Tattle tale, tattle tale, Hang your britches on a nail.

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Tattle tale, tattle tale, Hang your britches on a nail.

One of the things I like about government transparency is it reminds me of the tattle-tale in grade school. I tremble to think about what ‘we don’t know’ but often what we ‘do know’ is bad enough. Although I think government faces basically the same problems as many organizations but they are so massive the weaknesses can illustrate dramatic impacts on the business of government and taxes – oops I mean the costs to government.

Let’s take records management. In a new study, ‘Federal Records Management: Navigating the Storm’ by Meritalk and sponsored by Iron Mountain (registration required for download), they surveyed 100 Federal records management professionals and 100 finance professionals to ascertain the state of current records management, the costs, and the future (pretty bleak I may add).

Some astounding food for thought – and you thought your records management needed help.
• Federal agencies manage 8.4B records government wide
• By 2015 it is estimated they will be managing 20.4B records government wide (an increase of 144%)
• Federal agencies are spending $34.4M on records management – 17% more than allocated
• If records management goes unchecked they will spend an estimated $84.1M by 2015
• They estimate that they lose 18% of their total budget annually due to inefficient records management
• 60% of the finance professionals felt managing records hinders agency performance

Enough of that. What is interesting is the recommendations included better training (43%); more funding (33%); and agency leadership (32%) as the top ways to better manage records. In addition, 41% of Federal records are created in digital format yet managed in paper format! These are the two areas where I am somewhat surprised. Better technology was not listed as a recommendation, and they are managing records that was created digitally in paper format? Ok…. Both would seem to me as high priority areas that can, at least reduce the problem.

Let’s turn this around for your organization (I sincerely hope your records management processes don’t even come close to this scenario). What would you list as a priority for reducing costs and improving processes pertaining to records management? Or, not a problem?