There are a lot of changes taking place in our government these days and that doesn’t seem to be slowing down in the near future. It is comforting to know that managing digital archives and record keeping in times of change is not a challenge we are doing alone. Other countries are facing the real and proverbial mountain of paperwork. Civil Service World brought this interesting information to us in their article, “Civil service’s digital record legacy poses “real and immediate risks” to operations.”

The Great Britain report, Better Information for Better Government, said the current state of record-keeping creates “real and immediate risks” for operations, information compliance and the government’s reputation. Not any different than in the United States, their government information is held in departmental computer systems, databases or paper files. Much of this must be retained long-term in order to maintain the public record.

Managing information held on paper is much easier, as it typically resides in only one place. When the shift to digital information started, it changed the playing field. Some not-so-thought-out attempts to use paper practices for digital records, i.e. printing out digital records, did not prove worthy.

The records management world is changing, and its role and influence is changing with it. Today, information exists in multiple formats, most of them digital.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.