID program, in which every individual carries a smart identity card issued by the country's Ministry of the Interior that holds personal data, such as an individual's name and birth date. Once linked to the file-tracking system, the personal information of citizens who are deed-holders will be transferred to the file-tracking system automatically, in order to eliminate potential errors during data entry.

In addition, for a follow-on project, the bureau plans to tag approximately 200,000 archived files that it stores at its office building in Manama, as well as at a central archive facility. The timeframe for that project, however, has yet to be set, Ragib notes.

The Survey and Land Registration Bureau is not the only organization to use RFID to track files. The American University of Sharjah and dozens of other schools in the United Arab Emirates place tags on the academic certificates they issue, in order to ensure the documents' validity, as well as speed up the registration process (see UAE Universities Adopt RFID to Thwart Diploma Forgery).

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