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Tips On Information And Records Retention Management

Knowing that proper information management can be the most effective means of reducing risks and bolstering regulatory compliance efforts, ARMA International, the not-for-profit professional membership association for records management professionals is offering some simple tips on setting your records and information management policies.
Knowing that proper information management can be the most effective means of reducing risks and bolstering regulatory compliance efforts, ARMA International, the not-for-profit professional membership association for records management professionals is offering some simple tips on setting your records and information management policies.First off, ARMA says "Know your RIM (records and information management) IQ." In order to successfully evaluate your company's records and data policies you must first understand the issues surrounding RIM, so ARMA suggests reading articles on the information management issues facing corporations today including electronic records management, Sarbanes-Oxley and SEC rulings, and data protection. ARMA International has developed a free quiz to help members and non-members evaluate their RIM IQ. Next, the organization says "Think outside the box." Records and information management is everybody's job, and it starts at the desktop. It's about managing e-mails, versions of electronic documents, vital records, instant messages, and the list goes on. Everyone needs to be aware of what needs to be saved, when, why, and for how long.

To accomplish that, you must "Take the time to train," says ARMA. Individual employees play a critical role in helping your organization comply and succeed in litigation, audits, document preservation, and daily records and information management tasks. Make sure they get adequate training on these topics.

The job doesn't stop there. You must constantly "evaluate your electronic records policies," according to ARMA. Pay particular attention to your e-mail retention policies emphasizing retention based on the content of the messages, not the application. ARMA offers on-line self-assessment tools to help determine a company's e-discovery readiness or the general strengths and weaknesses of its records and information management program

And finally, ARMA says, "Form a compliance team." Compliance requires that legal, IT and RIM representatives all be at the table.