United States Government Recordkeeping
In the United States, public record laws state the kinds of information that must be delivered upon request and outline the required disclosure procedures and formats. Key recordkeeping requirements for compliance include collecting metadata, preserving content in original file formats, and retaining materials for at least seven years.
Complying with these laws can cost governments thousands a year, at an average of $678 per information request. A report from Washington State Auditor’s Office also revealed that state and local governments spent $60 million to fill more than 285,000 public-records requests during a recent 12-month period.
These laws, both at the state and federal level, also apply to online data like websites, social media accounts, mobile text messages, and enterprise collaboration content, which means public-sector organizations need to capture and preserve this data in order to comply with recordkeeping rules.
Website, social media, mobile text, and enterprise collaboration archiving can save dramatically on public records costs, making information available in the right formats so it’s easy to deliver if requested by any citizen, business, or organization.
U.S. Public Records Laws & Social Media Retention
Click the map below to learn the details of how Public Record Laws can apply to Website & Social Media content in your state.
Canadian Public-Sector Recordkeeping
Much like in the United States, Canadian federal and provincial government institutions are required to keep accurate records. This requirement falls under the Access to Information Act, which provides Canadian citizens and residents with “a right of access to information in records under the control of a government institution in accordance with the principles that government information should be available to the public.”
Generally speaking, this act also applies to online data such as websites, social media accounts, mobile text messages, and enterprise collaboration platforms, which means that government entities need a way to capture and archive all of this content. As an example, the Government of British Columbia has released guidelines related to social media, which states that “ministries must consider how best to document the projects and activities for which they use social media tools and citizen engagement processes. Key records need to be classified and filed in the office recordkeeping system.”
The Government Guidebook to Electronic Records Management for FOIA & Open Records Compliance
Looking to understand how government organizations should handle online data sources in order to comply with FOIA and Open Records regulations? This handy guidebook outlines exactly what the challenges of accurate real-time recordkeeping are, and how these can be overcome.
Pagefreezer assists government organizations in tackling the following critical challenges:
FOIA and Open Records Response
As with email, Open Records laws require government organizations to keep records of online posts and conversations and provide access to citizens upon request. Organizations should not only be archiving all this data in order to comply with recordkeeping laws, they should also be managing it in a way that makes it easy to find specific posts/comments and export them in formats like PDF and WARC.
Monitoring and Data Loss Prevention
With public-sector social media accounts often acting as public forums, organizations should be monitoring accounts to ensure that inappropriate content isn’t being shared. Organizations should also be monitoring conversations on enterprise collaboration platforms to ensure compliance with internal communication policies and prevent data loss.
eDiscovery & Litigation Readiness
Website, social media, mobile text, and enterprise collaboration content is increasingly forming part of the eDiscovery and litigation process. Because of this, public-sector organizations need to be able to capture, preserve, and eventually present this data in a defensible format that complies with legal rules of evidence.
Improve Information Governance
Ever-evolving online data sources can create endlessly-streaming records that are outdated almost as soon as they are collected. Government organizations need to take ownership of this data to improve openness and transparency—and to ensure that they capture, archive, and eventually dispose of all this information in a secure and responsible fashion.
“The best thing about the Pagefreezer solution is that we know that we are as compliant with the law as possible. We are able to meet the expectations of our City policy without requiring our staff to do any extra work in capturing and managing the archived data. The ease of use is also a plus for our transparency initiative where we continue our commitment to 24/7 access to as much data as practicable.”
— Dawn Bullwinkel
Assistant City Clerk/Special Projects, The City of Sacramento
City of Sacramento: Fulfilling Government Transparency Through a Public Portal
Pagefreezer Recordkeeping Solutions
Pagefreezer allows government organizations to monitor, collect, and archive the following online data:
See how Pagefreezer can help your organization
Get in touch with us to learn more and see Pagefreezer’s solutions in action.
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