Guest Blog: Kay Steed, State Agency RMO

We are excited to launch a new blog series featuring records management personnel in Texas sharing their experiences in the field. Let us know if you would like to share your words of wisdom (or humor!) here on The Texas Record and be our next guest blogger.

Our first guest blogger is Kay Steed, CRM, Records Management Officer at Employees Retirement System of Texas.

How did you get involved with Records Management?

As the Office Manager at Library Development Division at TSLAC, I was told that I needed to do a records inventory. I had no idea what that meant. I was told that the Records Management Division (RMD) held classes in Records Management. That was the hook! Months later I was a Records Analyst at RMD and within two years obtained my CRM.

How many years have you been in Records Management/a RMO?

Over 29 years. I have been a Records Manager for TDFPS, TCEQ and ERS. I have been the RMO for ERS since 2007.

Where does your position fall within your agency, IT, Legal, Compliance, etc.?

Support Services.

Would you say you have a sound records management program at your agency?

Yes. We maintained a Certified Records Retention Schedule since 1994. Our schedule is based upon the “Big Bucket” theory. We have trained Records Coordinators in each division. We have a site on our intranet that has received many positive comments. And we have regular live training classes in records management.

Do you have any ideas for how to improve your agency’s records program?

Yes. We have started developing plans for an Information Governance Initiative. We also have plans to develop short videos for Records Management training, as well as continue with our live training.

Do you feel you have executive support/buy in?

Yes. Executive management understands the importance of records management.

Do you have a good working relationship with your legal and IT departments?

Yes. We are working with the Enterprise Content Management team to increase user acceptance of managing records in SharePoint. We have updated SharePoint with the current certified records retention schedule. And, we are working with our Enterprise Systems team and Enterprise Planning to clean up and organize or shared drives.

What are some challenges you have being RMO at your agency?

With the ever-changing workforce, educating new employees is a big challenge. We have a Records Coordinator and Assistant Records Coordinator within each division. Employee turnover makes it a challenge to obtain a new appointment and then train them. In one year it was almost a full-time job!

What is one change you would make about the RMO position at your agency or to the position as a whole?

The RMO needs access to all electronic systems in the agency so help staff manage their records correctly and ensure the agency is in compliance with the retention schedule.

What advice would you give to someone who is new to a records management role?

Take the training classes at TSLAC. Join ARMA International and attend the meetings and the conferences and workshops. Begin reading everything you can on records management. Work to obtain the Certified Records Manager (CRM) certification and the Information Governance Professional (IGP) Certification.