DOJ tackles business processes to support document management
The agency is exploring new tools that support both content management and program management.
The Justice Department’s Records Office Manager is emphasizing the unit’s approach to business processes in its technical efforts to complete its transition to electronic record keeping with all federal agencies in 2022.
âIn terms of corporate foundations, I think we’re failing or making a misstep when we’re just looking to acquire tools and put tools in place. Business foundations are supporting our company’s readiness to use these tools, âsaid Jeanette Plante, director of the agency’s Office of Records Management Policy, eDiscovery and FOIA, at an FCW event. last week.
The agency seeks to create and retain a skilled workforce with the skills to support both the mission and the foundations of the business, with Plante noting that the business unit is just as important as the technology.
âThe kinds of technical tools that we need, and for which we need a good integrated working relationship with the IT side of the house, are the automated tools that help us run a program,â said Plante. . “We need data maps, we need tracking tools, we need relational databases.”
As such, the agency seeks to integrate technical support tools not only for content, but also for program management.
The Department of Justice achieves this, in part, by modernizing its court records control calendar, a database that contains all of the agency’s case schedules and provides access to streamlined mechanisms for creating an inventory. The platform also allows components to create file plans and taxonomies.
âWe need deduplication applications and electronic search aids,â said Plante. âWe need to move to electronic information, but these are commercial actions. The tools serve the business function, and they are not really records management applications.
The DOJ is also looking to implement more tools for search, storage and access to e-discovery.
âI have IT staff who mostly take care of the details, but actually work for the CIO. We have, through a Memorandum of Understanding, defined and organized how we jointly manage the discovery part of this, because there are so many factors that require sophisticated IT knowledge and so many that require sophisticated business knowledge. Said Plante.
The agency is setting up an ecosystem for the management of files and information in order to better manage repositories, processes and stakeholders. He currently has a model of the different layers of connections between people, repositories, and communications, and plans to use it to identify where he needs additional policies and standard operating procedures.
“We plan to use this ecosystem model as a business tool to help us better define who we should be working with, what input we need to provide to these partners to try to manage records and information management,” Plante said, adding that there will be ongoing collaboration between IT teams and business units for future new systems or tools.
Plante also proposed a unified agency information management strategy to identify common goals. Such a plan would provide a better understanding of the limits and value of all records and information management efforts.