U.S. Government Agencies Facing Records Management Rules Need Centralized Approach for Compliance

    Systematic and Well-Planned Approach Helps Agencies Deploy a Single
    Repository for Core Applications That Meet or Exceed Requirements

    CHICAGO, April 11 /CNW/ - Government rules issued last year require U.S.
Federal agencies to get their critical records in order, but with so much
information spread across multiple systems, have government agencies been able
to comply? Government agencies have been faced with the difficult challenge of
ensuring enterprise-wide consistency in records management as a result of the
Federal Enterprise Architecture Records Management profile (FEARM). According
to Open Text(TM) Corporation (NASDAQ:   OTEX, TSX: OTC), a leading provider of
software that helps organizations manage their growing stores of emails and
documents, a centralized approach to records management can help agencies get
prepared to meet FEARM standards.
    Through the combined efforts of the National Archives and Records
Administration, the Office of Management and Budget architecture and
infrastructure committee, and the Federal Chief Information Officers Council,
FEARM specifies a consistent approach for government agencies to establish
procedures for meeting records management requirements and managing the
disposition of all electronic and printed documents, before enhancing existing
information systems or approving new ones.
    "FEARM is a smart initiative and the right course to take, but there are
clear challenges for the Federal government's large-scale agencies to meet the
demands," said Bailey Spencer who heads Open Text Public Sector business at
Open Text. Spencer recently participated in a podcast
    Public_Sector_Podcast.mp3) on major trends in the public sector and how
they're forcing changes in the way governments manage information. "In
government, as in many large corporations, content is frequently created in
one format, archived in another and documented in a third. Information is
maintained in multiple systems. Federal agencies need a top down approach to
apply records management to content, no matter the format or where it's
    According to Spencer, applying a records management profile can involve
redesigning many of an agency's business processes, including enhancing
existing systems or planning a new system of record cataloging and archival.
Records management requires the system to support both paper and electronic
business documents, and apply the proper controls when these documents become
records. External documents may arrive at the agency, or be generated
internally using Microsoft Office applications, such as Word and Excel, or as
Lotus Notes or Microsoft Outlook e-mail messages. Some documents may be
generated by Microsoft SharePoint, SAP or Oracle applications, or a legacy
    Since electronic documents are created and used by a number of different
applications, the records management platform must communicate with these
applications in one form or another and act as the common point of control.
    For government agencies to implement a successful records management
system, it's imperative that a central area be developed to manage content
from multiple systems. This centralized approach to records management offers
a way for agencies to consistently apply rules to content, no matter the
format or where it may reside in the organization. Records can be stored in a
secure repository and then retrieved using enhanced search capabilities with
metadata or encoded data. Agencies can take several steps to ensure they're on
the right path to creating a centralized record management repository:

    -   Apply Appropriate Metadata - To enhance search capabilities, apply
        classification metadata to submitted documents. Metadata is indexed
        and can be used to more easily find, retrieve and generate reports on
        documents based on custom criteria. Once a record is classified, it
        can be immediately synchronized with retention and disposition rules.
        Records in external repositories can be managed where they reside, or
        physically extracted and automatically replaced, enabling content to
        be securely archived in a centralized, compliant storage environment.

    -   Map Record Classifications - It's crucial to map record
        classifications to retention schedules and fully automate the process
        of ensuring that records are kept as long as legally required. When a
        retention schedule expires, final decisions can be made to destroy
        the object, retain it for a period of time or keep it indefinitely.

    -   Ensure Enterprise-Worthiness - In order to act as the foundation for
        other document systems, the repository must be enterprise-worthy -
        that is, capable of running on a number of operating systems, open to
        integration, and allowing users to access it from desktop and Web-
        based environments.

    -   Create a Common User Interface - Providing a common user interface to
        access all forms of information such as images, paper, word-
        processing documents, spreadsheets and e-mail enables agencies to
        implement an automated system that removes the complexities of
        records management and the process becomes transparent to end-users.
        Additionally, new technologies are becoming available that will let
        users access records directly from ubiquitous systems such as
        Microsoft Office applications, saving the extra step of switching to
        a browser or having to learn a new application.

    Through its Public Sector business, Open Text offers ECM solutions to
national, regional and local governments globally. Open Text provides
agency-wide and departmental document and records management, and
collaborative solutions that meet regulatory standards, while supporting key
processes for government programs. Open Text solutions support collaborative
information processes, ranging from informal research to secure collaboration
within the intelligence community. For more information, go to:

    About Open Text

    Open Text(TM) is the world's largest independent provider of Enterprise
Content Management software. The company's solutions manage information for
all types of business, compliance and industry requirements in the world's
largest companies, government agencies and professional service firms. Open
Text supports approximately 46,000 customers and millions of users in 114
countries and 12 languages. For more information about Open Text, visit

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For further information:

For further information: Richard Maganini, Director, Corporate
Communications, Open Text Corporation, (847) 267-9330 ext.4266,
rmaganin@opentext.com; Michele Stevenson, Senior Manager, Corporate
Communications, Open Text Corporation, (519) 888-7111 ext.2594,
mstevens@opentext.com; Brian Edwards, McKenzie Worldwide, (503) 577-4583,

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