Read Part 1 to learn how:
- The impact of FOIA on your government organization
- Being underprepared to respond to a FOIA request puts your agency at risk
- Manual processes can be reduced to increase efficiency and lower risk
Prior to fully embracing SMS/text messaging, organizations need to assess how and why their employees want to use text communications, develop and communicate use policies, and ensure all information sent via text can be retained and archived. Remember, any communication sent or received by government organizations—including public safety departments and their employees—is subject to open records requests.
In this report, we examine how public safety agencies can create policies that allow for compliant use of SMS/text messaging, and how to retain and archive those communications for a more efficient response to open records requests.
State and local governments must ensure that they have the ability to produce public records, regardless of when, where, or who created the communication. This obligation may create additional search requirements for the organization, and add more time and dollars spent responding to public records requests.
Smarsh has provided this example of a Public Records Retention Policy for state and local Government organizations. This example can be used as a template of a policy that specifically addresses the use of text messaging and electronic communications created by public employees and officials.
In this three-part e-book, Don DeLoach walks public sector organizations through the key elements needed to respond quickly and accurately to open records requests: identifying what information needs to be retained and archived, best practices and procedures for retaining communications, finding and implementing an automated solution, and the important roles stakeholders play in the records response process.