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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

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records management essentials

Records Management Essentials

Ann Marie Przybyla

New York State Archives


our goals
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
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
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
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
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
Exerting Control
  • Formal inventory
  • Appropriate storage space
  • Boxes, labels, shelving, cabinets
  • System for rotating records
  • Database locator
  • Software for managing ER
  • What do you consider your single greatest tool for managing records?
  • What would you advise a new records manager who has inherited a mess?
  • 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
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
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
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
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
  • Why shouldn’t you just

“save everything forever?”

  • Involves managing
    • Physical environment
    • Storage
    • Handling
    • Security
    • Disasters
    • Conservation measures
preservation of er
Preservation of ER
  • Applies to all ER, not just permanent
  • Anticipate obsolescence and instability
  • Some strategies
    • Print out
    • Standard formats
    • Migration
    • Refreshing
  • Options are
    • Microfilm
    • Imaging
    • Hybrid solution
  • Projects involve prep, process, QC
  • Follow State Archives’ specs
  • Have a contract if using a vendor
  • Follow retention schedule
  • Do not destroy reactively
  • Use appropriate destruction methods
  • Exercise discretion
  • Destroy completely
  • Document destruction
managing destruction of er
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
Destruction of ER


  • Planning records system
  • End of retention period
  • Computer reassignment or surplusing


  • Physical destruction
  • Degaussing
  • Overwriting (scrubbing)
  • Does deletion destroy ER completely?
disaster management
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
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
  • Who owns e-mails that government officials create on their home computers?
  • Are they FOILable? Are they subject to discovery?
rm is selective
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)
  • How do you manage
    • meeting minutes?
    • case files?
    • payroll records?
    • blueprints and maps?
rm is efficient
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
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
  • How involved is RM with IT in your government?
  • How do you stay current with developments in information technology?
rm must be formalized
RM Must be Formalized
  • In a written policy framework to ensure
    • Consistency
    • Continuity
    • Reliable basis for change
    • Ongoing training
    • Legal admissibility
the policy framework
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
RM is About Service to…
  • Your own staff
  • Your government and NYS
  • Your constituents
  • Yourself
address er
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
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
Find Allies
  • Governing board
  • Records Advisory Board
  • IT staff
  • Historian
  • Other co-workers
  • Legal counsel
  • Consultants and vendors
promote the program
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
  • Thank you!
    • Please fill out an evaluation