Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tracking Google's Acquisitions

Tracking Google's Acquisitions

Monday, August 16, 2010

Federal Electronic Records Management; A Status Report

This is information we posted recently on this blog regarding a hearing held by the the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and the National Archives. I believe this to be so significant and noteworthy that it merits re posting on this blog. I trust that all interested will follow the post activity resulting from this hearing..

As noted last week, on Thursday, June 17th, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and the National Archives held at hearing entitled, “Federal Electronic Records Management: A Status Report.”
If you are interested in the issues surrounding Federal electronic records management, including issues involving NARA’s Government-wide authority in records management, you should watch the webcast and review the full written testimony offered by a wide variety of experts.
From my perspective, as one of the witnesses, I thought the hearing did a great job bringing to light the electronic records management challenges that NARA and the Federal agencies are facing today and their important connection to NARA’s overall mission.
The panel of Government witnesses explained the challenges of the Federal electronic records management environment, and through the questioning from the Committee, explored where Federal agencies are falling short and where NARA and Federal agencies must do more more to improve Federal electronic records management across the Government.
The panel of non-Government witnesses provided a broader context to the issue, offering valuable academic, private industry, and public interest perspectives on electronic records management.
In the written testimony and in the oral presentations there were allusions to various analyses, standards, and studies that you may want more direct access to. Below are some of the titles with hotlinks:
NARA’s Records Management Self-Assessment, 2009: An Assessment of Records Management Programs in the Federal Government, published April 20, 2010.
NARA’s Electronic Records Project, Summary Report: FY 2005 - FY 2009, published June 15, 2010.
Department of Defense’s Electronic Records Management Software Applications Design Criteria Standard (DoD 5015.02 version 3), published April 25, 2007.
Government Accountability Office’s Federal Records: National Archives and Selected Agencies Need to Strengthen E-Mail Management (GAO-08-742), published June 13, 2008.
ARMA International’s Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles (GARP)(R), approved February 20, 2009.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s (CREW’s) Records Chaos: The Deplorable State of Electronic Record Keeping in the Federal Government, published April 16, 2008.
I cannot close this post without thanking Chairman Wm. Lacy Clay for calling the hearing on this important issue. Thanks also to him for pointing out during the introduction of the Government panel the importance of the University of Maryland, my alma mater and a leading university in the fields of archives and information management and computer science. Four of the five Government panelists coincidentally have important ties to the university.
So, what did you think of the hearing? What are your views about the electronic records management challenges facing NARA and the Federal Government?
We want to hear from you and start the dialogue today.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Electronic Records Management Guidance on Methodology for Determining Agency-unique Requirements

Context for Electronic Records Management [ERM]
Context for Electronic Records Management


The figure above is meant to place both the definitions that follow and the subsequent four Fast Track products in an appropriate context. A discussion of this follows.

As denoted in the above figure, records management, as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations definition cited below, is the rubric "umbrella term" for the discipline defined by an agency's policies and processes for managing the records that document its activities. This is denoted in the above figure as the top-level, overarching box.

Records management activities subsumed under that umbrella may be accomplished in either a manual or automated manner. This is denoted in the bifurcation at the next level down in the diagram. When records management activities are manual, this is the traditional approach to records management. When records management activities are automated, the Fast Track Guidance Development project refers to those activities as electronic records management [ERM]. It is important to note that the electronic in ERM refers to automation, not to the nature of the record media. It is entirely possible to have manual processes and procedures to handle electronic records (e.g., shelf lists of boxes of floppy disks). Conversely, it is possible to haerm" for the discipline defined by an agency's policve automated procedures to handle paper records (e.g., bar coding, box tracking, etc.). Electronic records management simply implies automation of records management processes and procedures.

These first five Fast Track products focus specifically on automated processes and procedures used in the management of only those records maintained in electronic form; Fast Track has termed this arena as that of electronic recordkeeping [ERK]. This is denoted in the darkest box at the lower right of the figure above.

As such, and as is discussed in Preliminary Planning for Electronic Recordkeeping: Checklist for IT Staff, one of the first decisions that agencies must make when deciding to move towards automation of records management processes is to determine whether the system is to manage only paper records [ERM], only electronic records [ERK], or both [ERM].

This Fast Track product provides a context for ERK, specifies the records management and information technology [IT] terminology associated with ERK, and provides a context for the following four strategic Fast Track products.

Context: Terminology
Shared terminology, scope, and framework are fundamental to our understanding of electronic records issues. This is especially true when more than one profession, each with its own vocabulary and point of view, must work collectively to solve the challenges electronic records present. The focus of this particular set of Fast Track products concerns electronic recordkeeping concepts that need to be understood in the larger context of records management, electronic records management, and other aspects of information technology.

What Does NARA Mean By:

* Records

Records include all books, papers, maps, photographs, machine readable materials, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by an agency of the United States Government under Federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the Government or because of the informational value of the data in them. (44 U.S.C. 3301)

Information technology uses the word record to describe a particular set of information. In this data processing context, records are composed of fields of information, and a collection of such fielded records comprises an electronic file. The Fast Track documents, however, use the term record as described in the above definition per the Federal Records Act.
* Electronic records

Electronic, or machine-readable records, are records on electronic storage media (A Glossary for Archivists, Manuscript Curators, and Records Managers, Society of American Archivists: Chicago, 1992 p. 12). Electronic record, as defined in NARA regulations (36 CFR 1234.2), means any information that is recorded in a form that only a computer can process and that satisfies the definition of a Federal record per the Federal Records Act definition supplied above. Federal electronic records are not necessarily kept in a "recordkeeping system" but may reside in a generic electronic information system or are produced by an application such as word processing or electronic mail.

* Metadata

Metadata is a term that describes or specifies characteristics that need to be known about data in order to build information resources such as electronic recordkeeping systems and support records creators and users.

* Records Management

There are many (similar) definitions of records management. One common one is "...the field of management responsible for the systematic control of the creation, maintenance, use and disposition of records." (A Glossary for Archivists, Manuscript Curators, and Records Managers, Society of American Archivists: Chicago, 1992 p. 29.) From the Federal perspective, it is the planning, controlling, directing, organizing, training, promoting, and other managerial activities involved in records creation, maintenance and use, and disposition in order to achieve adequate and proper documentation of the policies and transactions of the Federal Government (36 CFR 1220.14).

* Electronic Records Management [ERM]

Electronic records management [ERM] is using automated techniques to manage records regardless of format. Electronic records management is the broadest term that refers to electronically managing records on varied formats, be they electronic, paper, microform, etc. Electronic recordkeeping [ERK] is a subset of ERM, because ERK focuses on electronically managing electronic records.
* Electronic Recordkeeping [ERK]

Electronic recordkeeping [ERK] is the development of automated processes an agency uses to manage its electronic records. These automated processes support not only the preservation of an electronic record's content, but also its context and structure over time. These first Fast Track documents specifically address ERK issues.
* Electronic information system [EIS] (From WhatIs.Com, term=INFORMATION SYSTEM)

"The collection of technical and human resources that provide the storage, computing, distribution, and communication for the information required by all or some part of an enterprise. A special form of information system is a management information system (MIS), which provides information for managing an enterprise."

Electronic information systems automate certain business functions. Other programmatic electronic information systems may automate agency mission-specific business functions, and as such, may produce Federal records in the process. These electronic information systems may or may not incorporate all aspects of appropriate electronic recordkeeping, depending on their design characteristics.
* Electronic Recordkeeping System [ERKS]

An electronic recordkeeping system [ERKS] is an electronic information system that meets an agency's recordkeeping needs. At a high level, NARA has defined an ERKS as an electronic information system in which records are collected, organized, and categorized to facilitate their preservation, retrieval, use, and disposition (36 CFR 1234.2). From a records perspective, an ERKS will ensure that the records it maintains will have sufficient authenticity and reliability* to meet all of the agency's recordkeeping needs.

*The International Council on Archives document Guide for Managing Electronic Records from an Archival Perspective states "The reliability of a record is its ability to serve as reliable evidence....Authenticity refers to the persistence over time of the original characteristics of the record with respect to context, structure and content. An authentic record is one that retains its original reliability."
* Electronic Document Management System [EDMS]

An electronic document management system [EDMS] is software that manages the creation, storage, and control of semi-structured documents. It consists of several technologies including, but not limited to document management, COLD (Computer Output to Laser Disk), imaging, and workflow. See Preliminary Planning for Electronic Recordkeeping: Checklist for RM Staff for a more detailed description of these technologies.

In part, because an EDMS does not support the preservation of the business context of an individual record (i.e., EDMS systems manage a content item as an individual unit, as opposed to preserving its relationship to a larger group of documents that provide evidence of the same particular organizational function), EDMS systems are not electronic recordkeeping systems.
* Records Management Application [RMA]

Records Management Application [RMA] is the term used in DoD 5015.2-STD, Design Criteria Standard for Electronic Records Management Software Applications, for software that manages records. Its primary management functions are categorizing and locating records and identifying records that are due for disposition. RMA software also stores, retrieves, and disposes of the electronic records that are maintained in its repository. DoD 5015.2-STD requires that RMAs be able to manage records regardless of their media. The DoD maintains a list of software products that have been tested and certified to comply with the mandatory requirements of DoD 5015.2-STD.

See NARA endorsement of DoD 5015.2-STD.

Context for Subsequent Fast Track Products

Given the relationship that has been explained here between electronic records management [ERM] and electronic recordkeeping [ERK], the next four products focus specifically on ERK. This is not meant to imply that the larger context of ERM is being ignored, or that some of what is contained in the subsequent products is not equally applicable to ERM systems development efforts. It is simply a reflection of the focus of questions that were submitted to the Fast Track Project Team by Federal agency personnel

Electronic Records Management Guidance on Methodology for Determining Agency-unique Requirements

NARA�s Electronic Records Project - Powered by Google Docs

NARA�s Electronic Records Project - Powered by Google Docs

The Most Effective Time Management Tips - Business Exchange

Outstanding Time Management Tips

Time management tips can help you run a more effective projects so that your project doesn’t stall out due to improper use of time.

Below you can find time management tips which our expertize exclude as the most effective in time management process:

1. Think through the task you are about to undertake before you even begin it.

2. Don’t take on too many tasks at the same time.

3. Finish one project before starting on a new one.

4. Always strive to finish everything you start.

5. Streamline your paperwork so that you don’t waste time on needless duplications.

6. Ask for help. Delegate tasks rather than doing everything yourself.

7. Set aside uninterrupted time to complete a project so that you can avoid distractions.

8. Pay attention to instructions and conversations so that you get the details right from the first time.

9. Before you run an errand, make sure the items you are going for are ready.

10. Schedule your appointments during the morning hours so that you become more organized.

11. Maintain a clutter free home and workspace so that you don’t waste time looking for misplaced items.

12. Pick out your outfit for the next morning and have everything ready so that you don’t waste your time in the morning.

13. Always keep your gas tank at half full or more so that you don’t have to stop when it isn’t convenient.

Time is valuable and we often take it for granted. We either have too much or too little. Time is something to be respected and used wisely. Do not waste it for something which is not worth for because every waste on the end will finish with the thought “All I wanted was time!”
The Most Effective Time Management Tips - Business Exchange

Our Favorite Cheat Sheets

Excellent information worth visiting often!

Our Favorite Cheat Sheets

Friday, August 13, 2010

#saa10: The Cloud – Opportunity or Risk for Records Managers? | eDiscovery Journal

#saa10: The Cloud – Opportunity or Risk for Records Managers? | eDiscovery Journal

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

YouTube - "Federal Electronic Records Management: A Status Report" Pt 3

Worth reposting, can't believe this is not getting greater viewership!

YouTube - "Federal Electronic Records Management: A Status Report" Pt 3

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Free Books Online Af Electronic Records Management Erm Solution ...

Free Books Online Af Electronic Records Management Erm Solution ...
1RIM-ERM (Records and Information Management-Electronic Records Management.) . ... photolithography process pdf · familias de antibioticos ppt ...

Vocabulary In Use |

Vocabulary In Use |

Google Apps Leads Microsoft in Federal Cloud Race: 10 Reasons Why It Matters - Cloud Computing from eWeek

Google Apps Leads Microsoft in Federal Cloud Race: 10 Reasons Why It Matters - Cloud Computing from eWeek