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For the past three decades, policies regarding a variety of information issues have emanated from federal agencies, legislative chambers, and corporate boardrooms. Despite the focus on information policy, it is still a relatively new concept and one only now beginning to be studied. The subject area is wider than believedarchives and records policies, information resources management, information technology, telecommunications, international communications, privacy and confidentiality, computer regulation and crime, intellectual property, and information systems and dissemination. This is not a compendium of policies to be used, but rather an exploration in a more detailed fashion of the fundamental principles supporting the setting of records policies.
Records policies are critically important for records professionals to develop and use as a means of strategically managing the information and evidence found in the millions of records created daily, provided that the policies are based on comprehensible principles. This is a series of discourses on the fundamentals of archives and records management needing to be understood before any organization attempts to define and set any policy affecting records and information. The chapters concern defining records, how information technology plays into policy compiling, the fundamental tasks of identifying and maintaining records as critical to records and information policy, public outreach and advocacy as a key objective for such policy, and the role of educating records professionals in supporting sensible records policies.