Monday, January 12, 2015

The Records management system

  • A record is recorded information regardless of medium or characters made or received by an organization that is useful in the operation of a organization.
  • Records contain information about evidence of organizational functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations and other activities.
  • Includes all books, paper, photographs, maps, other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received for legal operational purposes in connection with the transaction or business
  • Various forms: paper, microfilm, computer tape, word processing disk, original manuscript of E.T.
Early record keeping practice
  • Early records were carved into stone or clay tablets or recorded in wax, on wood, or on animal skin
  • Papyrus was developed by Egyptians and was in widespread use from about 400 B.C. to A.D. 400
  • Government records were initially stored in archives
  • 1st known retention schedule came into being about A.D. 1200
Introduction to paper records
  • 15th century paper was developed it allowed a new ease of recording information and number of records made and preserved rapidly multiplied
  • 1900s typewriter hit businesses and government offices and had major effect on paperwork explosion
  • Numerous steps taken by all levels of government to control government records
  • Major actions affecting federal records management
  • 1867 Confederation numerous records already accumulated
  • 1868 Act creating Department of Secretary of State, which was made responsible for public records
  • 1897 Many valuable documents destroyed in fire in West Block of Parliament Buildings – emphasized need to protect irreplaceable historic records; should they have had better storage methods?
  • 1912 first federal Public Archives Act
  • 1936 Treasury Board final authority regarding disposal of records
  • 1952 National Library of Canada created
  • 1953 Treasury Board placed records management under control of Dominion Archivist
  • 1968 Subject Classification Guide for Housekeeping Records published (basis for most classification plans developed in Canada)
  • 1978 Canadian Human Rights Acts (part IV provides protection of privacy and limited access to personal information); identifies who, what, where has record
  • 1980 Internationally, the Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA) undertook a campaign to eliminate use of legal-size files called Project ELF (Eliminate Legal-size Files)
  • 1982 Access to Information Act gave right to examine or obtain copies of federal records with specified limitations (supposedly almost any record)
  • 1987 National Archives of Canada Act – consent of National Archivist needed for disposal of government records
  • 1989 Canada Evidence Act defined a record
  • 1993 Alliance of Libraries, Archives and Records Management (ALARM) formed; government/CLA (Canadian Library Association) sponsored
  • 2000 Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act – encourages electronic commerce, defines. What can be kept and accessed?
Major actions affecting Manitoba Government records management
  • 1981 creation of Government Records unit within Archives at both provincial and national levels
  • 1988 Freedom of Information Act proclaimed (required publication of guide to government records)
  • 2001 Archives and Recordkeeping Act
  • 1997 The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). FIPPA came into force for Manitoba government departments and agencies on May 4, 1998 and the city of Winnipeg on August 31, 1998. On April 3, 2000, it was extended to all local governments, school divisions, community colleges, universities, regional health authorities and hospitals.
Why the need for records management
Management of all phases of records life is essential to life of organization.

Major reasons for records management
  • Records serve as corporate memory
  • Aid in management decision making
  • Provide litigation support
  • Reduce paperwork volume
  • Produce cost reduction
  • Aid organizational efficiency
  • Meet legislative requirement
  • Preserve organizational history
Paperwork costs
The creation and storage of records is likely to be the greatest consumer of time, space, salaries and equipment of all government activities.

It is estimated that:
  • 30% of paperwork is useless and could be eliminated
  • 37% of photocopies are unnecessary
  • Between 1 and 5% of all records in a typical office are misfiled and effectively lost
  • A typical office worker can waste up to two hours a day looking for misplaced paperwork – a total of 500 hours or 62 days a year – almost one-fourth of the work year
  • It costs approximately $2,150 US annually to maintain a single five-drawer filing cabinet in a local government office.
Nevada Local Governments Manual. 1996.
  • 130 billion of the 350 billion copies made by American offices each year are not needed – they’re wasted, unnecessary, or for personal use
  • American business produces 370 million new documents daily, totalling 190 billion pages
  • 18,000 pages of paper per white collar employee are being created each year; almost 30 billion documents
  • Photocopies produce 100 billion pages per year
  • Computer outputs produces approximately 350 billion pages per year
  • While projected volume increase is 62 million file drawers each year, reference is never made to 85-90% of stored records and 95% of references made are to records created in the last 3 years
  • 0% of references occur within 18 months
Legislation and regulations requirement
  • Each year new statues and regulations require companies to keep records longer, or keep different records or reduce recordkeeping requirements
  • New definitions of records – more legislation required due to electronic document copies
  • Records provide a reference base for company history
  • Organizations must maintain historical base both as evidence of their past achievements and into the future
System concept
  • System is a group of interrelated parts acting together to accomplish a goal
  • The goal of records management is to provide the right record to the right person at the right time at the lowest possible cost
Records management system

All systems are composed of 3 basic elements:
  • Input into system
  • Process of input
  • Generation of output system
Input component
  • Factors include: information; equipment/supplies (hardware, software, used in processing records); money (provides resources for planning, implementing, operating, controlling system of records administration); people (administrative and managerial generate records, administrative support personnel get “right record to right person at right time at lowest cost”)
Processing component
  • Includes record creation and receipt; distribution; use; maintenance; disposal
  • Information is transformed into a record in process component
  • The 5 functional phases of the process element represent the life cycle of a record from its birth (creation) to its death (disposition)
Life cycle of a record

Inactive and archives storage
  • Records may be stored in private or commercial record centres or in archives. Archives have public or private records that have been selected for long-term storage and preservation
  • Where to store records is based largely on whether the records have been previously classified as active, inactive, long-term or temporary, a record or nonrecord
Types of records
  • Active record is referenced (used) on a regular basis, e.g. records of current employees, invoices for current fiscal period, correspondence, creative works in process
  • Inactive record is referenced fewer than 10 times a year
    • variety of records fall into inactive category e.g. semiactive record referenced once a month
    • Examples of inactive records include
      • Personnel files of terminated employees
      • Paid invoices for previous periods
      • Completed projects
      • Cancelled cheques
  • Long-term record has continuing value and is held indefinitely, or for a specified period identified in the retention schedule.
  • Vital record (aka essential record) is essential to operation of organization and the continuation/resumption of operations following a disaster, recreation of legal and financial status of the organization or to fulfillment of its obligations to stockholders and employees in event of disaster
    • e.g. accounts receivable, inventory lists, contracts, creative works in progress
  • Temporary records do not have a continuing or lasting value to an organization. They may be referred to as transitory records or transactional records indicating their temporary value to the organization.
  • A record copy is an official copy of a record that is retained for legal, operational, or historical purposes.
  • Nonrecord copy refers to a record not usually included within the scope of official records, includes copies of a document maintained in more than one location, not identified in the retention schedule, not required to be retained or available from public sources.
  • Records are not limited to one classification but they are:
    • Active or inactive
    • Long-term or temporary
  • • Records may change placement within classifications over time, e.g. most move from active to inactive status
  • Every record may not proceed through each stage of the life cycle
Records classification
Example Active Inactive Long-term Temporary Record Non-record
Current orders



Current issue of
Canadian Business



Personnel pay
records 1995-96



Creative work
in progress



Output component
  • Information processed through the system and available in recorded form to the right person at the right time at the lowest possible cost = output component

Monday, January 5, 2015

Records management

What are records?
Fixed documentation of an organization’s activities having to do with its mission, regardless of format or purpose.

Examples of records:

  • Correspondence and interoffice memos
  • Fiscal documents like budgets and payment records
  • Personnel files
What is records management?
Discipline/Profession concerned with “systematic analysis and control of recorded information.” As such, it has professional jargon and specific practices taught to newcomers.

Five Components of the Records Management Program

  • Determining how long recorded information should be kept
  • Ensuring compliance with recordkeeping laws and regulations
  • Managing interactive records
  • Organizing active records for retrieval when needed
  • Protecting organization’s vital records
Life cycle of records
Records are created in course of business, initially accessed frequently

Records information ages, becomes less important to daily business, accessed less frequently

Information becomes outdated and moribund, records rarely accessed so they accumulate in expensive office space

Records become burden to efficient operation, cannot be readily accessed

Records management job is to ensure that records are cared for and most effectively stored throughout their lives

How? Create policies enshrined in records schedules that tell office workers what to do with records as they age and accumulate.

Difference between records and non-records
Records directly pertain to the organization’s mission and are created in pursuit of that mission

Non-records are fixed information, but do not pertain to the organization’s mission

Records are owned by their creators, e.g.: business files owned by the business, research writings or lectures owned by the professor

Should be managed like other assets

Good records management
Reduces business costs
Protects rights of owners, clients, citizens

Value of records
Primary values – value to creating organization

  • administrative
    • how the organization is set up and how it operates
  • fiscal
    • tracking the money/assets
  • legal
    • fulfilling all pertinent laws
  • operational
    • how the organization accomplishes its mission
Secondary values – long-term value to those outside agency (aka: historical value)
  • evidential--has to do with accountability not value as legal advice
    • provides evidence of how organization was
      • structured
      • how it operated
      • how it did its job
    • informational
      • information not about the functioning of the organization but what is gathered within its records
      • test for information value
        • uniqueness of information
        • level of concentration of information
        • importance of information
Allied professions
Information Technology