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Records Management Essentials Ann Marie Przybyla New York State Archives NYALGRO 2007
Our Goals Provide the legal framework for records management in New York State Address basic records management activities, principles, and strategies Find answers to some tough questions about managing records
Records Management in NYS Legally mandated Per the Local Government Records Law And Commissioner’s Regulations All governments must have an RMO Individual and corporate responsibility
Responsibilities of the RMO Oversee and coordinate management of records Liaison with other departments Delegate responsibility as needed Follow State Archives guidelines
CEO and Government Board Must… Support and promote RM program Identify historical records and ensure their protection Designate RMO when not mandated by law
All Government Officials Must… Create and maintain records that document business transactions Destroy records appropriately Pass records on to successors Support work of the RMO
Exerting Control Formal inventory Appropriate storage space Boxes, labels, shelving, cabinets System for rotating records Database locator Software for managing ER
Question What do you consider your single greatest tool for managing records?
Question What would you advise a new records manager who has inherited a mess?
Filing Adopt a file plan Use appropriate filing system Use appropriate filing equipment Anticipate retention Coordinate paper and ER files File centrally, when possible
Using Records Distinguish between internal access tools and those meant for the public Apply same access procedures to everyone Limit access to records storage areas Know laws relating to records access Balance access with care of records
Using E-records Provide levels of access Create metadata that makes records more searchable Provide onsite public-use terminals Make records available via a network and the Internet Selectively convert hardcopy records
Records Scheduling Use MU-1, CO-2, ED-1, or MI-1 Keep only what is required Appraise minimally for historical value Document decisions to lengthen required retention Implement regularly
Managing Retention of ER Must file centrally to manage well Implement a classification system Link classification system to retention Educate end-users When possible, manage retention electronically
Question Why shouldn’t you just “save everything forever? ”
Preservation Involves managing • Physical environment • Storage • Handling • Security • Disasters • Conservation measures
Preservation of ER Applies to all ER, not just permanent Anticipate obsolescence and instability Some strategies • Print out • Standard formats • Migration • Refreshing
Reformatting Options are • Microfilm • Imaging • Hybrid solution Projects involve prep, process, QC Follow State Archives’ specs Have a contract if using a vendor
Destruction Follow retention schedule Do not destroy reactively Use appropriate destruction methods Exercise discretion Destroy completely Document destruction
Managing Destruction of ER Control all computers • PCs, laptops, tablets, PDAs, digital cameras Control all copies • Backups, printouts, microfilm • Detachable devices, removable media Have method of halting destruction
Destruction of ER When Planning records system End of retention period Computer reassignment or surplusing How Physical destruction Degaussing Overwriting (scrubbing)
Question Does deletion destroy ER completely?
Disaster Management Identify vital and valuable records Identify risks Reduce most risks now Assess potential impact of ongoing risks Prepare response plan to minimize impact
RM is Comprehensive Defines records as a byproduct of government business Pertains to records in all formats Involves the care of records from creation to destruction or permanent preservation
Questions Who owns e-mails that government officials create on their home computers? Are they FOILable? Are they subject to discovery?
RM is Selective Strategies vary, depending on the records’ • • Volume Frequency of use Retention Age Physical condition Level of confidentiality Degree of importance (vitality and value)
Questions How do you manage • meeting minutes? • case files? • payroll records? • blueprints and maps?
RM is Efficient Brings order to disorder Focuses on value of information Anticipates and minimizes costs Uses space wisely Saves staff time Reduces risk
RM is Dynamic Records • Are increasingly complex and ephemeral • Can have layers of obsolescence Tools for managing records • Include databases, imaging, vaulting Different partners and culture Constant learning curve
Questions How involved is RM with IT in your government? How do you stay current with developments in information technology?
RM Must be Formalized In a written policy framework to ensure • Consistency • Continuity • Reliable basis for change • Ongoing training • Legal admissibility
The Policy Framework Needs assessments and BPAs Records and equipment inventories 3 -year program plan and a disaster plan Policy that documents all decisions Policy on appropriate use Procedures for day-to-day activities
RM is About Service to… Your own staff Your government and NYS Your constituents Yourself
Address ER Opportunity rather than threat New legal rules and decisions that emphasize control, retention, training Some standards and models Efforts at coordination Increasing number of automated solutions
Balance the Ideal with Reality There are few perfect answers to most questions Know requirements, standards, best practices But balance against your resources And environment and culture
Find Allies Governing board Records Advisory Board IT staff Historian Other co-workers Legal counsel Consultants and vendors
Promote the Program Educate others on value of records Keep board and public informed of progress and issues Emphasize savings Maintain statistics Seek sources of funding
LGRMIF Grants Deadline will be 1 Feb 2008 For any project that focuses on records Increasingly for ER projects New application and reviewers’ instructions introduced this year Funding level depends on economy
Questions? Thank you! • Please fill out an evaluation