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The importance of file management

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Philip Carter)

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Philip Carter)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo -- Here no matter what an Airman’s job is, or the position they hold, it’s always important to stay compliant with Air Force Instructions when it comes to maintaining proper file management.

Some people that work here may not realize the importance of having a proper file plan for office documents. A file plan is an inventory of every file that is managed, paper or electronic. Failing to have a plan can have a negative impact Air Force-wide, which is why all bases have a base records manager.

According to the Federal Records Act, government agencies are to manage the creation, maintenance, use and disposition of records. If records are poorly managed, individuals could lose access to benefits, the government might be exposed to legal liabilities and historical documents could be lost forever.

“The amount of electronically stored information maintained by the Air Force is estimated to be greater than 400 petabytes of data,” said Robert M. O’Connor, Air Force Space Command records manager. “The cost of storing this data has become the Air Force’s second largest expenditure after jet fuel.”

To give this number some perspective, 400 petabytes is equal to 6 million copies of the entire Library of Congress collection.

If it’s time for an office to setup a new file plan or just make sure the plan that’s already in place follows the proper Air Force regulations, there’s an agency that can help. The 21st Communications Squadron Knowledge Management Center is where Airmen can go to make sure file plans are compliant.

Once a month a records manager from the KMC conducts an initial information management training class and teaches how AFIs are used in developing file plans.

The KMC will show how AFIs govern each unit in managing specific records and files by using the Air Force Records Information Management System. They also show users how to utilize AFRIMS to help develop file plans, as well as setting up a records disposition schedule, which shows each office how long to keep each file type.

If help is still needed after the initial information management training is accomplished, contact the KMC and set up a time for some one-on-one training.

The hope is that once Airmen have been educated on how to manage files correctly, there will be less space used which amounts to more money saved.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui