Information is at the center of everything an organization does: strategy management, research and development, compliance. How the organization manages that information and its corporate records can directly affect its ability to compete, comply with regulations, and recover from disaster – in other words, to operate efficiently. Records management is defined as the systematic control of records throughout their life cycle.
Records are the evidence of what the organization does. They capture its business activities and transactions, such as contract negotiations, business correspondence, personnel files, and financial statements, just to name a few.
When there’s a lawsuit, all of these – including the copies that individuals have retained and any items prematurely deleted or destroyed –may be identified as discoverable. This means they could be used against the organization in a lawsuit.
Records are information assets and hold value for the organization. Organizations have a duty to all stakeholders to manage them effectively in order to maximize profit, control cost, and ensure the vitality of the organization. Effective records management ensures that the information needed is retrievable, authentic, and accurate. This requires:
Everyone is. Each employee has an important role to play in protecting the future of the organization by creating, using, retrieving, and disposing of records in accordance with the organization’s established policies and procedures.
© 2009, International ARMA