The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM) is committed to managing its responsibilities associated with the legacy of World War II and the Cold War. This legacy includes radioactive and chemical waste, environmental contamination, and hazardous material at over 100 sites across the USA. DOE has taken major steps toward fulfilling commitments to clean up this environmental legacy by successfully implementing an accelerated environmental remediation program.
Legacy Management is responsible for ensuring that DOE’s post-closure responsibilities are met and for providing DOE programs for long-term surveillance and maintenance, records management, work force restructuring and benefits continuity, property management, land use planning, and community assistance
After a site or major DOE program has closed, records should be maintained for epidemiological reasons, environmental monitoring, pension administration, etc. Most of these records have retention periods of 75+ years, and many have permanent retention and will eventually be transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
The Records and Information group under LM’s Archives and Information Management (AIM) team is responsible for over four million records that had previously been managed in a heavily customized electronic content management system, consisting of disparate applications. As legacy sites continue to transfer information assets into LM’s custody, records team members are responsible for indexing incoming records, capturing the electronic information into the content management system, and ensuring the proper physical storage in the record storage facility for the entire lifecycle.
The records team responds to approximately 1,800 stakeholder requests each year, including Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act requests, litigation, and other general requests for information.
The electronic content management system was complex to manage, worked in a siloed fashion, and because of its complexity could only be accessed by key records staff. LM emailed their records to the records team who would then capture them into the records management system, using one of 1,500 unique record codes. This process resulted in redundant copies being kept in local file shares, and a low adoption of the electronic content management system with large repositories of unmanaged information residing in file shares.
LM wanted to move forward to create an easyto-use single source system to optimize information storage and records management, to make storage and access more accurate, less redundant, and increase labor and monetary efficiency.
Micro Focus Content Manager was already in use within another DOE site that had a similar scenario for managing records and information. Due to the DOE-specific requirements experience that Micro Focus had, it was possible to migrate all content from the existing system into Content Manager, leverage content analytics and auto-categorization features in the system, and quickly, and with minimal configuration, set up workflows to manage disposition, approvals and other processes. As part of the project, 1,500 record codes were consolidated into just 100 codes.
With Content Manager in place, LM was able to improve request response times as well as manage configuration changes solely within their Records Team.
Keeping 500 potential users within 20 LM workgroups fully informed throughout the process, the team introduced a dedicated SharePoint location for all training information, deployment schedules, FAQs, and ‘how to’ YouTube videos. It is vital that users understand the system, as LM records often include sensitive personally identifying information (PII) with strict legal guidelines on how to manage these.
LM has also implemented Micro Focus ControlPoint and is in the early stages of determining how this will benefit their records management practices, especially utilizing the Redundant/ Obsolete/Trivial (ROT) data analysis to clean up and drastically reduce the content that currently lives outside of Content Manager.
In partnership with the Department of Labor, DOE is responsible for record keeping to support the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). This program compensates workers for occupational illnesses that are linked to toxic exposures during their previous employment at former weapons sites.
Having centralized and properly categorized records assists LM in responding much more quickly to claims submitted by the Department of Labor (DOL) through the EEOICPA program.
Since multiple disparate locations now have access to a centralized repository, employees have ready and credible access to authoritative information assets regardless of their work location. This saves time and money, as well as ensuring a complete package can be created with high confidence that the subject matter has been thoroughly covered. Content Manager’s configuration operates a lot like a file share environment, using a folder and subfolder structure that staff are already familiar with. This enabled adoption of the system to occur quickly, with a high-level of staff buy in.
Micro-Focus’ implementation partner, Information First, was on-site through the entire process and worked with LM staff to structure the system, set up a document taxonomy and retention schedules, and promptly address any questions posed by current staff.