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Sustaining Your Records Management Program
You’ve laid the foundation of your program. Now take it a few steps further.
Coordinate the Storage and Management of Inactive Records
Infrequently used, or inactive, records clutter valuable office space. Set up a secure, climate-controlled, inactive records storage area for your government (or continue to maintain one that has already been established). You may also decide to store records, particularly digital records, with a commercial vendor.
We have tools and resources to get you started, refer to our Inactive Records webpage.
Compile Office Retention Schedules
There are many records series in the local government retention schedule that your government does not create or maintain. Consider working with individual offices to set up office schedules that list only records series relevant to them.
Sample office schedules can be found in the appendix of Retention and Disposition of Records: How Long to Keep Records and How to Destroy Them.
Coordinate Records Disposition
Disposition includes both destruction of records and permanent preservation of records. You’ll want to sign off on and track any records disposition to ensure it is regularly and legally done.
Contact your Records Advisory Officer to discuss whether using the State Archives confidential wastepaper contract would be advantageous to your government.
Promote the Records Management Program to Government Leaders and Staff
Talk up the benefits of good records management including storage cost savings, efficient records retrievals, and lower legal liabilities. Incorporate records management into new staff orientation. Provide regular reports to leaders of your activities. A successful records management program requires assistance and support from everyone in your government.
Provide Training and Guidance to Government Staff Regarding their Records Management Obligations
Although you are the designated records management point person within your local government, all staff -- as outlined in Arts and Cultural Affairs Law § 57.25 -- are responsible for records management to some degree. You provide both formal and informal training to your colleagues and create guidance documents, retention schedule lists, and other resources to help staff make good decisions regarding the records in their care.
Prepare for and Respond to Records Disasters
Avoid use of basements and attics for records storage if possible. Regularly check areas where records are stored for damage. Develop a disaster plan.
If disaster happens, contact your Records Advisory Officer and check out our disaster resources for salvaging records or requesting early destruction of records. Disaster grant funding may be available.
Identify and Address Records Management Challenges
Are staff having trouble finding the documents that they need to do their jobs? Does your office have more records than space to store them? Are your colleagues holding onto records for longer than is required… or throwing them out too soon? Do the procedures that work in the clerk’s office not work equally well in the legal office?
Your Records Advisory Officer is available to help you find solutions to your records management problems.
Apply for a Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund (LGRMIF) grant
LGRMIF grants are available for local governments who are establishing records management programs or developing new program components. Potential projects include imaging or microfilming, creating and modifying inactive records rooms, and developing disaster plans. We offer resources to help you develop a successful grant application.
For additional information and assistance please contact your Records Advisory Officer.