Records are increasingly being retained electronically, those that are born electronic and the scanned in versions of received documents. Managing electronic records according to established retention and disposition schedules is made more difficult by software limitations and lack of understanding of classification and file structure rules and best practices.
Note: Regardless of the format (physical or electronic), once a record has reached the minimum retention period, it must be destroyed or transferred to the Historical Society according to the approved record schedule.
There are two types of data or electronic records - structured and unstructured.
- Structured environment examples are Legistar, Accela, Kronos, MUNIS
Structured environments usually include a data or record repository where the records are stored.
- Unstructured environments include MS Office (Word, Excel, etc.)
Unstructured records are typically stored on shared network drives.
Setting up a clear file structure for your program area or division enables better records management, is more efficient when searching for documents, and reduces the potential for ROT - redundant, out-dated, and trivial records.
Both environments require manual management of the records through the retention and disposition part of the life-cycle.