Records and Information Management Month: Tips and Guidelines

April is Records and Information Management Month. This April may look and feel very different than what Records Management professionals are used to. Many of us are currently working remotely and there is no better time than now to ensure good record keeping and best practices in your workplace. Here are some things to consider that can promote efficient and effective electronic record keeping in your organization during this time.

  • Are people in your organization working from home? Do they know their responsibility regarding managing electronic records? This month would be a great time to review your organization’s shared drive management and electronic records management policies and procedures.
  • Is your organization using text messaging to document business activities? Check out ERC’s Tips for Text Messaging Retention for best practices and risks/liabilities of using text messages for government business.
  • Have you been communicating more than ever through email? Review our Guidelines for Managing Email to ensure your organization is retaining emails effectively.
  • Is your organization communicating and posting via social media to interact with constituents? Check out ERC’s  Social Media Resources, including the new online training module, Social Media: The Records Management Challenge (2020) .  

New Tip Sheet on Text Messaging Retention Available!

The Ohio Electronic Records Committee (OhioERC) has published a new tip sheet: Tips for Text Messaging Retention! These tips highlight the potential records management concerns public offices and officials should consider when using text messaging for government business. The tip sheet includes questions that can help determine if the text is a public record, the risks and liabilities involved with texting, best practices for government offices to implement, and the pros and cons of allowing employees to text on their personal devices versus providing them with government-issued devices. If your government office uses text messaging then you should check this out!

Scanning Feasibility Tool

The OhioERC is proud to promote its latest tool to assist in the managing of public sector agency records. While today the majority of our records are born digital, many public sector agencies are still pressed with issues of storage, retrieval, and management of growing or displaced physical, paper-based records in their possession. A possible solution for managing these documents is to scan them, thus converting them to digital documents which then can be integrated with born digital documents and enterprise systems.

Public sector agencies using paper in their operations should consider whether the conversion of paper to digital will improve operations before investing in such a project or workflow. They should consider potential efficiencies in information accessibility, management, and disposition, while also feasibly complying with organizational records retention and management policies.

This new tool provides a means to assist public sector agencies in properly analyzing the records they manage and maintain to determine whether to digitize them. It encompasses several factors, including employee costs, storage space, supplies, equipment, reproduction, and migration to future systems. This tool is not intended be used to conduct a cost benefit analysis (CBA) nor business process management (BPM); it would be wise to conduct these business and financial analyses along with using this tool. The Scanning Feasibility Tool can be  found on our Document Imaging Guidelines page.