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The importance of keeping records
Erica Sims reviews files before placing them in storage March 2, 2010 Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The Base Records Management office oversees the records management program for Eielson and maintaining a staging area where approximately 400 cubic feet of records are stored. Mrs. Sims is a base records manager. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Rachelle Coleman)
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The importance of keeping records

Posted 3/9/2010   Updated 3/9/2010 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Rachelle Coleman
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

3/9/2010 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Imagine it's time to be promoted and nobody can find the records that prove it.

Properly managing records ensures that vital information is accounted for and retrievable. Failure to properly manage records can result in losing important information. This can have numerous consequences--including someone losing their line number due to personnel misfiling award and decoration documentation, to legal ramifications of up to three years confinement and a fine for not abiding by Air Force directives.

"As the base records managers, we administer the records management program for Eielson. The bulk of our time is spent assisting and training people to ensure they understand how to file records so they will be in accordance with AF guidance," said Erica Sims, 354th Communications Squadron Base Records Manager.

The Base Record Management office is also responsible for managing the staging area where approximately 400 cubic feet of records are stored.

"Any records that an office is required to maintain for three years or longer are staged with us for short-term storage. These records are either due to be destroyed soon, or are being stored until it's time to ship them to the Federal Records Center for long-term storage," said Mrs. Sims.

Records play a vital role in managing and operating Air Force activities. They serve as the memory of the organization, a record of past events, and the basis for future actions.

Air Force units at all levels must manage records systematically to make sure they are complete, accurate, trustworthy, and easily accessible. They must also document their organization, function, and activities and preserve records by implementing effective life-cycle management procedures within their areas of responsibility.

"Misfiling records causes increased workload by personnel having to spend more time than should be necessary in locating those records," said Mrs. Sims. "We've had numerous people spending hours looking for records that were not where they were supposed to be. If they had been filed properly it would have taken no time at all to locate them."

The records management office has created a website at https://eielson.eim.pacaf.af.mil/sites/BRM/default.aspx.

"This site has all the information you will need to properly manage your records, but if you ever need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact your base records management team at 377-2117," said Mrs. Sims. "We are more than happy to come to your office to go over your file plan with you and answer any questions you might have."

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