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Subject: Re: Ethics and Rights or RM's
From: "John J. O'Brien" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 6 Dec 2006 01:32:11 -0500

text/plain (54 lines)

Do not have video footage, sorry. Here are some anecdotes.

When running British Columbia's (arguably) most comprehensive RM program
serving an enterprise-wide workforce of 5000+ spread throughout a very large
territory (4 times the UK and bigger than all the States except Alaska), I
had a few "shocks".

1) Sent a person out to "be friendly" and see whether our security
requirements held up for storage facilities contracted to securely dispose
of records.  He returned to the office with handfuls of records from other
organizations (ones which you might suppose contract secure disposal). this
enabled our shift to a far better contract and better suppliers who
understand that their business as a trust relatinoship, not a paper grading

2) I myself had to decide whether to confront lack of transparency, and how,
in relation to knowledge of records system that were being represented
differently to the press.  I feel I did the right thing, but definitely paid
for it.  And further note that the investigating judge allowed himself to be
sidetracked from ever talking to the guy responsible for the records.

From other experience:

3) A person was put in a position of having to stage a midnight raid,
breaking into a warehouse to retrieve organizational records in a very
"iffy" situation. Glad it was not me.

4) Lost a bid due in part to inclusion of time spent to counsel staff
involved in handling very troubling records - raised the cost with intent to
 both protect the well being of the team, and ensure greater confidentiality
by allowing people to "talk it out".  Not surprisingly, a lower bid won. And
there were leaks by some very upset people. Lots of ethical questions to
explore from many angles in that one.

I think ethics and personal integrity are huge issues today.  Would be
interested in hearing how your presentation goes (though this post may be
too late for you).


John James O'Brien, BA, CRM, MALT
Partner & Principal Consultant
IRM Strategies 
Hong Kong - Bangkok - Vancouver

Associate Partner, S4K Research, Stockholm

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