Vital Records Management


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presented at the three-day Seminar-Workshop on Effective Records Management held at the Carlos Dominguez Conference Hall, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Zamboanga City, 2009 Mar 24-6

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Vital Records Management

  1. 1. Vital Records Management
  2. 2. Vital Records Management <ul><li>The objective is to prevent the loss of information which is critical to the continuing operation of an organization in the most efficient and economic manner possible. </li></ul><ul><li>In the public sector, vital records programs protect the public interest and ensure maintenance of individual rights. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Potential risks due to loss of Vital Records <ul><li>Vulnerability to litigation </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure to the unplanned expenses of financial settlements or loss of revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Disruption of efficiency due to gaps in information, and </li></ul><ul><li>Breaks in the continuity of operations </li></ul>
  4. 4. VITAL RECORDS <ul><li>records essential for continued operation </li></ul><ul><li>records with long retention periods </li></ul><ul><li>irreplaceable records </li></ul><ul><li>records where no other copies are available </li></ul><ul><li>records of historical/ permanent value </li></ul>
  5. 5. Vital Records <ul><li>Ownership Records (SEC corporation papers, By-Laws, Titles, Deeds, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Financial Records (bank records, books, journals, general ledgers, negotiable instruments, mortgages, audited financial statements, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Insurance Policy documents </li></ul><ul><li>Contracts and agreements </li></ul><ul><li>Minutes and annual reports </li></ul>
  6. 6. Vital Records <ul><li>Employee Records (201 files) </li></ul><ul><li>Personal records (birth/marriage/death certificates, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Architectural plans (building permits, certificates, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Correspondence (valuable and significant) </li></ul><ul><li>Other media (photographs, microfilms, etc.) </li></ul>
  7. 7. METHODS OF PROTECTION <ul><li>Built-in dispersal </li></ul><ul><li>Duplication </li></ul><ul><li>Onsite storage </li></ul><ul><li>Off-site storage </li></ul><ul><li>Microfilming/microfiching </li></ul><ul><li>Digitization </li></ul>
  8. 8. On-site Storage considerations <ul><li>Building considerations – floor load capacity, lighting/ventilation, smoke/fire alarms, security, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Equipment considerations – purchase of fire-resistant vaults, safes, cabinets… </li></ul><ul><li>Procedural considerations – preparing a vital records manual, updating vital records master list, enforcing rules in records storage area like no smoking, eating, etc. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Off-site Storage considerations <ul><li>should be close enough for access, control, and updating </li></ul><ul><li>reasonably secure </li></ul><ul><li>use of trained records professionals to administer the facility </li></ul><ul><li>hiring of a Vital Records Coordinator </li></ul>
  10. 10. Best practices <ul><li>Think “cool, dry, dark, and clean” </li></ul><ul><li>Preventive steps are invariably less expensive than remedial ones </li></ul><ul><li>Establish policies on care and handling of records </li></ul><ul><li>Use microfilms, if available, or duplicates in place of originals </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid doing anything to your records that cannot be undone </li></ul>
  11. 11. Training and Outreach <ul><li>regularly provide workshops and other training which outline basic program policies and procedures and office responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>establish a system of records liaisons or coordinators within the major units of the institution to serve as basic contacts for the records management program </li></ul><ul><li>publicize, inform, educate the campus community thru campus newsletters, brochures on various records management topics, and electronic communication technologies (emails, library blogs) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Contact Questions?