DIR and TSLAC Guidance Document: Governing Data, Records, and Information Together

Since Senate Bill (SB) 475 passed, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) and Department of Information Resources (DIR) have received many questions. We plan to answer some of those questions below! We also created a guidance document to help those affected by SB 475 become more familiar with their role, responsibilities, and allies.

If you don’t see your question answered here, please reach out to TSLAC at slrminfo @tsl.texas.gov or DIR at OCDO @dir.texas.gov.

What is senate bill (SB) 475? Who does it apply to?

During the 87th legislative session, SB 475 amended Government Code, Chapter 2054. Among other things, SB 475 set a requirement for state agencies with 150 full time employees (FTE) or more to designate a full time employee as the agency’s Data Management Officer (DMO)

Now you may be thinking, “DMO? That sounds a lot like RMO, a position I am much more familiar with.” At TSLAC, we are saying, “same.” The Records Management Officer (RMO) role is the position that the Records Management Assistance (RMA) Team at TSLAC was created to assist. (If you are not familiar with the RMO role, check out our article to learn more!)

If these acronyms still sound too close for comfort and you feel as if you will never be able to remember the difference, then you’re not confused or overwhelmed, you are beginning to think in terms of the updated framework. The RMO is the role responsible for the agency’s records management program. The DMO is the role responsible for the agency’s data program. Data, records, and (mentioned later) information are intertwined. Each supports one another while posing their own challenges, which is why roles are established to govern each. Governing an agency’s data, records, and information should be an agency’s top priority, because any business operation that you can think of starts here. Feeling the pressure? As always, TSLAC (and now DIR) has got you!

Where do DIR and TSLAC become involved?

SB 475 states that DIR and TSLAC (that’s us!) will work together to assist Texas state agencies’ DMOs, RMOs, and information security officers (ISO) with their agency’s data programs. 

Lucky for everyone, DIR and TSLAC already have a fantastic relationship centered around data, records, and (indirectly) information! DIR and TSLAC team up each year to host the eRecords conference, which we will provide further detail about below. Based on this requirement and fantastic relationship, DIR contacted TSLAC and asked to collaborate to create a guidance document for DMOs and RMOs to learn about each other’s role. We of course said, “Great idea! Let’s get on that!” And here it is…

The Guidance Document:

The Governing Data, Records, and Information Together quick-start guide!

The guidance document works to identify where the DMO and RMO roles overlap and determine where collaboration is necessary to help each other achieve the goals of the program and agency without duplicating efforts.

Moving red and blue arrows that point to the guidance document.

Questions? We have answers.

On the next page are some questions that TSLAC has been receiving, or expects to receive, based on the new requirement and guidance document’s information. Again, please reach out to TSLAC at slrminfo @ tsl.texas.gov or DIR at OCDO @ dir.texas.gov for further clarification or guidance.

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