Monday, February 2, 2009

A refinement to our approach is suggested

My predecessor, Teresa Howard, the former Travis County Records Manager, weighs in:

An easier solution to option 2 (Making Records Analysts out of all employees) would be to provide two electronic file cabinets for every user: One for official county documents and another for convenience documents only. Then you only need to establish and publish the definition of Official and Convenience documents with an understanding that, when in doubt, file the document under Official.

You would keep the official documents indefinitely and the convenience copies for 5 years. I think any issue that would arise causing a need to search convenience copies would occur within 5 years. Remember that most emails are correspondence and the longest retention for non-historical correspondence is only 5 years. Using the word 'indefinite' rather than 'permanent' is probably more accurate and may not require Travis County to jump through all the electronic records hoops required for permanent records. We always understood that indefinitely retained records were subject to future reviews and analysis. Permanent records are not.


  1. At Pierce County we're looking at the same issue -3,500 people who've used Groupwise for years - but from a different driver - replacing Groupwise with Exchange for ease in support and maintenance - and with that change in technology and migration of email records (including discussions about calenders and contact lists).
    Migrating records are causing the discussion around retention policies and records management - but classification problems (who, what and for how long) aren't solved by technology.
    I've wondered about tagging - if making it easy for users to tag email, and being able to see and leverage how others have tagged email could help us develop record schedules for email that make sence.

  2. Earlier it was not easy to manage the records as they were done manually. Bugs do exists when they are recorded manually so are chances of duplicate records too. The solution suggested for the above problem is accurate. I do agree with that fully.