Information Governance and Electronic Records Management

By Carl Weise posted 09-06-2012 15:30


According to ISO/TR 15489-2:2001; Information and documentation -- Records management -- Part 2: Guidelines, a very important step in the process of designing and implementing a records management system is to identify strategies for satisfying records requirements.  In this step, your organization needs to determine which policies, procedures, and tactics are necessary in order to create the appropriate records control framework.  It should be clear that these policies, procedures and tactics will vary depending upon your organization’s regulatory environment, jurisdiction, business needs and culture. 

At the end of this step, your organization should have a framework in place to ensure that records are created, used, and managed appropriately.  This framework will then lead to the design and enhancements of your records management system.

What we are really talking about is information governance!

Information governance is concerned with defining the accountability for your organization’s information assets – its content and records. 

If governance is implemented properly – that is, if there is GOOD governance

- your organization’s information management should be compliant with any relevant legislation or regulations, and it should have a sound basis for exploiting information, and delivering productivity benefits.

- your organization should be able to exploit new ways of working more effectively, such as changes in information access channels, or new business or service delivery models (for example, where citizens drive the interaction with government).

Good governance will also help to address all the interfaces between the customer, your organization and other providers.  For example, imagine you are a broker of services between a number of providers and the end customer.   You must be able to coordinate service delivery, possibly from a number of partners and providers, to achieve a seamless range of services from your customers’ perspective.

Lastly, and, importantly, information governance provides a way of ensuring that good information management practices can be sustained over long periods.   For example, ensuring that procedures and other records management instruments are maintained, as the detailed requirements around them evolve and change. 

So, basically, good governance boils down, pretty much, to being a fashionable term for good management – and information governance is – quite simply – another way of saying “looking after information properly”.

A sound information governance framework will include:

- Laying down policies that will govern behaviours

- Defining procedures for all stages of the information lifecycle

- Setting standards that must be followed when carrying out a defined process

- Appointing specific people to be responsible for the information assets

- Providing tools and technology to enable staff to carry out the defined processes to the required standards

-Auditing the elements of the framework regularly to ensure that the guidelines are being followed

There are three essential factors that contribute to the successful implementation of the information governance framework. 

First, the Policy must provide clear guidelines for the management of records within the context and constraints of your organization.  It should also include guidelines and define the boundaries for making decisions about investment in records management processes and technologies. 

Secondly, Management – the information governance roles and responsibilities must be established to manage information and operational services, given the necessary power and authority to exercise them.

And thirdly, Organization – the groups, structures and coordinating mechanisms that must be put in place within your organization for the management of information. 

Tell us about your success in implementing information governance in your organization.

What were the challenges to needed to face to be successful?


I will be speaking at the following events:

September 10th, 2012  AIIM’s 1-day ERM Practitioner class in Tulsa, OK (Contact the Tulsa Chapter of ARMA to attend)

September 18th– 21st, 2012  AIIM ECM Master class in Amsterdam

September 25th– 28th, 2012  AIIM ECM Master class in Silver Spring, MD



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