Larry - thank you for your thoughtful reply.

Regarding my personal disregard for anonymous posts, there are two primary reasons I find them distasteful: First, remarks can be made in a public forum that could inspire legal recourse. While I am sure there are methods to determine the true identity of the poster should a person or company wish to take that next step, in my opinion an anonymous responder might feel more free to push past the edge of civil discourse. This can have the short-term effect of discouraging interchange due to a temporarily poisoned atmosphere. Second, I believe it is helpful to know or to attempt to construct the point of view of individuals who post on the list for the purpose of providing a more meaningful context for their message. A signed message (particularly with information about where one lives or for what organization the poster works seems to help frame a post.) Perhaps I read more into that kind of information than is warranted, but I find it helpful.

Regarding your second point - I have no idea why the final decision was made to moderate the list. I am sure your understanding is correct.

The inaccuracy in Hugh's statement regarding the vote on the various proposals made at the committee seemed to imply that it was the vote of committee members present at the meeting that determined the outcome of a particular log, and that there was some kind of manipulation on the part of some of the parties to bring up a contentious issue after other parties had left the meeting.  Neither is the case. On the latter point, the chairman of the committee has wide latitude to determine the schedule. It was the chairman's decision (consented to by ALL members present at the meeting) to take the log in question out of order and on the following day. Regarding the former - a ballot is sent by mail to all members of the committee, along with detailed notes of each change to the standard that has been proposed, and the results of the vote of the committee members present. All committee members, whether present at the meeting or not, have an opportunity to vote on each item separately and include comments which justify their vote, if in opposition to recommendations of the committee. It is the final vote by mail ballot which determines the actual outcome.

Regarding comments on 232-11, that comment can be taken several ways. If the meaning is that most members of PRISM are not members of ARMA, that would be incorrect. Most PRISM members are very involved in ARMA, particularly if there is a local chapter near them. If the meaning is that a significant number of potential members do not belong to their association, that is probably true. Try as we might to reach each company, no association has 100% market penetration unless it is required by law or other professional requirement such as mandatory recertification. It is ultimately the choice of the individual. Even without membership in an association, the benefit of an open standards process such as that employed by NFPA is that no individual is prohibited from comment. I suspect that a lack of awareness is probably the reason that more individuals do not - which is something that associations incorporate into their member benefits through communications activities - legislative alerts, magazines, etc.

Regarding records contamination, perhaps I heard press reports that have since been corrected. I sincerely hope this is the case. That would be good news for those working and living in the area.

Regarding the response teams - of course we would partner with ARMA or other associations or groups who may be like-minded on this issue. The development of Strategic Alliances with other organizations is a central tenet of our strategic plan. At our recently completed conference in Copenhagen, we were able to involve representatives of both the Records Management Society of Great Britain and the International Records Management Trust (as well as ARMA). Our meeting was greatly enhanced by their presence. PRISM is fortunate to have developed an extremely positive and mutually beneficial working relationship with ARMA. This will be the fourth year we have held a joint educational conference. (As a matter of fact, our Joint Symposium this December will feature the listserv's own Peter Kurilecz as a speaker). That is one of the primary benefits of an organization like CIMA (which you asked about some months ago) in that it allows the participating organizations to identify these types of initiatives and determine where there are opportunities for partnership.

I appreciate your many contributions to the list, Larry, and I hope to see you in Montreal.

Best wishes,


Jim Booth
Executive Director
PRISM International
605 Benson Road, Suite B
Garner, NC 27529
Fax: 919.771.0457
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