Definitions abound, and in that spirit we submit yet another: records management is the systematic control of all organizational records during the various stages of their life cycle—from their creation or receipt, through their processing, distribution, maintenance, and use, to their ultimate disposition. The purpose of records management is to promote economic and efficient record-keeping. This assures that useless records are systematically destroyed, while valuable information is protected and maintained in a manner that facilitates its access and use as well as ensuring legal and regulatory compliance.
The basic element of a records management system is the record. A record is a document or other item in an organization that requires retention for a period of time. Records management is the process by which organizations:
Identify the types of information that should be considered records
Determine how live documents will be managed while in use, and how they should be collected once declared to be records
Define disposition rules which determine in what manner and for how long each record type should be retained to meet legal, business, or regulatory requirements
Perform tasks such as records disposition, or locating and holding records related to external events such as lawsuits
Implement technological solutions and business processes to help ensure that the organization complies with its records management obligations in a cost-effective and ...