Oregon capitol building

Oregon rides cloud to statewide records management system

A cloud-based records management system in the office of Oregon’s Secretary of State produced such improvements in access and processing time that officials are now expanding it statewide.

The Oregon Records Management Solution (ORMS) will let state, city and county agencies manage and provide access to records in an efficient, uniform manner and  will save money on storage, risk and litigation costs, officials said.

ORMS, currently a pilot program that originated in the Secretary of State’s office, uses HP TRIM, enterprise document and records management software developed by Autonomy, an HP company, to manage digital and physical records. Prior to implementing HP TRIM, employees had to sift through backup tapes, e-mails and file servers to satisfy public records requests. 

With HP TRIM, requests are processed much faster. For example, a request for the 80,000 e-mails generated by the Secretary of State since taking office now takes 90 seconds to fulfill, instead of days. ORMS pilot agencies are experiencing similar benefits. Requests for public documents that used to take a week to process now take 30 seconds, Oregon officials said.

"We realized that the benefits we experienced at the Secretary of State’s office could be broadened to encompass every city, county and state agency in Oregon," said Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, in a release.  "And since agencies access ORMS on a per-user basis, the smallest agencies can have the same transformative public records management as organizations with thousands of employees and larger budgets."

ORMS was developed through a public/private collaboration with Chaves Consulting Inc., Autonomy and Arikkan Inc. ORMS incorporates HP TRIM as part of a software-as-a-service solution to make access to government records easier, more transparent and affordable, Oregon officials said.  ORMS runs in a private government cloud built in partnership between CCI, Arikkan and Sace Inc. Cloud Records Management Solutions.

"Most state archivists don’t manage information until after documents have been created and used, but that process is cumbersome and does not work very well," said Mary Beth Herkert, archivist for Oregon. "HP TRIM lets us pivot to a front-end management solution where the records are managed as they are created," Herkert said.

ORMS will help agencies comply with Oregon public records law, which require scheduled notification of automated retention and destruction of records, officials said.  Additionally, ORMS will support eDiscovery projects when legal teams must produce and review large volumes of information. Currently, more than 700 employees across 11 city, county and state agencies have used ORMS with HP TRIM to manage more than one million documents during the pilot program, Oregon officials said.

In addition to the Secretary of State’s Office, pilot agencies include: Oregon’s Energy and Human Services departments, Public Utility Commission, Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District and the cities of Beaverton, Dundee, Hillsboro, Milwaukie and West Linn. In addition, the cities of St. Helens and Lebanon, as well as Tillamook County, have come on board as early adopters, officials said.
The Secretary of State’s office anticipates more agencies will use ORMS once the pilot program is over. Oregon officials have also submitted a federal grant in order to bring all of the current governor’s records online as well as to share technologies with the State of Washington.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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