The Chief Records Officer as Liaison for State Agency Employees and Government Records

All state employees have responsibilities regarding the maintenance and disposition of the public records that receive, create or send in the course of performing their governmental functions or duties for their agency.  A state employee may want to know what to do with particular records they maintain–how long to keep them, what to do with them after they no longer need them in office. A state employee may need advice on how to ensure accessibility to their electronic records or repair of damaged paper records. Or the employee may simply want to know what training is available on records management for their staff to take.

Rather than leaving the employee to his or her own devices, Government Records has had in place for years a source of help for initially getting answers to these questions. That help comes in the designation of a Chief Records Officer (CRO) for each state agency. Instead of the employee having to navigate the difficult channels of state government to locate an answer to a records management inquiry, he or she need only contact their agency CRO  who can, for example,  advise him on whom to contact at the Government Records to answer his query or in fact provide him with the up-to-date records retention schedule for the agency in question.

Thus you can see that the CRO serves as the liaison between the state agency and Government Records. If we have important messages to communicate to all state employees, such as announcing schedule of workshops on records management training we offer the CRO for each state agency will transmit that message agency-wide to alert the employee of the workshop schedule and how to register. If an important change in the public records law occurs, such as the changes made by the 2009 Executive Order in retention of email by executive branch state agency employees, we may issue bulletins or notices that will be disseminated through your agency’s CRO.

In addition to these communication functions the CRO is to assist DCR with ensuring that agency records are maintained efficiently and kept in safe custody by the agency, assist in the inventory and scheduling of records, and in the transfer of records from the agency to the State Records Center. A complete list of the responsibilities of the CRO is provided on our Government Records website at http://www.records.ncdcr.gov/cro.htm.  You will also find at this url address the list of CROs for all state agencies in case you are not aware of who your CRO is. Of course, CROs have their primary jobs to do for their agency so they may not always be able to assist fully on all the responsibillities set forth on our webpage. But if you have questions about proceeding with a records schedule update or the creation of a new records schedule or other records management question, they should be seen as a first point of contact. The aforementioned url also provides a list of the current CROs for each agency (though some departments like DPI are still in the process of designating a CRO). And if the CRO is unavailable you may always contact the records analyst assigned to your agency as noted also on our Government Records website at http://www.records.ncdcr.gov/analysts.htm.

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