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  • Success Story

North Pacific Fishery Management Council Saves $30,000 Annually by Going Paperless


The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC), operating out of Alaska, had a big task: send out 750-page agendas (1.5 reams per packet) to 80 council members all over the Pacific Northwest. Using Legistar, NPFMC is now able to reduce the number of staff members and time it takes to compile and assemble an agenda. The Council also uses iLegislate to send council members agendas electronically – saving time, money, and effort.

A lot of our Council Members are on fishing boats, and they can be out on the Bering Sea and still have their tablets where they can download all of their information before they leave port. That’s been a change for a lot of our Council Members.
Peggy Kircher, Administrative Assistant


  • $30,000 Per year savings
  • 50,000 Unused sheets of paper annually
  • $7,000 Shipping costs recouped
Must have Granicus Solutions

Overwhelmed by Paper and High Costs

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) is one of eight regional councils in the United States that manages fisheries; it also happens to be the largest. Agendas for Council meetings are so large, NPFMC staffers had to start compiling them a month in advance.
Historically, members of the council attended 10-day meetings accompanied by large agendas. More often than not, these agendas were comprised of a ream and a half of paper each, or roughly 750 pages. With 80 members on the council, NPFMC would go through 60-100,000 sheets of paper per meeting. “Our analyses that people needed to review were getting bigger and they needed more time to review them,” remembers Maria Shawback, Council Administrator. “We were just getting overwhelmed with paper. I mean, really overwhelmed.” Additionally, the Council’s printing costs were astronomical.
Many council members – lobbyists, fishermen, legislators, and more – had to travel to attend meetings, and having binders full of paper forced them to check extra bags, another added cost for the Council. Packets also had to be shipped to these council members, costing the Council $11,300 per year.


Digital Solutions Better Inform Council Members and Save Resources

Wanting to conduct paperless meetings, NPFMC began using Legistar to compile agendas, and iLegislate to distribute agendas to each council member on a tablet. By doing so, they’re saving $30,000 per year in printing and machine costs. This includes the paper, toner, and the expensive copier they once had to use for printing.

In addition to the 80-100 copies of the agenda for meeting attendees, the Council can now allow any meeting attendees (sometimes as many as 200) to receive the agenda electronically as well.

Council members and other meeting attendees appreciate being able to view their agenda packets from anywhere, even on a fishing boat. “They can be out in the middle of the Bering Sea fishing – like the crabbers from The Deadliest Catch – and they can be reading all of their documents. That’s been a change for a lot of our Council Members,” says Peggy Kircher, Administrative Assistant to the Council.

Not only does the Council save money in staff time, printing and paper costs, and shipping costs, staff members appreciate being able to have time to focus on the important issues at hand, such as other office, administrative, or technical tasks.


More Than Just Resources, the Council Also Saved Valuable Time

“I’ve been able to focus on streamlining our website and making it more user-friendly,” says Shawback. “I’ve been able to add information that would have never gotten categorized on the website before.”

Kircher agrees: “It’s so much easier to send out information and it frees us up to do other projects that we wouldn’t have gotten to do before or that we would have had to contract out.”