Managing Records: An Ideal Org Structure?

By Roger Poole posted 07-28-2010 14:01


**Views expressed in this blog are my personal views and not those of my employer. Any reference to any living person or organisation, past or present, is entirely co-incidental**

How is the Records Management function structured in your organisation? Is there an "ideal" structure to managing Records?

Working within the financial services industry has exposed me to many different views and practices relating to Record Management and it's implementation within financial, and other, organisations. As a member of the Records Management Society (attending its annual conferences) I have also met and discussed Records Management matters with many people who work in Government and local authority departments. From these discussions, meetings and reviewing the results of various benchmarking exercises, it is clear that Records Management is structured in a number of different ways but, of course, with the same goal. To ensure Records are rationed for the appropriate period of time in a safe and secure environment (and a whole lot more!). Here are some examples:-

Centralised Records Management Function

In this example, the entire Record Management function is managed by a central unit/team. It has global and company-wide responsibility for Policy, Procedures, Training, Assessing the business, Retention Schedules, Vendor Contracts, Vendor Relationships, Compliance and liaison with IT. In this example the team is responsible for managing the day to day physical archive (box/file) operations which includes the box/file off-site storage and retrieval (including the controls over access etc.). The team will also work with IT to ensure email and system-generated Records are stored on appropriate media and for the correct period of time.

De-centralised Records Management Function

In this example, each office or business unit will typically have responsibility for box/file management and to understand where their electronic Records are held. In most cases the Records Management Policy and Retention Schedules will be published by the Legal Department. IT will retain responsibility for retaining the email and systems-generated Records. These will often be retained for a fixed period of time from the date of creation. Physical Records archiving will be managed by the facilities management function - working with the vendor to submit/retrieve boxes as and when required. In some cases the business units will be able to deal directly with the vendor via the vendor's (Internet-based) system.

How is Records Management structured in your organisation?

Let us know how you manage the Record Management function in your organisation and please provide your feedback in respect of the above-mentioned structures.

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