I have heard a great deal about future technologies that are now beginning to challenge Records and Information Management professionals. Numerous new tools have been developed that make the application of traditional records classification schemes and retention schedules quite difficult. However, those new tools and challenges pale in comparison with the issues faced with the management of email. Email management solutions are being implemented by many organizations today. Other organizations are opting to either (1) ignore the problem or to (2) establish retention and disposition timeframes that are entirely arbitrary in nature.
One organization that is currently grappling with the email management issues is my home county – Travis County, Texas. Two of the county’s public servants – Steve Broberg, Director of the County’s Records Management and Communications Resource Department, and Shawn Malone, the Records Services Supervisor for that Department are actively seeking external input as they approach their decisions on how to manage the ongoing deluge of record and non-record information that appears in the County’s email system.
As those of you who are so inclined to review their situation, their white paper and direction at this site , you can feel free to provide some of your input. Remember, as a County government, Steve and Shawn work in an environment that differs substantially from that found in the private sector. They must find a solution that works for elected officials, whose mandate is often at the level of the state constitution, for a number of disparate and independent departments, while serving the needs of : transparency, public access and accountability for taxpayer provided funding.
I find the approach to seeking additional input to be refreshing, and some of you who see the video and who read through the documentation may recognize some of the challenges that you face as well.