Hello all,

Many are discussing voicemails, Internet messaging systems, voice recording,
etc as to if they are records.

If we are in government or in a private corporation what is a record?

I choose to recognize that a record in the RM sense is information, which
documents a transaction, or decision that has been reached. It doesn't
matter the medium or form. What was the domain of all of the records for
your organization 10 years ago? 5 years ago? Today? 5 years in the future?

This is changing as we receive laws that change the types of records that
are acceptable in the courts. It is also changing due to federal and state
regulations. It is also changing with regard to the peculiarities of the
organization you are a part of and how you conduct you business.

Some records manager's years ago may have been storing voice recordings on
tape, and others may never be doing it.

All of these changes in law and technology are changing what makes up the
domain of records that we need to be concerned with in a particular
organization. The important consideration is not what is your domain of
records. That will be different for each records manager based on his or her
organization as it has been in the past.

The most important consideration is how are we going to classify these
various types, forms, and media of records.

Records used to be delivered to records managers. Sometimes they assisted or
participated in helping departments to identify them but it has been a
reactive process. Over time the important records in an organization were
classified and retained. Some have been ignored. We are now in a time when a
bright light is shinning on the prior basement process called records
management. Records management has over the years been changing as most
things do. But, I believe we will see exponential change in this field in
the next five years.

I know that some of you and your records management operations may be
exceptions to this, but I am speaking in generalities.

Now records management needs to be proactive. I mean proactive with regard
to the automatic classification of records in whatever system or media we
may find them.

I am not saying that we should all go out and buy some kind of automatic
classification system, although some systems have these features. I am
saying that due to the changes I have described records managers must be
concerned with the classification of all information as a part of the
organizations systems for records management to be performed.

What I am saying is that the knowledge of records managers as to
classification system, retention systems, and the methods of performing
these functions needs to be leveraged, and expanded to include these newer
technologies as they evolve.

We must be more proactive in designing systems that by the nature of the way
they function and the way end users do their jobs automatically identifies
and classifies records. Then these systems must interface with the newly
available enterprise document and records management systems so that the
records are retained. These systems must be designed so that automatically
the issues of records retention, security, and privacy are satisfied. The
systems and technologies to do this job exist today.

What is required?

This means that records managers must be involved to a greater and greater
degree in understanding the objectives of their organizations. They must
become more knowledgeable regarding the organizations workflow and how to
integrate records management into the process. They must understand at an
overview level the changes in technology with regard to IT and the business
of their organization. Lastly they must with IT personnel be concerned with
integrating the automatic classification into the design of systems in such
a way that the end users do not have to be trained to be records managers.

Note to all: Please if you are to comment do so on the above issues. But for
those of you interested, the above issues do not change my views on SII/SIM.
I believe that they can coexist and that if SII/SIM is successful the above
will be easier to achieve.

David K. Kasparian
David K. Kasparian, CNE, MIT              20426 Blythe St
ANALYTICAL SOLUTIONS                   Winnetka, CA 91306
Voice: (818) 998-4774                 Fax: (818) 718-7239
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