Did you know that April is Records and Information Management (RIM) Month? Here in Warren County we promote proper records management all year long, not just in April. Now, if you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what that means, don’t worry! You’re not alone.
RIM month was started nationally in 2002 to promote records management standards and best practices while also emphasizing the importance of organized information. The archives and preservation side of the Records Center is much more visual to the public, whereas records management is much more behind the scenes, but just as important! As the county records manager*, outside of managing the department, records and information management is a big part of my responsibilities.
We keep all kinds of records for county departments. A record is defined as any document, device, or item, regardless of its form, that serves to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of an office. Each record is recognized on a retention schedule, commonly known as an RC-2. This schedule then determines how long a record should be kept depending on whether it has administrative, fiscal, legal or historical value.
The county follows a general retention schedule (GRS) and each department has their own RC-2. These are especially important because not every record should or needs to be kept long term. By staying current with departments’ retention schedules, we save valuable tax payer dollars through the proper destruction of records after they have hit their retention period. In turn this reduces operating expenses and cuts back on the cost of unnecessary storage of inactive records.
Once records are ready for destruction, a certificate of destruction (RC-3) or court order for disposal is required to be submitted to the Records Center for most items. Once this happens, then proper destruction of records can happen, which we conduct onsite. All of these steps are instrumental in order to keep the flow of records and information management moving.
*Guest blogger: County Records Manager, Jen Haney Conover