April is National Records and Information Management Month

  • Published
  • By J6 Communications

The Defense Logistics Agency Records and Information Management team is leading an information clean-up initiative throughout April by helping supervisors and record coordinators organize digital files with better folder structures.

National Records and Information Management Month is an annual observance that highlights the importance of managing and organizing records for search and retrieval.

“Employees can take advantage of National Records and Information Management Month by taking time to conduct an internal review of their recordkeeping practices and processes, especially the review of electronic repositories,” DLA Agency Records Officer Cecilia Wiker said.

Records management tasks include validating, classifying, curating and purging data, all of which can save money, reduce risk and increase trustworthiness of data. Good data structure helps DLA respond to legal, financial and business requirements.

Records and information come in different formats and media, mostly electronic. Federal agencies were directed in 2019 by the Office of Management and Budget to move entirely to electronic record keeping, and the National Archive and Records Administration will accept only electronic records after Dec. 31, 2022.

Electronic information includes structured formats such as computer systems and databases and unstructured formats like Microsoft applications and photographs. Over 80% of information created today is unstructured and easy to create, send and save, resulting in large amounts of data that needs to be managed from cradle to grave. Information that’s not managed turns DLA’s shared network drives and SharePoint environment into electronic landfills.

A Defense Department memo on retention of non-record information such as working documents addresses management of unstructured data and was incorporated into the DLA Records Retention Schedule.

In 2021, the Association of Intelligent Information Management identified that, on average, half of retained data has no value. Gartner, a technological research and consulting firm, estimated a 35% annual growth rate of unstructured data will require organizations to double storage capacity every three years.

Employees can get more information on records and information management from designated Records Coordinator and Component Records Officers (link requires a DLA Common Access Card) and can determine whether information needs to be saved or destroyed by asking these questions (link requires a DLA CAC).

Offices with paper records in need of scanning and conversion to electronic format should reach out to DLA Document Services, which has technicians who can scan and convert documents ranging from business cards to large engineering drawings.