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ARCHIVES Home

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ARCHIVES  August 2006, Week 3

ARCHIVES August 2006, Week 3

Subject:

Re: Rachel's CA question, nuance, situational ethics, etc.-- LONG!

From:

[log in to unmask]

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Fri, 18 Aug 2006 12:20:45 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (151 lines)

That's good to know, Ginny, thanks for posting. The citation is useful. 
  Archivists also have a Code of Ethics.  Ideally, both RMs and 
archivists can push to do the right thing without being fired.  
Sometimes you can only push so far.

Natch, I think sometimes of the quote from Richard Nixon, later made 
public, in which he said something along the line of:  the [expletive 
deleted] lawyers are always telling me what I can't do.  I'm going to 
fire them and get lawyers who will let me do it.

Sorry I don't have time to find the exact quote and to provide an URL 
but you get my drift.

Fingers crossed that none of you in either the archival or RM field 
ever find yourselves in such a situation!

Thanks again, Ginny.

Maarja

-----Original Message-----
From: [log in to unmask]
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Fri, 18 Aug 2006 11:57 AM
Subject: Re: Rachel's CA question, nuance, situational ethics, etc.-- 
LONG!

I do not know much about the CA, but the CRM designation includes
adherence to a Code of Ethics.  It is mostly based on honor, but if
someone believes the Code has been violated by a CRM, it is investigated
by the ICRM.  The Code requires a high degree of professionalism, and
the first two elements (below) seem to apply to the scenario Maarja
outlined.  Very clearly, the Records Manager in the scenario should
question "temporary" retention values of any kind and definitely should
document the logic behind any assigned retention value.

Certified Records Managers should maintain high professional standards
of conduct in the performance of their duties. The Code of Ethics is
provided as a guide to professional conduct.

1.Certified Records Managers have a professional responsibility to
conduct themselves so that their good faith and integrity shall not be
open to question. They will promote the highest possible records
management standards.
2.Certified Records Managers shall conform to existing laws and
regulations covering the creation, maintenance, and disposition of
recorded information, and shall never knowingly be parties to any
illegal or improper activities relative thereto.
3.Certified Records Managers shall be prudent in the use of information
acquired in the course of their duties. They should protect
confidential, proprietary and trade secret information obtained from
others and use it only for the purposes approved by the party from whom
it was obtained or for the benefit of that party, and not for the
personal gain of anyone else.
4.Certified Records Managers shall not accept gifts or gratuities from
clients, business associates, or suppliers as inducements to influence
any procurements or decisions they may make.
5.Certified Records Managers shall use all reasonable care to obtain
factual evidence to support their opinion.
6.Certified Records Managers shall strive for continuing proficiency and
effectiveness in their profession and shall contribute to further
research, development, and education. It is their professional
responsibility to encourage those interested in records management and
offer assistance whenever possible to those who enter the profession and
to those already in the profession.

Ginny Jones
(Virginia A. Jones, CRM, FAI)
Records Manager
Information Technology Division
Newport News Dept. of Public Utilities
Newport News, VA
[log in to unmask]


-----Original Message-----
From: Archives & Archivists [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of [log in to unmask]
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2006 11:30 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Rachel's CA question, nuance, situational ethics, etc.-- LONG!

As I mentioned in earlier postings, I've been mulling over some of
these, in light of the certification debate.  So, here goes.

A records manager (or archivist)  might work for a small private sector
firm where he knows the boss and the top managers.  The company
provides him and others with good jobs and secure employment.  Without
getting into the question of whether or not the product they produce is
good and safe or faulty, what if the company suddenly faced litigation?
  Pertinent records might have existed at one time but had a relatively
short retention period. There may have been some debate among the
creators, lawyers and the records manager about the correct retention
period.

The lawyers and corporate managers may have expressed a view that "this
could be dangerous to leave around." Their views prevailed and the RM
went ahead and scheduled the records as temporary, with short
retention, despite some misgivings. (Let's stipulate that there was no
regulatory or legal requirement that governed and set retention.
However, the RM knew that best practices usually resulted in a longer
retention period.  Something in the environment in the company made
others reluctant to accept longer retention, however.)

The company receives a document discovery request. The company's
lawyers breathe a sigh of relief -- no paper trail to haunt the
defendants. The plaintiffs do not prevail in court and the matter is
dropped. The records manager might easily go about his business, and,
since he likes his boss and wants the company to succeed in its
enterprises, may think,"well, whatever was in those records, we
followed our schedule, our decision to schedule them was discretionary,
rather than regulatory.  They're gone, we dodged a bullet, and
everything is ok."

But what if the records belong to the government, not a company?  And
there is a public interest in the matter, which has national import?
The situation can take a very different twist, here.  The stakes are
different, for one thing.

A posting from the Archives & Archivists LISTSERV List sponsored by the 
Society
of American Archivists, www.archivists.org.
For the terms of participation, please refer to 
http://www.archivists.org/listservs/arch_listserv_terms.asp.

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Or to do *anything* (and enjoy doing it!), use the web interface at
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Problems?  Send e-mail to Robert F Schmidt <[log in to unmask]>

________________________________________________________________________
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A posting from the Archives & Archivists LISTSERV List sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, www.archivists.org.
For the terms of participation, please refer to http://www.archivists.org/listservs/arch_listserv_terms.asp.

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Problems?  Send e-mail to Robert F Schmidt <[log in to unmask]>

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