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A New Year’s Resolution for Records Managers

President Obama recently challenged every agency / organization of the federal government to define what they were going to do to improve their organization’s records management programs to ensure federal records were retained, preserved and protected for later discovery and response to public inquires.

I for one believe that the President’s challenge should be embraced by every professional records manager in the United States, if not the world.  Here is one national leader, who openly acknowledges that records management within the US Federal Government is ripe for improvement.  Similar improvements are called for in the private, state and local government sectors of this country.  By-in-large, this profession is due for a significant shot in the arm and this Presidential challenge is that opportunity, so let’s make the most of it.

We have all seen New Year’s Resolutions for most everything one can imagine so, why haven’t we seen one for Records Management Programs? Continue reading


Presidential Memorandum Regarding Management of Government Records

Much has already been written in the media regarding President Obama’s Memorandum dated November 28, 2011 on managing government records and Executive Order 13589 dated November 9, 2011 which promoted efficient government spending.  However, in multiple meetings with various federal agencies since this memorandum and Executive Order were written in November very few agencies have defined a action plan for getting their arms around this challenge

Setting up an effective records management program in a large organization is tough.  If it were easy, more would have already done so and the Presidential Memorandum on this subject with reference to an Executive Order would not have been necessary.  President Obama and his Continue reading

EU Juggernaut Germany Looks at Business Related e-Mail Different than from a Pure Privacy Perspective?

Tom Reding

Recently, the Higher Labor Court of Berlin-Brandenburg Germany ruled that an employer has the right to access and review an employee’s work-related e-mail during his / her absence from work.

The ruling makes it very clear that an employee’s rights to use the company’s e-mail system for private communications does not preclude the employer from reviewing an employee’s business related e-mail.

The circumstances behind this ruling were as follows:

  • The plaintiff (employee) could not work due to a long-term illness.
  • The employer was unsuccessful in locating the employee to get her consent, so that they  could access and read her business related e-mails, in order to respond to a customer’s request.
  • After several weeks, the employer circumvented the employee’s password, read and printed the employee’s business related e-mails.  (The employer did not read or print any e-mails labeled “private”.

The plaintiff (employee) requested a court order prohibiting her employer from accessing her e-mail account during any future absences without her explicit consent but, was unsuccessful in obtaining such an order.

The Higher Labor Court rejected Continue reading