Are you the lone wolf Records Management Officer leading the charge and taking the responsibility of records management in your organization? Maybe you’re fine just the way you are, but maybe you’d like a little help now and again to help implement the records management program and keep things running smoothly. This is where a Records Liaison comes into play!
They might be called something a little different in each office and organization—Records Coordinator, Records Analyst and beyond!—, their level of involvement and proximity to the RMO can vary, but their ultimate purpose is to assist the RMO with the implementation of the records management program within their department. They are extensions of the RMO throughout the organization.
The concept of a Records Liaison (RL) is not specifically mentioned or required as per the Local Government Records Act nor is it mentioned in the State Records Management Law. That being said, the existence of these roles in an organization are markers of good records management programs because it places people who will ensure the records management program is being followed and will champion records management throughout the organization.
Who picks them?
The mere existence and number of RLs is ultimately up to the RMO. A RMO may decide no RLs are needed; they may only need one. A RMO could determine a department requires more than one RL, in which more RLs can be chosen by the RMO or the department head.
Who can be one?
Any member of a government staff can be a RL! A good RL candidate should exhibit knowledge of records management in addition to understanding the ins and outs of the records created or maintained by the department. For this reason, a department head could be the ideal choice to serve as the RL.
What do they do?
The previous need for records management and department records know-how is definitely put to the test with the responsibilities of a RL.
Inventory. Imagine the size and breadth of an inventory, not just for an office, but for a bigger multi-office government like a county or a state agency. Unless they are an honest to goodness superhero, a RMO would need help. RLs can help conduct or supervise the conduction of record inventories for their department in order to get a fuller picture of the amount and types of records their organization contains. RLs might participate in the inventory by identifying and recording the location and volume of records throughout the department. Depending on the size of the department, RLs could serve in a supervisory capacity ensuring everyone in the department understands the inventory process and are completing the inventory form sufficiently.
Implementation. As mentioned before, a RL is an extension of the RMO. They would work with the RMO to ensure policies and procedures are being followed. This could include assisting in the development or update of policies and procedures if required. After all, who knows the department records and operations better than the RLO? They’re the eyes and ears.
Spread the word. RLs are not just the eyes and ears of their department, but also of the RMO. They are the records management conduit of their department, disseminating information regarding the records management program to the staff. If there is an update to the way the disposition log needs to be filled out, the best way for the RMO to ensure everyone knows about the change is to reach out to their one or many RLs who will then inform the rest of the staff.
More? It is quite possible a RL could have more extensive and bigger responsibilities; ultimately it is the RMO’s discretion.
For more information about creating a records management network within your organization, consider checking out the “Establishing Your Records Management Dream Team” webinar. Arm yourself and your organization with inventory knowledge with the “Conducting a Records Inventory” webinar.
Tell us about the Records Liaison (RLs) in your organization? What do you call them and what are their responsibilities?
Let us know below.