The extensive use of automation to conduct government business has resulted in the proliferation of electronic state records. Electronic records create many new concerns regarding the management of such records.
- Records in electronic format are hardware and software dependent. These records can only be read and understood if the storage medium can be read by existing equipment and if the programs used to create the digitized data are still available.
- Multiple copies or versions of the same electronic record may be stored on a variety of media making it difficult to complete a records disposal.
- Currently, most electronic information systems used to create, receive, and store these records do not provide full records management functionality. Agencies need to adopt electronic information systems that provide proper controls over the creation or acquisition of records, maintenance of records in context with the function or activity performed, and disposition according to approved retention schedules in order to manage their records in electronic form. Only systems possessing these characteristics can be defined as “Electronic Recordkeeping Systems.”
The Electronic Records Management Guidelines provide guidance on effective management of electronic records to North Dakota state agencies and county, city, and park district offices.