A few tricks we have learned to improve response:
- Print and highlight in bright colors "Second Destruction Notice",
"Third Destruction Notice", etc... This actually works really well.
Rarely do agencies go past 3.
- Move the destruction notice up the organizational hierarchy upon
- Charge for storage. We just started doing this and have noticed an
improvement in response time.
Note that we don't have a problem with organizations putting records on
hold. Unless otherwise instructed, that hold is for 6 months, until the
next destruction cycle (we do this twice a year). When placed on hold,
the retention statement is revised to indicate that the record was
placed on hold per agency request. Our main concern is for when the
notices are simply ignored.
- the Gary Vocks response. This is reserved for the truly recalcitrant,
such as the agency head who informed me that his real intention was to
store his records forever, and that he had lied about his willingness to
follow the retention schedule - ha ha ha, now the records are my
problem. I informed him that he would be receiving 2 pallets of boxes at
his office within a week. I then had a Distribution employee go to his
office before hand with measuring tape to determine where the pallets
should go. This had a wonderful clarifying effect. I've only done this
Note that you have to set your priorities. Is it more important to get
rapid responses to destruction notices, or to get organizations into the
system? I would propose that the latter is - at least initially - by far
the more important issue, and that you have to strike a proper balance
between enforcement and service. If cost of storage becomes an issue,
its fairly easy to track this stuff, and point to the entities which are
not destroying records. Make it their problem, not yours.
Dwight Wallis, CRM
Records & Distribution Services Manager
Multnomah County Fleet, Records, Electronic & Distribution Services
1620 SE 190th Avenue
Portland OR 97233
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