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Subject: Re: Online retention scheduling database
From: Larry Medina <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 6 Apr 2010 13:03:14 -0400

text/plain (46 lines)

>The New York State Archives is in the process of designing an online
>searchable database of its retention and disposition schedules. The
>schedules include local government general schedules, state agency
>general schedule, and schedules specific to individual state agencies.
>We are also considering incorporating the following functionalities:
>● Input of scheduling data by Archives and government staff (e.g.,
>new schedule items, revise schedules)
>● Construct office retention schedules
>● Download schedules in various formats
>● Track status of schedules within the review and approval process
>● Facilitate workflow
>● Produce reports

Overall I think it's a great idea, and a valuable tool for use by the
parties you've indicated.  A couple of thoughts:

- Find some way to limit WHO can make changes, and rather than having
changes directly reflected in the database, you may want them to be 'vetted'
by an approving authority to ensure they don't reflect proposed (rather than
approved) periods or inconsistent language.

- Make sure you have a way of notifying anyone who has accessed the database
when changes are made to ensure they are working with the most current and
accurate data if they have downloaded content for local use.

- Annotate database for items under review and/or undergoing approval to
allow users to know there are potential pending changes.

- Include column to reflect 'last revised' date so users can verify the
information they are using is current and can easily identify new content.

- Provide a "Table of Changes" at the beginning of each schedule that
reflects revision history.

As valuable as access to this information is, it's equally as important to
ensure users are informed as changes are pending or made so they are
appropriately applying the schedules to information they are managing locally. 

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