Records and Information Management (RIM) Strategy – Municipal Modernization Program
The Provincial government offers the Municipal Modernization Program (MMP) which is a grant program for eligible municipalities to undertake service reviews or fun strategies to modernize and achieve efficiencies.
Norfolk County Council set strategic priorities in 2018 identifying “Focus on Service” through redeveloping the County’s customer service practices and systems to improve client experience and “Solid Foundations” to foster an engaged workforce that is empowered to find savings, efficiencies and continuous improvement.
The development of a Records and Information Management (RIM) program for the County is a key requirement in meeting both of these priorities in relation to the Clerk’s department functions which provide corporate oversight of access to information, protection of privacy and records management for the corporation and residents of Norfolk County. During 2020, in response to the COVID health crisis and the need to pivot and provide better digital access to municipal records and flexibility in accessing information from anywhere, the Clerk’s department identified a gap in the County’s records management program. Further internal review resulted in identifying possible physical storage reductions and efficiencies, staff resource effectiveness and cost savings by redefining the County’s records storage processes and moving towards improved electronic storage options.
In 2021, Council approved funding to support a focus on expanding the County’s current electronic storage system; however, defining a proper scope was challenging in the absence of defined strategy. In late 2021, Norfolk County successfully applied for a grant under the MMP program to evaluate the County’s current Records Management Program, associated information management systems and operational challenges to facilitate the development of a Record s and Information Management Strategy (RIM).
The findings of this assessment review will be used to inform the future development of a broad-based RIM strategy for the County. A RIM strategy will articulate the needs of the organization with respect to information management and will provide a roadmap for the future.
The County engaged Gravity Union to review its Records Management Program and practices, policies and procedures, assess them against recognized best-practices, and develop a set of recommendations. Gravity Union also completed a detailed analysis of the Municipality’s recordkeeping practices and management capabilities and an analysis of the County’s current records management program including by-laws, policies, physical records management practices, and systems of record (e.g., network drives, and Outlook).
The RIM Strategy outlines key phases and deliverables necessary for developing a holistic and integrated lifecycle approach to information management, including physical paper and electronic records from active to inactive and permanent retention, and establishes a detailed roadmap for a corporate RIM program.
To support development of the RIM Strategy, Gravity Union completed a current environment assessment which included:
- Assessing the County’s current RIM landscape by reviewing relevant County documentation/data.
- Reviewing and consulting with selected stakeholders about the RIM practices and needs, strategy and RIM program development (consultation with Records Staff, Information Technology, and Clerks department).
- Assessing the current information architecture and design.
- Benchmarking the County’s current RIM environment and practices against generally accepted recordkeeping practices.
These documents provide context and recommendations to address the gaps/risks which were identified and enable the County to take a comprehensive, holistic, defensible, and best practices-based approach to the lifecycle management of all of its information assets.
Accessible versions of these documents can be requested by emailing [email protected]