Inventorying E–Records

According to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), “In records management, an inventory is a descriptive listing of each record series or system, together with an indication of location and other pertinent data. It is not a list of each document or each folder but rather of each series or system.1 (Italics added.)

Conducting an inventory of electronic records is more challenging than a physical records inventory, but the purposes are the same, which is to ferret out records management (RM) problems and to use the inventory as the basis for developing the retention schedule. Some of the RM problems that may be uncovered, “include inadequate documentation of official actions, improper applications of recordkeeping technology, deficient filing systems and maintenance practices, poor management of nonrecord materials, insufficient identification of vital records, and inadequate records security practices. When completed, the inventory should include all offices, all records, and all nonrecord materials. An inventory that is incomplete or haphazard can only result in an inadequate schedule and loss of control over records.”2

So the first step in gaining control over an organization's records, and implementing information governance (IG) measures to control and manage them, is to complete an inventory of all groupings of business records, including electronic records,3at the system or file series level.

The focus of this book ...

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