Managing Electronic Records Requires Both James Bond and Q

By Jeffrey Lewis posted 07-02-2013 13:42


I have been contemplating if I was too harsh on GARP for the statement "records managers responsible for paper records; IT responsible for electronic records."My issue is not with the correctness of this statement, but more the lack of clarity.  Any information governance policy must be simple and clear.  This statement from the GARP health check up hits the mark in terms of simple but is lacking in terms of clarity. 

What is not clear is IT's role in managing electronic records. As other people have stated, IT is responsible for the tools but RIM is responsible for the rules. RIM is ultimately answerable for the management of all records, whether electronic or paper.  With managing electronic records RIM is James Bond and IT is Q. 

The reason why IT cannot be answerable for electronic records is because records is not IT's expertise. IT must be a collaborator with RIM on electronic records because electronic tools (for lack of a better term) is not RIM's expertise. There is one key player that must be included in this equation and that is the business user. The business user must be their own records manager. The prevalence of electronically stored information (ESI) means that many records are decentralized. With records being out of the hands of RIM we must be passionate to educate users on records management principles and practices so that information is not over retained as it is easy to become out of sight and out of mind. 

A proper collaboration between RIM and IT can make managing ESI easier for business users.  Examples include, but are not limited to:

1)Setting up auto deletion in your email system so that all emails, unless flagged will be deleted 90 days after receipt
2)Linking disposition schedule to content management systems so that records are automatically deleted when retention period is over (with proper approval)
3)Implementing auto categorization can save time and money for indexing records.

In what ways have you seen RIM and IT collaborating to make managing electronic records easier for end users?

#information governance #electronic records management #ElectronicRecordsManagement #InformationGovernance #GenerallyAcceptedRecordkeepingPrinciple(GARP)