Since 2006, the requirement for using the PDF/A ISO standard as a preferred document format has been increasing in proposals and projects of public authorities and administrations. There are even some national agencies that now explicitly require PDF/A as their standard archiving format. This follows the concept of relying on open standards, instead of company-specific formats which can lead to problems in handling the documents in the future.
A prominent example is in Denmark, where all governmental agencies are required to exclusively use ODF for working documents and PDF/A for archival documents beginning in 2011. A similar regulation was issued by the Ministry of Government of Norway, which relies on HTML, PDF, PDF/A and ODF. The French Direction Générale de la Modernisation de l’Etat regards PDF/A as the base format for archive documents.
In Germany, support for PDF/A is being demanded in most official proposals, as it conforms to the guidelines of the SAGA standard (open standards, open source implementations available) for public administration. And since 2008, Switzerland is also committed to using PDF/A for all documents which are exchanged between the authorities and the citizens, and thus have to be archived.
PDF/A is not only getting more and more popular in Europe, but also in countries like Dubai. A good example for adopting the ISO standard is presented by Sanat Kulkarni, who speaks about the use of PDF/A in the Road and Transport Authority of Dubai. There, the focus is on converting digitised paper into PDF/A-1 documents.
Another European country in the process of adopting PDF/A into their public administration is the Netherlands, which is following an approach of looking at the ISO standard as an integral part of their so-called records management. Dominique Hermans will give an idea on where the actual Dutch developments in the domain of records management are headed.