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Does your department have a Records Management Plan?

Chris Foster, records retention and disposal class, Institutional ComplianceHow long should I keep this? Do I need to keep this record? Should I shred it? These thoughts have likely run through everyone’s mind at least once.

The Institutional Records Management Program, IRMP, has recently begun rollout of its Records Management Planning process for the UNT System, UNT and UNT Dallas.  The process, which is Phase 3 of the overall implementation of the program, is a collaboration between Institutional Records Management and Records Management Representatives from all departments. The process will result in records retention procedures that are clear, up to date and reflective of the university’s academic and business processes. 

The university is required by Texas law to have a records management program, which provides oversight of the management of all university records. With the evolution of technology and emphasis on becoming an efficient, paperless community, it has become increasingly important to know how to maintain records and information generated daily, said Chris Foster, above, director of Institutional Records Management, at a records management training session.

Records Management Plan graphicWhat is the Records Management Planning process?

Every three years, all state agencies go through a recertification process to update their Records Retention Schedules.  The IRMP has adopted a practice of using the Records Management Planning process to ensure that all departments have a voice in the development and updating of the records management policies that affect their operations. The take-away for each department is a clear understanding of what records/information it should retain and what it does not have to retain. 

How is this going to help me?

Each department’s Records Management Plan will be a procedural document that explains what the department should retain and for how long, as well as other characteristics such as historical status or vital records designation. The department’s representative works with the Institutional Records Management Program to develop the plan. 

What is the timeline?

The overall timeline for this process is available at http://records.unt.edu/planning; however, IRMP staff will be working with each department individually to determine project dates. 

What has the IRMP done to make this process simple and easy?

The Institutional Records Management Program has worked with the UNTranet Team as well as Decision Support Services to develop a user-friendly, effective software tool that will be used to facilitate this process. Additionally, the IRMP provides hands-on assistance as needed. 

Will there be training?

IRMP staff began training Oct. 3 with sessions in the Eagle Student Services Center, Room 152. These are designed to introduce RMRs and Alternate RMRs to this process, and demonstrate the Enterprise Records Management Planning Tool. The sessions last one hour and cookies are provided.  

“Our main goal from the very beginning has been to build more than just your average records management program,” said Foster. The Records Management Planning process is our mechanism for helping all departments understand retention requirements; ensure that historical information reaches the University Archives and manage information in the most effective methods possible.  

- Submitted by Chris Foster

Posted on: Mon 03 October 2011

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