Continuing Maintenance

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The best records management program will quickly fall into obsolescence if the office does not make efforts to stay on top of things. Records, particularly government records, grow at an astronomical rate.  If you do not take steps to regularly move inactive records to other storage and destroy temporary records when they become eligible for destruction, they will soon begin to fill up your filing equipment, then your office, and bring clutter and disorganization to all operations. Consider implementing a “records clean-up day” for annually re-assessing the records of the office to identify what can be moved or destroyed. Select a time that is not in the middle of your busy season (perhaps around the holidays) and designate a day for everyone to identify records that can be destroyed and collect them. 

Appoint a Records Management Officer

You may want to appoint one person within the office to be a records management officer. Having a single person responsible for records management efforts made within your office and to coordinate communication about your records with entities outside your office (the county public records commission, a records center, or an archives) can be a key to achieving success. The person should have good organizational skills, but should obviously not already be overwhelmed with too many other duties to be able to devote any time to records management. It may surprise you to hear that almost one-fourth of local governments have a full time records officer.[1]Having an appointed records management officer who can designate part of his or her time year-round to keeping the office files current will go a long way toward insuring that your records management program succeeds. 

            [1]  Managing Records on Limited Resources A Guide for Local Governments, Stephen E. Haller, CRM, issued by the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, November 11, 1991, p. 2.