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Information becomes outdated and moribund, records rarely accessed so they accumulate in expensive office space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

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