UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Evaluation of the electronic document and record management program in a Canadian municipality Xie, Li


An electronic record management system (ERMS) is an application designed to improve the management of current electronic records in organizations. It is frequently integrated with an electronic document management system (EDMS), and thus becomes an electronic document/record management system (EDRMS). Document and record are different concepts in archival science and require different handling. Managing electronic documents focuses on bringing in organizations business-related benefits, such as enhanced information sharing and increased office productivity. Managing electronic records focuses on ensuring records reliability and authenticity. The development of EDMS is an industry response to the proliferation of electronic documents brought by digital technologies, while the development of ERMS involves research on the nature of electronic records, how to distinguish them from other electronic information, and how to protect their evidentiary value. Standards such as the DoD5015.2 specify functional requirements for designing an ERMS. Authoritative organizations test functionalities of commercial electronic records management systems, verifying their compliance with standards. There are, however, few systematic investigations done to evaluate the effectiveness of standard-compliant systems with respect to their operation in organizations. This thesis attempts to determine whether an EDRMS implemented in a Canadian municipality has achieved the goals set for its implementation. Currently, there are no standardized methods or services assessing the performance of either document or record management functions in an EDRMS. This thesis employs program evaluation, in particular, theory-driven program evaluation, as methodological framework, to assess the components of the city’s EDRMS program. The research is designed as a survey and data are collected using a questionnaire. The evaluation questions were addressed to a particularly defined group of respondents, the users of the system who are charged with records management responsibilities in their offices or departments. Findings are reported in the form of summarized statistics. The evaluation concludes that the EDRMS program is an overall success in regards of both managing electronic documents and electronic records for this group of users. Further analyses and discussions of the findings identify issues and areas requiring improvements as well as suggest recommendations.

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