Hello everyone,

Staff here at the Assembly are looking for guidance on how to effectively manage their e-mail so I'm now working with our IT department and our Information management coordinator to develop some best practices.  I've been doing a fair amount of research on this and it seems that organizations have a wide range of policies on how to do this best.  We don't have an RDIMS so we're in a situation where staff need to make a decision about which e-mail messages to keep and where to file them.  I believe the best option is to recommend they keep e-mail messages electronically by saving them as message files with a .msg file extension so as to preserve the integrity of the record and any possible attachments.  Do others agree this is the best thing to recommend?

Also, our IT department thinks there might be legislation that tells them how long to keep e-mail on their servers.  I'm sure there isn't since retention depends on content not format, but I'm still in the process of contacting people who will be able to confirm this for me.

Lastly, I know staff are interested in archiving their e-mail.  Does anyone have any tips on how this can best be done using MS Outlook?  When you choose to auto archive, I believe the archive ends up on your c: drive which isn't a safe place to store files.  I'm concerned though that if we tell staff to archive to a network server, we will end up overloading the servers with useless records.

Any advice would be appreciated!  I hope someday to be able to return the favour as I gain more experience in this field.

Annemarie Toth-Waddell
Information Access Manager & RIM Manager for the Legislative Assembly,
Information Resources Branch,
Legislative Library of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario,
(416) 314-8515
Fax (416) 314-8541
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