The Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principle of Availability (GARP) is the lifeblood of RIM personnel do. The Information Governance Reference Model (IGRM) has IT as the stakeholder and GARP defines availability as, “An organization shall maintain records in a manner that ensures timely, efficient, and accurate retrieval of needed information.” With the prevalence of electronic records it is a task that is done concurrently with IT staff to ensure that media is not obsolete and records are accessible for as long as they must be retained. This can be tricky as migrating to new platforms and systems can make data and information unstable and hard to access. The task is not impossible and great strides have been made in recent years.

I refer to availability as the lifeblood because it increases return on investment by making records and information available to support work, validate management decisions and resource allocation as well reduce the time for discovery and regulatory review process. Practically everything I talk about in this blog from BYOD to cloud and indexing information is about making records and information available. Availability is a principle that is inexhaustible as it relates to every part of the IGRM. To quote the “How The Information Governance Reference Model (IGRM) Complements ARMA International’s Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles (GARP):”

The IGRM facilitates discussion on use cases or specific examples of what records need to be made available and how fast. These questions are to be raised and discussed in connection with each activity box: Create, Use, Hold, Discover, Retain, Archive, Store, Secure, and Dispose.

In practical application, the principle of Availability is best considered simultaneously with or in
the context of the other principles (Retention, Disposition, Compliance, Protection, Integrity).

Instead of going on and on about this topic, I will leave the rest to Dilbert and the headaches caused by not applying this principle and getting low return on investment

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For more information you can read, “How the Information Governance Reference Model (IGRM) Complements ARMA International’s Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles (GARP),” as well as ARMA International’s The Principles: Generally Accepted Recordskeeping Principle of Availability.

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