Electronic Document and Records Management

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					S D R Vo l 5 N o 2 2 0 0 6                                                                      C a s e            S t u d y




             Electronic Document
                     and Records
                     Management



                                           E
                                                 lectronic Document and Records
                                                 Management (EDRM) refers to the
                                                 practice of securely managing con-
                                                                                         Enterprise Content Management
                                                                                         (ECM) system provides structure, con-
                                                                                         trolled access and electronic routing to
                                                                                                                                       117
                                           tent (electronic and physical documents,      individuals that need to act on the infor-
                                           faxes, voice and video) that is generated     mation as it is managed in a single
                                           and received by an institution in the         organisation-wide repository.
                                           course of delivering service according to       The other reason is with regard to
                                           applicable records management stan-           compliance to legislation. Legislation
                                           dards and procedures.                         was promulgated in an effort. The
                   Lebogang Matjila of        The first reason why organisations are     National Archives of South Africa Act,
           Waymark Infotech outlines       considering EDRM is to ensure                 Promotions of Access to Information
                 the value of Electronic   enhanced service delivery. Research has       Act and Public Finance Management
                                           shown that in excess of 75% of informa-       Act were promulgated by government
               Document and Records
                                           tion that organisations deal with is in the   to improve accountability, quality and
          Management by examining          form unstructured content such as             accessibility of services.
             its implementation at the     emails, faxes, documents and slide pre-         Good practices in managing docu-
         Eastern Cape Department of        sentations, spreadsheets, physical letters,   ments and records form the foundation
                                           etc.                                          for compliance to the legislation as listed
        Economic Affairs, Environment
                                              This information is required within        above. Implementation of an ECM will
                           and Tourism     minutes if not seconds to be able to          support compliance to legislation in this
                                           deliver prompt service to clients.            regard.
                                           Examples of such information are appli-
                                           cation forms and associated attachments       Application areas
                                           submitted for service, notifications for      of ECM solutions
                                           change of details, letters and faxes
                                           requesting information, contracts, etc.       Content touches all aspects of an institu-
                                              As such, capturing this content into an    tion so an ECM solution can be applied
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      to virtually all business areas. However,                                                 resources to find or refer to organisa-
      there are application areas where higher                                                  tional records.
      business benefit can be realised.                     This solution                          An EDMS project was initiated by the
         These are typically characterised by                                                   department as it required an integrated
      large volumes of content to be processed                                                  approach to managing documents.
      such as applications for social grants,              has enabled                          Documents were stored in the four reg-
      housing subsidies, water licenses, com-                                                   istries but also in offices where limited
      pany registrations, compensation claims,                                                  access control could be exercised.
      and so forth.                                     the department                             This typically led to difficulty in locat-
         They are also characterised by inter-                                                  ing documents, which often resulted in
      nal administrative functions with well-                                                   delays in responding to internal or exter-
      defined processes and procedures such                     to easily                       nal enquiries and service requests.
      as recruitment and appointment, expen-                                                       The department’s vision was to imple-
      diture approval, quotation evaluation,                                                    ment a system that will first and fore-
      contracting, invoice processing, leave                     provide                        most enable the auditor general to per-
      application and resignation processing.                                                   form a paperless audit. It was recognised
         One can also add collaborative
      processes that have turnaround times
                                                             information                        that this would be an involved exercise,
                                                                                                which would require a phased approach
      that are defined or generally understood                                                  in order to ensure success.
      such as responding to parliamentary
      questions and written enquiries from
                                                           upon request                            The first part of the implementation
                                                                                                involved compiling and implementing a
      interested parties.                                                                       document management policy and pro-
         Lastly, they are characterised by reg-
      istry management function where all
                                                         to stakeholders                        cedures manual. This provided a frame-
                                                                                                work on how to manage the operational
      records of the institution are registered.                                                documents of the department.
      An ECM solution will typically provide
      the capability to index and do advanced
                                                        and it is able to                          The project was also charged with
                                                                                                compiling a file plan for the department

118   searches of records in the repository
      with the inherent ability to find specific
      documents and records in seconds.
                                                           track actions
                                                                                                to facilitate the standardisation of docu-
                                                                                                ment management practices.
                                                                                                   The solution was built upon EMC
                                                                                                Documentum. Papers received by the
      Implementation and                                       taken on                         department are scanned, indexed and
      critical success factors                                                                  stored in the Documentum repository
                                                                                                according to the fileplan at the main
      Successful implementations of an ECM              written requests                        registry.
      solution have been achieved in organisa-                                                     The scanned documents are then
      tions that have a clear understanding of                                                  routed to the designated users, for them
      their objectives and challenges.                                                          to take action. Reminders are sent to
      Ultimately, the success of any system         hand-hold (assist) users for a reasonable   users to act on documents for which no
      depends on its adoption for day-to-day        period.                                     action has been taken.
      operations.                                      Eastern Cape Department of                  Phase two of the initiative involved
         This requires that serious effort be put   Economic Affairs, Environment and           back-scanning with documents that
      into ensuring acceptance of the system        Tourism Case Study                          were created before the implementation
      by staff members through early involve-          The Department of Economic               of the solution and are of material value
      ment of users in the requirements defi-       Affairs, Environment and Tourism            to the department being identified.
      nition and demonstration of a pre-built       (DEAET) was faced with the challenge        They were then digitised and made
      configurable solution to users which          of managing documentation pertaining        available electronically for retrieval.
      allows them to easily relate to how it can    to the administration and management           The total number of pages in the
      be applied in an institution’s operations.    interaction of its internal and external    finance registry was in excess of 500 000
         It can also be realised through com-       stakeholders.                               pages. The main aim of the back-scan-
      mitment and communication driven                 The department was utilising a man-      ning exercise was to digitise the docu-
      from the highest level.                       ual system of managing its documents        ments and have them readily available
         Such commitment must be reinforced         which led to the ineffective and ineffi-    for auditing purposes.
      with individuals that will be on site to      cient application of scarce departmental       The total number of pages in the
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                                                                                                                                  119

human resource registry is in excess of     department to produce relevant docu-       ECM application in the public sector. A
600 000 pages. In order to ensure com-      mentation supporting the transactions it   specific configuration is available for
pliance with DPSA requirements the          undertakes.                                deployment in national, provincial and
department started with a process to                                                   local government departments for inter-
ensure all files contain the minimum        Conclusion                                 nal administrative processes (HR,
information required.                                                                  finance and procurement), registry
  Documents are then digitised to make      Based on the experience gained in          management, and collaboration process-
them accessible to authorised users from    engagements similar to the DEAET,          es for parliamentary questions and
their desktops.                             Waymark Infotech has pre-configured a      enquiry response.
  This solution has enabled the depart-     solution called eContentWorks which is       Procuring eContentWorks reduces
ment to easily provide information upon     based on EMC Documentum to offer a         implementation time and risk as it has
request to stakeholders and it is able to   solution that meets public sector docu-    public sector processes and procedures
track actions taken on written requests.    ment and records management require-       embedded in the solution. Furthermore,
The department is also compliant to         ments.                                     institution-specific configuration for
good records management practice as a         The solution has interfaces to most      your business requirements can be easily
result of this solution.                    leading ERP solutions and legacy sys-      done via eContentWorks configuration
  Lastly, the solution has enabled the      tems. eContentWorks is intended for        workbench. •