From the mountain top

By Bob Larrivee posted 04-11-2013 14:38



Or in this case from the Office of the President of the United States, a memorandum regarding the management of Government records citing the need for reformation of the policies, practices and framework that would bring about a more modern way to manage Government records. The joint memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)  and the National  Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies and Independent Agencies cites that “Records are the foundation of open government, supporting the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration. Well-managed records can be used to assess the impact of programs, to improve business processes, and to share knowledge across the Government. Records protect the rights and interests of people, and hold officials accountable for their actions. Permanent records document our nation' s history.”

Recognizing this is the case, references are also made that there is a requirement to eliminate paper use and move to electronic recordkeeping wherever possible, including email, which is to be maintained in an “accessible” electronic format. It is expected that by December of 2013, all agencies will have developed and begin to implement a plan to move in these direction with some indications that consideration be given to digitizing current permanent records like those found in paper and microform formats. 

The one thing that really stood out for me in all of this is in Part 1 of the attachment. In the section citing the second of two goals, it describes areas of accountability and responsibility. It discusses how there must be designated personnel with specific credentials who will be responsible to ensure everything is carried out appropriately but the one thing that really hit home for me is this, section 2.4 Agencies Must Establish Records Management Training. Here it cites that “By December 31, 2014, all Federal agencies must establish a method to inform all employees of their records management responsibilities in law and policy, and develop suitable records management training for appropriate staff.” This to me is the most significant element in all of this because all of the policies, practices, and technologies you can think to use, will not deliver the expected results unless everyone is informed, trained, and engaged in the program. If the human factor is not included in the equation, there is higher chance and risk of failure.

In my view, this memorandum clearly demonstrates the need and benefit of not only moving to a more modern way of managing their records and information but also the role of the individual contributor I it is to succeed. This does not mean every employee has to be an expert in records management, but it does show how important it is that they are aware and trained to participate appropriately at every level. This is an example of what commercial businesses should also consider whether in health care, finance, legal or any other business practice. I encourage you to use the link provided and read through this document. It is a brief one but holds a lot of important information and valuable insight I think is appropriate for all.

 If you are ready to move forward and are finding yourself stuck or unfocused and are not sure where to begin or what to do next, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started. Be sure to investigate AIIM's Enterprise Content Management training program.

And be sure to read the AIIM Training Briefing on ECM (authored by yours truly). Click on the image to download and read. 

What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.

Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM
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