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Getting Started as a New State Agency RMO
Here are some specific steps you can take to start implementing a successful records management program in your agency:
Identify and Review Existing Retention Schedules
It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with existing retention schedules, as these will help you identify retention requirements and provide a comprehensive view of the records maintained by your agency. You may also find that some schedule items are obsolete or need to be revised. It is important to periodically review your agency’s retention schedules for these issues, but particularly when you are first starting out.
Identify Existing Records Management Policies and Procedures
Established policies and procedures ensure that your agency’s records management program runs smoothly and efficiently, so it is important to identify any policies that may already exist. If no policies and procedures are in place, plan to develop them.
Contact the State Archives’ Scheduling and State Agency Services Unit
We can help you by by doing the following:
- providing copies of your agency-specific schedules
- reviewing and coordinating approval of updated and new agency-specific schedule requests
- reviewing draft policies and procedures
- advising on a variety of records management topics, including improvements to filing systems or appraise records for historical value.
Send us an email at email@example.com.
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Meet with each unit or office and identify
- WHAT records they create and maintain
- WHERE records are stored
- HOW they use and manage records
For more information, see our publication, Inventory and Planning: The First Steps in Records Management.
Compile Unit Records Inventories
Match records to existing retention schedules. Identify any gaps or outdated schedules and plan to submit new or revised retention schedules (“records disposition requests”) to us.
Establish a Records Liaison Team
Have each unit or office designate a records liaison. Liaisons help unit staff with routine records management activities and assist you with conducting inventories and developing retention schedules for their unit’s records. Regularly meet with your liaisons individually or as a team to discuss records management concerns within their units and potential impacts of agency-wide records management matters on their unit colleagues.
Introduce Yourself to IT and Legal Offices
Coordination with these two units is important. Information Technology can tell you how and where data is stored and backed up and include you in development of new systems to ensure retention requirements are met. Legal can assist in setting proper retention periods and involve you in discovery and legal actions.