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Carlsbad creates electronic records repository


City officials find themselves confronting ever-mounting piles of paperwork. Carlsbad, Calif. with a population of 90,000, is no exception to that predicament. The City Clerk’s Office in Carlsbad is responsible for a variety of information management requirements, including serving as records manager for other city departments.

Ronna Stickrod, records supervisor in the City Clerk’s Office, says the department’s previous procedures began buckling under the document strain in the late 1990s. Different departments were managing documents on their own and using their own records management systems. As a result, public records could be hard to find, and retention and disposal policies were often ignored.

The problem was particularly troublesome for the City Clerk’s Office because of its research responsibilities for other city departments. "We had a record vault filled with papers and folders, but because of the way it was organized, finding what you needed was sometimes like finding a needle in a haystack," Stickrod says.

The city began to look for a records management system that would make finding information easier, and chose a solution from SmeadSoft. Today, 24 city divisions use the system. Along the way, Carlsbad adopted SmeadSoft’s Records Management software, which enables records managers to improve service by providing instant access to file locations, usage, status and user requests, according to a SmeadSoft report.

With the new software, Carlsbad has created a centralized electronic repository of information on all electronic and paper records citywide, allowing the departments themselves to manage and store their physical documents. Records managers can see at a glance what records other departments have, and they can ensure they follow consistent records storage, retention and disposal policies, SmeadSoft adds.


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