Functional Inventory Instead of File Detail Inventory?
We use the functional inventory method to identify record series created and assign retention schedules to the record series. It's quicker and less painful to the user and the records management staff. Functions in divisions and departments do not change as often as the files created to support those functions or the processes created to complete the functions. Records control schedules created by listing individual files are cumbersome, and a logistical nightmare to keep current.
A file inventory lists each file created to support the functions and processes of a division or department.
EXAMPLE: FILE INVENTORY
The following files were listed on a division inventory
In a file inventory the four files would be listed and a retention schedule would be assigned to each file.
Check Copies 1025-28
Bank Statements 1025-08
Check Register 1025-08
Cancelled Checks 1025-08
If, for example, the division stopped creating and/or maintaining the records listed below;
They would need to remove the two files from their records control schedule to accurately reflect the files created and/or maintained by the division. Keeping up with files created an no longer created is a logistical nightmare. What happens when somebody comes along and changes the name of the file to suit their needs even though the contents don't change? Do you also add that name to the file inventory?
EXAMPLE: FUNCTIONAL INVENTORY
A functional inventory lists the record series created to support the functions and processes of an organization.
In the case of a functional inventory there would be one entry "Banking Records" as the record series that supports the banking function of the organization. There would be one entry on the records control schedule for "Banking Records".
Banking Records 1025-28
No changes would need to be made to the records control schedule when the department stopped creating two of the records that comprised the record series, "Banking Records".
I believe retention schedules can be assigned to records more accurately that are tied to functions performed by an organization. Understanding how the records are used is important when assigning retention.
Deborah L. McFadden
Records and Information Management
(817) 871-8521 * FAX (817) 871-6654
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From: Catherine Howard [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2002 2:25 PM
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Subject: Inventories - Functional ones
Hallelujah! Would like to hear how many organizations out there use functional retention schedules. And all the pros and cons - if anyone has extensive experience with both.
Government of Ontario
Management Board Secretariat
Office of the Corporate Chief Information Officer
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Tel: 416 326 8986
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