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Electronic Records Committee

BACKGROUND:

  • Formed in April 1998 at the request of the Records and Forms Management Division (Department of Management and Budget) and the State Archives of Michigan (Department of State).
  • Sponsored by the Chief Information Officer for the State of Michigan and the DMB Deputy Director for Management Services. 
  • Membership includes records managers, archivists, information technology professionals, purchasing officers, attorneys, auditors and end-users. 
  • Meets quarterly to discuss progress, endorse activities, and debate future objectives.
  • Primary concern is the impact that computer technology has on government's ability to retain electronic public records for as long as they are needed and then destroy them completely.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ERC:

QUESTIONS?

Contact: Jim Kinsella, Records and Forms Management Division, (517) 335-9130


Mission Statement:

Recommend enterprise-wide standards and provide guidance to state government agencies for the creation, management, accessibility, retention, and preservation of information in electronic formats.

Definition: Electronic Record
  • An electronic record is information recorded by a computer that is produced or received in the initiation, conduct or completion of an agency or individual activity. To provide sufficient evidence, the record must comprise content, context and structure.
Action Agenda

ISSUE #1: SUPPORT FOR ELECTRONIC RECORDS MANAGEMENT AND PRESERVATION ISSUES

  • Build support for statewide solutions to electronic records management and preservation problems.
  • Develop an understanding of the complexity of electronic records management and preservation problems.

ISSUE #2: IDENTIFY AND APPRAISE ELECTRONIC RECORDS IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH RETENTION AND DISPOSAL SCHEDULES

  • Support efforts of Records Management staff in the development of retention and disposal schedules for electronic records.
  • Identify the information that needs to be gathered to inventory and appraise electronic records.

ISSUE #3: ENSURE THAT ELECTRONIC RECORDS MANAGEMENT AND PRESERVATION ISSUES ARE CONSIDERED AND PLANNED FOR DURING THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW SYSTEMS AND UPGRADES

  • Develop a method that incorporates records management and preservation issues into the systems development process.

ISSUE #4: COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEMS DOCUMENTATION FOR ALL COMPUTER SYSTEMS

  • Recommend that comprehensive and consistent systems documentation be created, maintained and kept current.

ISSUE #5: GENERAL RETENTION SCHEDULE FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY OFFICES

  • Support efforts of Records Management staff in the development of a general retention schedule for common information technology office records.

ISSUE #6: EDUCATE STATE EMPLOYEES ABOUT ELECTRONIC RECORDS MANAGEMENT AND PRESERVATION ISSUES

  • Interdisciplinary participation in the development of educational tools and programs to ensure they address all needs and are supported by all groups.

ISSUE #7: STATEWIDE STANDARDS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR ELECTRONIC RECORDKEEPING SYSTEMS

  • Interdisciplinary participation in the development of standards, policies and procedures to ensure they address all needs and are supported by all groups.
  • Ensure that technology purchased by the State is compatible and migratable from one product to another through enterprise-wide solutions.

ISSUE #8: IMPLEMENTATION OF RETENTION, PRESERVATION AND DISPOSITION REQUIREMENTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPROVED RETENTION AND DISPOSAL SCHEDULES

  • Develop a method to ensure that electronic records are retained for as long as they are legally needed and are deleted when their retention period has expired.
  • Develop an auditing mechanism to ensure standards are followed.

ISSUE #9: PRESERVATION AND ACCESSIBILITY OF LONG-TERM OR ARCHIVAL ELECTRONIC RECORDS

  • Recommend how the state will keep its electronic records accessible and usable for extended periods of time due to the fact that technology changes. Compatibility problems and technological obsolescence threaten the long-term and archival accessibility of electronic records

ISSUE #10: ENSURE THAT STANDARDS ARE KEPT CURRENT AS TECHNOLOGY AND NEEDS CHANGE

  • Develop a mechanism for an ongoing review of standards and processes.

Accomplishments:

  • Adopted a mission statement, a definition of electronic records, and an action agenda
  • Published Electronic Records Procedure 
  • Hosted Symposium "Managing Electronic Records for the Next Millennium"
    • September 8, 1999
    • Attended by 240 state employees
    • Speakers included: Janet Phipps, DMB Director; Jennifer Granholm, Attorney General; Michael Miller, National Archives and Records Administration; Tiffany Murphy, Electronic Evidence Discovery, Inc.
  • Received $190,000 Federal Grant 
  • Developed Organizing Electronic Files Class

Proceedings:

Beginning in April 1998, the ERC met on a periodic basis, as input from committee members was deemed necessary. In June 2000, the ERC agreed to hold quarterly meetings, and proceedings were distributed to all members. The ERC is an advisory group that recommends and endorses best practices. There is no official chair, nor is there official membership. Meetings are coordinated by the Records and Forms Management Division and the State Archives of Michigan. Participation is encouraged for all state employees who have an interest in the retention and preservation of electronic records. 


June 21, 2000

Lake Superior Room, Michigan Library and Historical Center 

Attendees: Jim Kinsella, DMB; Dean Kohagen, DMB; Debbie Gearhart, DMB; Bill Bailey, CIS; Jim Matson, DOS; Dave Johnson, DOS; Caryn Wojcik, DOS; Deb Gouin, DMB; Doug Case, DMB; Mimi Dionne, DMB; Sandy Friedle, DMB; Scott Leonard, DOS; Helen Taylor, DOS; Julie Meyerle, DOS; Sandra Clark, DOS; Jeff Stoney, DMB; Rob Sarro, Allegan; Bill Deetz, Allegan; Kristin Coffindaffer, Allegan; Paul Koons, Attorney General; Matt Keck, Attorney General.

  1. RMA Pilot Project Status
    The pilot project which is jointly sponsored by the Records and Forms Management Division and the State Archives of Michigan officially began on May 1. The software (ForeMost Enterprise v. 2) has been purchased and will be installed in July. Two new people have been hired to work on the project: Mimi Dionne and Deb Gouin. Other project staff include: Jim Kinsella, Project Director, Doug Case and Caryn Wojcik.

  2. ForeMost Demonstration
    Rob Sarro, Records Manager, and Bill Deetz, Human Resources Director, for Allegan County government provided a demonstration of how they are using ForeMost. They have been using ForeMost since January and are having great success with it. They demonstrated what the file plans look like, how to file electronic records into the repository and how to search and retrieve electronic records. Bill Deetz explained how his staff can now retrieve records in about 5 seconds, compared to five minutes, and how use of the software has improved their business processes.

  3. E-mail FAQ
    Previous versions of the guide have been reviewed and discussed by the ERC, since then it has been distributed for comment to the CIOs, administrative officers, and RMOs. Comments were received from these groups and a written response to those comments was drafted and distributed at the meeting. One of the suggestions was to prepare a cover letter for department directors, CIOs and administrative officers that highlights their role in implementing good management of e-mail. The draft cover letter was distributed for comment at the meeting. The final version of the E-mail FAQs will be published on the web page of the Records and Forms Management Division, and they will be printed and distributed through other means as well.

  4. Electronic Files Class
    Debbie Gearhart and Caryn Wojcik have developed a class about Organizing Electronic Files. The audience is anyone who uses a computer to create/use e-mail, word processed documents, spreadsheets, etc. It is a 2 hour class with lecture and a hands-on exercise, and a Windows Explorer class is a pre-requisite. Debbie is teaching OSS/RMA project participants, and DMB/ITSD is offering the class to all DMB employees. We are working with LCI to add the class to their catalog for state employees, and hopefully the class will be available to all state employees either internally or through LCI by January. In addition, we are developing a manual and an online version (www) for employees who do not work in Lansing. A modified version of the class is also being prepared for use by local governments and public universities.

  5. Future Meetings
    Please mark your calendars now for future Electronic Records Committee quarterly meetings:
    • September 19, 2000, 10:00-12:00pm, Lake Superior Room, Michigan Library and Historical Center
    • December 19, 2000, 10:00-12:00pm, Lake Superior Room, Michigan Library and Historical Center
    • March 20, 2001, 10:00-12:00pm, Lake Superior Room, Michigan Library and Historical Center
    • Mission

September 19, 2000

Electronic Records Committee Meeting Minutes

Lake Superior Room, Michigan Historical Center

Present: Tom Fogle, Sandy Friedle, Art Lauer, Caryn Wojcik, Debbie Gearhart, Dean Kohagan, Jim Kinsella, Jeff Stoney, Steve Bauer.

Status of Email FAQ

  • Email FAQ awaiting approval.
  • The Governor's Office has requested an Email Policy.
  • Laws and policies are in place to cover the issues raised in the Email FAQ. 

RMA Project

  • The last meeting featured a status update and presentation from Allegan county. 
  • The project team had hoped to demo ForeMost today, however the software is not ready yet. 
  • We are receiving good feedback about the RMA project webpage from accross the country. 

Electronic Files Class

  • Lori Edwards is currently teaching the class to DMB employees. 
  • Handout was distributed. 
  • The class is now available to all state employees, either through the agency training coordinator or through a training vendor.

Electronic Forms

  • E-Michigan is very interested in e-forms. 

E-Michigan

  • Jim Hogan discussed E-Michigan
    5 theme teams: 
    • Education 
    • Business Services 
    • Health and Human services 
    • Travel and Tourism 
    • (Occupational and Professional) Licenses, etc. 
  • HoganJ@michigan.gov 

December 19, 2000

Attendees: Jim Kinsella, DMB; Debbie Gearhart, DMB; Bill Bailey, CIS; Jim Matson, DOS; Dave Johnson, DOS; Caryn Wojcik, DOS; Sandra Clark, DOS; Darrin Fowler, AG; Matthew Keck, AG; Tom Fogle, DMB; Art Lower, DMB.

  1. RMA Pilot Project Status

    The RMA software, ForeMost, was installed. On November 17 a ceremony was held to officially file the first documents using ForeMost. The first group of users was trained and is currently using the software. There have been some problems with the software and the network, however many of them have been resolved. The project team is using a variety of methods to analyze the impact that ForeMost has on business processes and the cultural changes that users experience. In addition, the project team is working with the Michigan Gaming Control Board to help them implement another RMA product, called iRims. This will allow the team to evaluate two products.

  2. Records Media Act

    In November 1998 the State of Michigan promulgated rules to regulate the use of imaging technology as a record reproduction method by Michigan government agencies at the state, local, legislative and judicial levels. Due to a variety of factors, we now believe that it is time to amend the law, the "Records Media Act," that mandated the promulgation of these rules. Changing the law will allow us to revise the rules so they meet the needs of Michigan government agencies.

    The State Archives of Michigan is coordinating the effort to amend the law and distributed the draft amendment. There were three amendments in the package, because the provisions in the amended Records Media Act would also require changes to the Historical Commission Act and the Administrative Procedures Act.

    The committee members were asked to submit comments in writing by January 15, 2001 to Caryn Wojcik.

  3. DMB Reorganization

    The Records and Forms Management Division will be moved to the IT side of DMB from the Management Services side. This is seen as a positive change considering the recent initiatives with electronic records and electronic forms.

  4. E-mail

    The Governor has asked George Boersma to develop an e-mail policy. One of the issues that seems to cause the most concern is that people have trouble identifying which e-mail messages are records and which are not. A draft diagram was distributed that attempts to teach people what the differences are. The diagram was discussed and suggestions for improvements were made.

  5. Web site

    The Electronic Records Committee now has its own web site that can be accessed from the web page of the Records and Forms Management Division: http://www.state.mi.us/dmb/mgmt/services/oss/rfmd

  6. Future Meetings

    Please mark your calendars now for future Electronic Records Committee quarterly meeting:
    March 20, 2001, 10:00-12:00pm
    Michigan Library and Historical Center, Lake Superior room

March 20, 2001

 Attendees: Jim Kinsella, DMB; Bill Bailey, CIS; Marvin Scarlata, DOS; Dave Johnson, DOS; Caryn Wojcik, DOS; Matthew Keck, AG; Art Lower, DMB; Jeff Stoney, DMB; Doug Case, DMB; Carol Keyes Baubie, DMB; Don Stevens, DCS; Deborah Gouin, DMB; Mimi Dionne, DMB; Ann Sanders, LM.

  1. RMA Pilot Project Status

    Mimi Dionne provided a demonstration of ForeMost, the RMA software. All 60 pilot project participants have been trained and are able to use the software. Some of them are quite happy with it, and have demonstrated how it improves their business processes. Several focus group meetings have been held with all of the users to acquire feedback about the software, and more potential uses of the RMA were discussed. Jim Kinsella provided a handout about potential business improvements that can be acquired when using a RMA.

  2. San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC)

    Caryn Wojcik is on the archival advisory board for a research project that the SDSC is conducting to develop methodologies for preserving electronic records. The board and project are funded by a NHPRC grant, the same federal agency that gave Michigan money to pilot test RMA software. NHPRC has offered Michigan and the SDSC an additional grant for collaborating on a project to develop a methodology for preserving records that are stored in the RMA’s repository. Caryn is writing the grant proposal.

    Computer scientists from the SDSC will be visiting Michigan on June 20-21 to share information about their research. All ERC members are invited to attend a presentation on June 20 at 2:00pm in the Michigan Library and Historical Center, Forum. A reception will be held at the State Archives after the presentation.

  3. E-mail Retention and Filing Guide

    Caryn Wojcik distributed a revised draft of the guide that defines which e-mail messages are records, how long records must be retained, and who is responsible for filing e-mail. The draft is near completion.

  4. Future Meetings

    Please mark your calendars now for the next Electronic Records Committee quarterly meeting:
    June 18, 2001, 10:00-12:00 p.m.
    Michigan Library and Historical Center, Lake Huron room

June 19, 2001

Attendees: Jim Kinsella, DMB; Dave Johnson, DOS; Caryn Wojcik, DOS; Doug Case, DMB; Deborah Gouin, DMB; Mimi Dionne, DMB; Matthew Keck, AG; Tom Fogle, DMB; Steve Baker, Auditor General; Jim Matson, DOS; Terri Edick, AG; Joe Chin, DMB.

  1. Organizing Electronic Files Class

    The Records and Forms Management Division and the State Archives of Michigan jointly developed this class over a year ago, and previously reported about it to the ERC. Lansing Computer Institute (Professional Technical Development) has been teaching this class for over a year. In addition, Lori Edwards has been teaching it to DMB employees for that amount of time. Response has been positive to the class, but attendance is low. As a result, flyers advertising the class have been re-distributed across state government. The class is complimentary, but not directly related to the RMA project.

  2. San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC)

    Caryn Wojcik reported that the State Archives of Michigan has applied for a second grant from NHPRC to fund a collaborative project with SDSC to develop a methodology for preserving records that are stored in the RMA’s repository.

    Reagan Moore from the SDSC will be visiting Michigan on June 20-21 to share information about their research. All ERC members are invited to attend a presentation on June 20 at 2:00pm in the Michigan Library and Historical Center, Forum. A reception will be held at the State Archives after the presentation.

  3. E-mail Retention

    The e-mail guides that were endorsed by the ERC have not been formally issued. The State Archives has issued a version of these guides for local governments and they are available on the Internet. The State Archives has received many inquiries from local government agencies about e-mail retention issues.

    Tom Fogle mentioned that the State may change its e-mail domain name. Matt Keck provided an overview of a federal court ruling related to the retention of e-mail. Joe Chin suggested that retention schedules specifically address how long e-mail needs to be retained both electronically, and possibly as a paper printout.

    Jim Kinsella distributed a survey that the ERC members completed about their existing practices for managing e-mail. The surveys were immediately tabulated and the results were discussed. The ERC responses were compared to the responses received from the same survey, when it was recently distributed to the staff of the Michigan Historical Center.

    Jim suggested that all state employees should attempt to maintain no more than 20 messages in their e-mail inbox. Tom suggested that this may not be practical for all people, depending upon their responsibilities. Joe stated that his office requires its employees to respond to all e-mail within 48 hours.

    ERC members agreed that management support for consistency in recordkeeping and better education are the key to resolving e-mail retention problems. Widespread use of RMA technology was discussed as a means for implementing record retention for e-mail.

  4. RMA Pilot Project Status

    Jim distributed statistics about the number of retrievals from ForeMost by pilot users. He also discussed plans to expand the project into the DMB Director’s Office. In order to receive the endorsement of Duane Berger for expanding the project, the project team is measuring business process improvements that are a result of RMA use. Initial data about these measurements was distributed.

  5. Future Meetings

    Please mark your calendars now for the next Electronic Records Committee quarterly meeting:

    September 18, 2001, 10:00-12:00 p.m.
    Michigan Library and Historical Center, Lake Superior room

 

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