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About the contributor
Shawna McAlearney

Shawna McAlearney is the Marketing Specialist for Appligent Document Solutions.
More contributions
What is a “Competence Center”?

The PDF Association started in 2006 as the “PDF/A Competence Center”. The mission was to identify – and thereby establish – a common interpretation of the PDF/A-1 specification. With that accomplished through meetings open to all members, the secondary …

“PDF can do THAT?!”

PDF files deliver a complete package of information that defines a document; everything that’s needed to represent the text, graphics and layout that the recipient receives. To most people, PDF is “electronic paper” – the digital expression of a cellul …

The only digital document format

What is a “document”? A document is a record of some (typically written) content – a publication, a contract, a statement, a painting – at a moment in time. Until the advent of computers (and scanners), the media typically considered useable for such r …

Save the Date: PDF Days Europe 2018, May 14-16, in Berlin

PDF Days Europe is the most popular PDF event of the year. It’s where the PDF industry meets, and where institutional and corporate users come to learn what else PDF could do for them. The first two PDF Days will offer a broad range of educational sessions focussed on current and perennial topics in the world of PDF technology implementation.

The Power of the Page

It’s a question that vexes vendors of web-based solutions everywhere: why do people still insist on PDF files? And why does PDF’s mindshare keep going up? “PDF is such antediluvian technology!” they say. “It’s pre-web, are you kidding me? It’s so old-f …

PDF/A in Government


The use of PDF/A here is highly dependent on the type of public or government agency. PDF/A can be meaningfully applied in agencies when digital or digitized records have to be retained. Typical examples are proposals, construction records and legal notifications.

Recommendations and Guidelines for PDF/A

Federal Government Coordination and Advisory Agency for IT in the Federal Administration assesses PDF/A-1

The Federal Government Coordination and Advisory Agency for IT in the Federal Administration (KBSt) has recently published the updated Version 4.0 of SAGA (Standards and Architecture for E-Government Applications). The new version places more emphasis on PDF/A-1 and explicitly recommends this standard. SAGA describes standards, technologies, and methods for using information technology in federal authorities and provides recommendations for E-Government in the public sector. The comprehensive report can be found at www.kbst.bund.de, including a download link to the SAGA document (SAGA Version 4.0 is not yet available in English).

PDF/A for long-term archiving in MoReq2

MoReq is a European specification for electronic document and records management. The abbreviation stands for “Model Requirements for the Management of Electronic Documents and Records”. MoReq was originally developed for a standardized exchange of documents between the European Commission and the governments of member states. The newest version of MoReq (MoReq2) includes PDF/A in the list of recommended data formats, e.g. for scanned documents and for long-term archiving. More information can be found at www.moreq2.de; a copy of the standard can be downloaded here.

Austria: BAIK uses PDF/A for its collection of land register deeds

The Federal Chamber of Architects and Engineering Consultants in Austria requires that publicly available electronic documents comply with the PDF/A-1b standard. In addition, the authenticity of electronic documents that are being added to the land register will be assured through use of a qualified digital signature. More details are available on the BAIK website: www.baik-archiv.at. A good overview is also offered in the overview diagram of the BAIK archive.

Norway: Openly available formats to be mandatory for published government information

The Norwegian Government has stipulated that all information published on state-run websites should in the future be saved in an openly available document format, such as HTML, PDF resp. PDF/A, or ODF. PDF/A is recommended for all documents that have a binding layout. This regulation comes into effect on January 1, 2009. More details can be found in the announcement from the Ministry of Government Administration and Reform.

Switzerland: Communication between public administration and citizens using PDF/A

The Swiss Federal Council, in a draft resolution for “Regulations for electronic transmission within the scope of administrative proceedings”, is turning to PDF/A. In the future, electronic communications between the administration and citizens concerning directives will use PDF/A format because of its suitability for long-term archiving. The regulation comes into effect on January 1, 2008 and should be fully implemented within 10 years. Further details are available from the Swiss federal authorities at www.admin.ch.


Tags: BAIK, Federal Chamber of Architects and Engineering Consultants, MoReq2, Swiss Federal Council, government
Categories: Government, PDF/A