How Outsourced Transcription Services Can Help Government Agencies

Audio transcription has many benefits for industries heavily relying on audio dictations, like law enforcement, legal, or healthcare. However, its benefits aren’t limited to those fields. Any type of business or organization that relies on paperwork—that is to say, every type of business or organization that exists today—can enjoy the benefits of accurate transcription. Government entities, for example, can leverage the ease with which audio recordings can be saved, sent, and transcribed by outsourced professional government transcription services

However, choosing the right provider might not be as cut and dry as clicking the first one on your Google search page. So, let’s talk about it. 

In this article, you’ll learn how:

  • Government agencies can outsource transcription projects to lessen paperwork and enhance information sharing between departments and the public. 
  • AI transcription presents a lot of disadvantages and may not be suitable for government transcription needs. Expert human transcripts are the golden standard, yet there are other factors that government agencies need to consider before outsourcing to a transcription service provider. 
  • Ditto has the expertise, security, past performance, and accuracy guarantees that any government agency needs in their transcription provider. We offer affordable rates with fast turnaround times and employ CJIS, FINRA and HIPAA-compliant security guidelines for confidentiality and privacy. 

What Are Government Transcription Services?

Transcription is the process of converting audio and video files into written format. Government transcription services are outsourced providers that facilitate transcription on behalf of the government entity. Transcripts are provided in digital form but can be sent as certified physical copies (more later.) 

Government agencies can ease the paperwork burden by recording or dictating important memos, events, or seminars and having them transcribed later. It can also help make government content like announcements more accessible and easier to disseminate to the public. 

Different Instances Where Transcription Can Be Employed For Government Clients

Instance in Government AgenciesShort Description
Court ProceedingsTranscribing legal trials, hearings, and depositions.
Legislative SessionsRecording debates and decisions for public records.
Police InterviewsDocumenting statements for evidence and legal review.
Public HearingsTranscribing community discussions on public policies.
Government MeetingsRecording proceedings for archiving and public access.
Educational ProgramsTranscribing materials for government-run educational access.
Healthcare ConsultationsDocumenting public health advisories and patient consultations.
Broadcast InterviewsTranscribing public interviews for record-keeping.
Emergency BroadcastsRecording emergency instructions for review and accessibility.
Military Briefings and ReportsDocumenting military communications for records and review.
Environmental Studies and ReportsTranscribing environmental assessments and meetings.
Transportation RegulationsDocumenting policy updates and public consultations.
Veterans’ Oral HistoriesRecording veterans’ histories for archives and education.
Disability Services CommunicationsTranscribing communications for accessibility compliance.
Foreign Affairs and DiplomacyTranscribing diplomatic meetings for official records.

Which Government Agencies Can Benefit from Outsourced Transcription Services?

While this list is by no means complete, these are the more common government agencies that can take advantage of audio transcription:

  • Judicial Courts (Including Circuit, District, State & Federal)
  • Law Enforcement (Sheriff’s Offices, Local & State Police Departments)
  • Legislative Bodies (Congress & Senate)
  • Health Departments
  • Education Departments
  • Libraries
  • Archives and Records
  • Public Broadcasting Services
  • Environmental Agencies
  • Parks and Wildlife
  • City And State Governments
  • Transportation Departments
  • Veterans Affairs

AI Transcription Vs. Manual Transcription

AI transcription, also known as automated or speech-to-text transcription, is a popular form of transcription that uses automated programs and platforms to convert audio or video to text.

Now, I know that AI is quite the buzzword these days, and anybody who claims not to know about ChatGPT is probably lying. And, yes, AI has vast application potential in different industries and can serve as an important resource when looking for research data. However, government transcription is not one of the proper applications for AI.

The Weaknesses Of AI Transcription

There are several disadvantages to using AI transcription, including:

  • Lack of context understanding
  • Difficulty with multiple speakers
  • Limited language support
  • Costs and dependence on technology
  • Complexity and customization
  • Regulatory compliance issues
  • Inability to capture non-verbal cues
  • Integration challenges
  • Ownership of files once uploaded to the AI servers 

That’s quite the list, yet I actually left out two of the most glaring ones, which we will now discuss. 

The first one is accuracy. Automated transcription is at best, 86% accurate – and that’s in perfect circumstances, meaning that verbatim AI transcripts will need significant work before being integrated into the agency’s workflow. 

The second one is confidentiality. Let’s face it: any piece of data you feed into AI is fair game. That means agencies at all levels may be susceptible to data leaks and privacy concerns, which can further lead to legal and compliance risks. 

Why Human Transcription Is Your Best Option

With human transcribers, that measly 86% from AI can be elevated to more than 99% transcription accuracy. We’re better at understanding our own species and taking contextual clues and verbal cues to provide transcription services that accurately reflect the audio recording. 

So, human transcribers are better at ensuring quality and accuracy. That’s not to say that all human transcription agencies are high-quality providers; some might offer dirt-cheap services for dirt-level quality. Local authorities should always be careful when choosing transcription companies. 

The question, then, is: how do you choose the best transcription service for government agencies?

Traits Of Quality Transcription Services

The following factors and considerations can help your government agency research the best transcription vendor in the market (hint: It’s Ditto!). 

Governments use outsourced transcription to Ditto and experience these perks: 

Accuracy

Sign up for Ditto’s professional transcription services to avoid the bureaucratic nightmare of fixing inaccurate transcripts. We guarantee 99% accuracy on all transcription projects, be it quiet depositions or noisy contentious government sessions. 

Security

Government data must be kept secure and confidential with strict security protocols—I don’t think anyone disagrees. Several regulatory bodies, such as the Office for Civil Rights and the FBI, in the US, can help you look for the most secure service providers. One great example is CJIS, which protects criminal justice information and outlines what kind of security third-party providers must meet. Having CJIS compliance is one of the biggest considerations in providing transcription services for law enforcement agencies. 

Healthcare also has HIPAA, which protects the privacy and confidentiality of patient information, including those handled by health departments. 

Ditto Transcripts is both HIPAA and CJIS-compliant for your security and peace of mind. Our security protocols are regularly maintained and updated, so your highly confidential recordings are safe with us.

Quality Control And Flexibility

Accuracy isn’t a one-step process: it starts from when the transcriber types the first word to when the final editor signs off on the transcript for sending. Select providers, like Ditto, offer stringent quality control processes, including proofreading and editing, to maintain the accuracy and integrity of transcribed documents.

There’s also a consideration for flexibility, as different federal and local agencies have different requirements. 

We’ve worked with many government clients and have extensive experience transcribing official documents. We offer the best blend of accuracy and customizability to meet your transcription needs. 

Turnaround Time

“Good enough for government work” won’t cut it when looking for outsourced transcription services. Ditto offers blazing-fast turnaround times for projects of moderate length. Get your transcripts in 24 hours or less. 

Note: Bulk transcription projects over 25 hours of audio may take one to two weeks.

Cost-effectiveness

We get it: the budget for transcription might not be the top priority in city council meetings. State and local governments might have different priorities and either need their transcripts yesterday or can afford to wait longer. 

Aside from accuracy, quality, and security and confidentiality, Ditto Transcripts offers different pricing structures for your needs. Whether you need transcripts ASAP and are willing to pay for them, or if you prefer more economical options, we offer reasonable prices for the highest quality services. 

Translation Services

Need a document translated from English to Spanish? We’ll take care of it. Our translation services offer the same high quality, accuracy, and affordability as our transcription services, so you don’t need to shop around for your different needs. 

No Long-Term Commitments

No need to jump into a year-long contract. We offer pay-as-you-go options with speedy turnaround times so that you can completely control your transcription requirements. 

Customer Support

Transcription is not a one-and-done deal. We support our clients even after the final transcripts are completed. The work might require adjustments or corrections or might have questions answered. We have a dedicated team of professionals who maintain our industry-leading customer service. So, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us, and we’ll get right on it. 

Transcript Certification

Government transcription projects might require certification for different uses, and transcripts can only be certified by US-based transcriptionists with proven track records. These certified transcripts might also be used in court proceedings and may require the transcriber to swear their validity and accuracy under oath. I don’t think I need to tell you that getting a foreign transcriber from a foreign vendor to the US for such a proceeding will be quite a pain.

Ditto’s fully US-based operations ensure that you will get transcripts certified for use anywhere in the good ol’ USA. 

Ditto Ticks All The Boxes

Thankfully, you don’t need to look far for a provider that can meet all these criteria and your transcription needs. Ditto meets all requirements for a professional transcription service provider for government agencies and various industries. 

Key Benefits Of Ditto’s Professional Transcription For Government Agencies

Ditto’s high-quality transcription service offers a multitude of benefits for different government agencies at every level, such as: 

Key BenefitsDescription
Record Keeping and ComplianceEnsures transparency, accountability, and compliance with regulations through official documentation of government activities.
Accessibility and TransparencyProvides public access to government information, fostering informed citizens about policies and decisions.
Legal DocumentationOffers accurate records for court proceedings, hearings, and investigations, ensuring the integrity of legal processes.
Facilitating CommunicationFacilitates clear communication among government entities by providing accurate records of discussions and agreements.
Historical PreservationPreserves government records for future study, understanding the evolution of policies and societal issues.
Research and AnalysisAids in research and policymaking by providing insights into public opinion, legislative debates, and administrative processes.
Training and EducationSupports training for government personnel, law students, and researchers on legislative processes and governmental procedures.
Efficiency and ProductivityStreamlines administrative tasks and record management, enhancing productivity in government operations.

Ditto’s US-based Professional Transcribers Assures Accuracy And Confidentiality

Ditto only works with US-based transcribers, giving our services unique features that other international outfits can’t provide. 

  • High-Quality Transcription: All transcribers are native English speakers who understand the language in a way no non-native speaker could ever manage. They grew up in the USA and know how people talk, what they mean when they say certain words, and can also deal with heavy regional accents 
  • Heightened Security: As I said, Ditto is HIPAA, FINRA, and CJIS-compliant. Our extensive security features include 256-bit encryption, unique user access for every account, redundant firewalls, and on-site security. We also require our skilled transcriptionists to sign NDAs if and when required. Every transcriptionist must also pass a comprehensive criminal background check.
  • The Ability To Certify Transcripts: Government transcription might require certification for different uses, and transcripts can only be certified by American transcriptionists who live in the US and are US citizens. These certified transcripts can also be used in court proceedings and may require the transcriber to swear their validity and accuracy under oath. I don’t think I need to tell you that getting a foreign transcriber to the US for such a proceeding will be quite a pain. 

U.S. Government Agencies Are In Safe Hands With Ditto

You might be wondering about our “Past Performance.” Indeed, various government entities and agencies, including the VA, the National Parks, the FBI, and DEA, have outsourced transcription projects to Ditto. Don’t hesitate to ask about it!

Ditto Transcripts is a HIPAA, FINRA, and CJIS-compliant Denver, Colorado-based transcription services company that provides fast, accurate, and affordable transcripts for individuals and media companies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial.

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