A record is a transaction between individuals or institutions that is first documented and then stored on a specific repository for a given, or in some cases an unspecified amount of time. Records vary in their contexts they can range from court records to state information that a country holds about its citizens i.e. birth and death certificates. Records in the current day and age are usually stored electronically on databases. Records provide an organization or government institutions with the necessary proof of the interaction with its partners, in the case of organizations, or citizens in the case of the state.
Why is records management important and who is responsible for managing records in an organization?
Records management is important because it essentially provides an organization or any other entity with of proof of the transaction that they have entered into with another party. It is also important in the decision making or strategic part of an organization. Kept records prevent data anomalies or inconsistencies, this is key on the part of those making decision for the company, if a department within an organization has managed to keep good track of what they have done or have not done it becomes easier for them to make decisions based on those records.
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Everybody in the organization is partially responsible for managing records in the organization. Employees have a responsibility to make sure that all their transactions with external parties related to the organization are kept recorded and stored electronically. However, the records manager or information officer is tasked with managing the records for the whole organization together with his/her team. The records manager is also responsible for drawing up policies that articulate the aims of his/her department to the rest of the organization. This is to make sure that everyone within the organization knows how to handle information and is also knowledgeable on the legal and corporate standards associated with records management.
Outline an electronic records management cycle.
I have identified four phases to the records management life cycle, with the understanding that there possibly could be more that can be identified or less.
The first being: Creation. This entails the part of the cycle when records are being created or being received.
The second part is: Active Records: these are records that are needed frequently. They are retrieved at least one per or month or as frequently as weekly, so these types of records are stored on readily accessible databases.
The third part is: Semi-Active/Inactive Records: Semi active records are not needed for day-to-day business. Organizations need to keep them for referrals for legal reasons, of for financial reasons. They are not used often enough to warrant or justify their being stored in primary record centres. Semi-active records are often stored at a lower cost in a records centre.
The fourth part being: Final disposition: The final disposition is the action that takes place when records have no more value to an organization. This phase can include physical destruction of the records of transfer of the records to the custody of an external body.
What do you see as user interactions with the records?
The user of the records is in the first place a part of the creation process of a particular record. Their input to the process is the relationship they have with the organization. The degree to which they interact with the records depends on the context and meaning of the relationship to an organization. Users of course could range from customers to employees. Employeesâ€™ interaction with record should include them maintaining the records that they have created and updating them if necessary. A customer to an organization interacts with his/her record when they need to consult the business about the transaction they had with that particular business.
What is an ERDMS and what are the benefits you see ERDMS bringing to your organization?
An ERDMS is an Electronic Records and Documents Management System that is used for managing and storing records digitally. It is used to effectively manage paper and electronic records and documents.
The benefits of such a system can in oneâ€™s view be separated from individual to organization. For the individual it can mean a quicker and more convenient discovery and access to information. An improved administrative efficiency and effectiveness. It could also mean the facilitation of evidence based information decision making.
For the organization it could translate into secure and systematic management of unstructured data such as emails, documents and spreadsheets. And also efficiency gains with improved quality and consistency of organizational processes.
Another benefit that one sees for the organization making use of this system is that there can be an enhancement of a recordkeeping culture in other words this best practice can be institutionalized to the whole of the organization. There can also be a reduction in records lost, and reduction in legal liability to exposure. An ability to integrate core business applications with core business applications with the ERDMS can enable improved records capture through automation.
List the ERDMS functionalities and briefly describe each functionality indicating its importance?
Functionality (a): What is stored?
On these systems electronic files such as word processing documents, spreadsheets, multimedia materials etc are stored.
Functionality (b): What end users can do?
End users can create new documents which may or may not be records. They can also save files with limited metadata related to business functions.
Functionality (c): Access and use
Users can retrieve stored files. They can also receive action files accordance with workflow processes and also edit files and select whether to save as a new version or ne w document
Functionality (d): Disposal.
The users of the files can delete them when they do not serve any corporate or legal purpose their department or the whole organization.
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