President Issues Memorandum on Records Management
By Erica Wilson, Government Information Analyst
On November 28, President Barack Obama released a presidential memorandum for the heads of executive departments and agencies on the subject of managing government records. In the national directive, the President writes about what many in the field know and try to impart on others: when records are managed properly, it improves efficiency, ensures public access, reduces administrative redundancies, and saves money. He also challenges those who work with records management to come up with ways to update policies and procedures for the digital age. Obama emphasizes the importance of open government and making RM programs a priority to ensure transparency and accountability in government.
One thing that contributes to a well-run records management program is support from management. A Records Management Officer can organize an inventory, make a file plan, oversee records disposition, and create a training module, but without reinforcement of policies and procedures from upper management, it may be hard to convince others that records management is necessary and a part of their jobs. By issuing this directive, President Obama has shown encouragement and support for those working in the records management field to continue developing programs.