January is typically a month of new beginnings, a time when individuals evaluate the past year and set goals to make improvements in the upcoming year. This year the Utah State Archives wants to challenge records officers to implement a records management resolution to improve one part of each governmental entity’s records management program.
This blog post, the first in a four part series, will help records officers evaluate current records management programs. A successful resolution requires assessing strengths and weaknesses and creating a plan to move forward. As part of the Utah State Archives challenge, consider addressing the component of the entity’s records management program that receives the lowest score in the assessment, as this component indicates a high level of risk.
At its core, a records management program should include sections that address: program management, records disposition, essential records, electronic records, and records management training. Give yourself one point for each section your records management program addresses. Is your entity missing any of the above items entirely? If so, consider focusing on the missing aspects of your program as your 2012 records management resolution.
Now that you have your policy in front of you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Has your entity formally designated a records officer with responsibility for carrying out its records management program? (UCA63A-12-103(2)) 4 points
- Does your entity have a network of designated records liaisons in each division/office and administrative area? (UCA63A-12-103(2)) 4 points
- Has your entity issued a records management directive(s) establishing program objectives, responsibilities, and authorities for the creation, maintenance, and disposition of entity records? (UCA63A-12-103(1)) 6 points
- Does your entity disseminate policies and procedures to ensure records are protected against unlawful/accidental removal, defacing, alteration and deletion/destruction? (UCA63A-12-103(3)) 4 points
- Does your entity periodically conduct formal internal evaluations of your entity’s records management practices to measure the effectiveness of records management programs and practices, and to ensure that they comply with state and Federal regulations? 4 points
- Does your entity provide regular training to all entity personnel on their records management responsibilities, including identification of state records, in all formats and media? (UCA63A-12-103(3)) 2 points
- Does your entity allow employees to use personal email systems to conduct entity business? 0 points
- Does your entity monitor staff compliance to the entity’s email preservation policies? 4 points
- Does records management staff actively participate in your entity’s IT systems design processes to integrate records management and archival requirements into the design, development, and implementation of electronic information systems? 6 points
- Does your entity periodically review its inventory of electronic information systems to determine if electronic records have been properly scheduled? 6 points
- What percentage of your entity’s electronic information systems is scheduled?
- Has your entity identified its essential records, i.e., its emergency operating records and legal rights records? 4 points
- Has your entity taken measures to ensure that its essential records are adequately protected, accessible, and immediately usable? 4 points
- Does your entity provide records management information to new employees as a part of their introduction to your entity? (UCA63A-12-103(3)) 6 points
- Does your entity provide formal or informal records management training for staff other than the records liaisons or records officers? (UCA63A-12-103(3)) 6 points
Award full points, if your entity has implemented the question as part of your records management plan.
Award half points, if your entity has informal policies and practices that address the question.
Award 0 points, if your entity has not implemented the question as part of your records management plan and there are no informal policies and practices that address the question.
65-50 points- You have a comprehensive records management program and your records are at a low risk.
49-30 points- Your entity’s records management plan addresses some but not all of the five core sections and many of the entity practices are informal and not written as part of your records management plan. Your records are at moderate risk.
29-0 points- Your entity does not have a formal records management program as evidence by a formal, written policy or your policy does not adequately address the five core functions of a records management program. Your records are at a high risk.