Of all the paper and electronic data that comes into a county office on a daily basis, only a small percentage is permanent county records of historic significance. The vast majority are non-county records or records of limited or short-term value. Separating these records from the records that really matter can be an overwhelming task for county employees, especially in this age of information explosion when data is coming at them not only through the mail but also through email and the Internet.
A records management program enables a county government to effectively deal with this daily influx of information. County records are the institutional memory of our community. This memory represents its citizens' legal, personal and property rights and heritage. The application of sound management to records and information resources is of paramount importance to the county and its citizens.
Montgomery County offices, departments and agencies currently maintain millions of documents in a variety of paper, microfilm and electronic formats. Because the majority of these records are created and maintained as a result of mandated services, good management is essential.
The county's records management tools include: records retention schedules, imaging, micrographics, records center storage and retrieval, archival preservation, disaster recovery planning and office automation projects. These are all recognized techniques employed by records and information managers to assist large and small organizations in minimizing the waste and inefficiencies caused by the uncontrolled accumulation of records.
Benefits of the county's records management program include: imaging and microfilming records to reduce space and protect vital records, secured records destruction, regular records transfer and destruction, improved security of confidential records, improved access to public records, improved productivity and space management in offices, judicious and economic equipment purchases and archival security for master copies of microfilm.