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Records Management

Thursday, September 12, 2013
Ever wonder why the State of Wyoming, or any other governmental agency, does something a certain way? Why and how a decision was made? Who was responsible for the implementation of certain governmental policies or procedures?

Of course some of those questions can be answered by state statute, or a look at the legislative process.

However, many governmental decisions are made at the agency or departmental level and the documents and records concerning those types of operations are the responsibility of the Wyoming State Archives.

According to the Wyoming State Archives, “records play a vital role in the overall operation of state government activities. They serve as an organization’s memory, as a record of past events, and as a basis for future actions. No government activity can be accomplished without the documented evidence contained in the records. By applying the principles of records and information management (RIM), the State Archives strives to assure this role is fulfilled.”

While records management is not glamorous, it is highly important and required by State Statute.

One would think that with the advances of computer technology, digitalization capabilities and software, records management would get easier. If anything, those advances and the speed in which software is updated has made records management more challenging. The challenge of keeping up with technology, according to Records Manager Tammi Pusheck of the Wyoming State Archives, is finding the money, resources and people to do it.

With the help of $1.1 million legislative appropriation, the State Archives is undertaking a project designed to provide state agencies with a way to store and manage their electronic records.

Agencies will put their records into a digital repository where they will be stored securely, assigned a retention period, and migrated to new file formats when necessary. A with paper records, access to documents and the digital repository will be restricted to those in the originating agency. The digital repository will allow agencies to access and search their records from their desks.

The Archives hopes that most, if not all, state agencies will use the repository.

“We’re hoping this will be the start of something that can be effective and cost efficient,” Pusheck said. “The goal is for the state to use our funds wisely.”

The Archives will work with selected agencies over the next several months on a pilot project to develop and test the system. Plans are for the project to be made available to other agencies next summer.

Message added by SPCR at: 12:44:35 PM

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