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Functional Requirements to Ensure the Creation, Maintenance, and Preservation of Electronic Records

The Functional Requirements to Ensure the Creation, Maintenance, and Preservation of Electronic Records were developed to communicate to program and information technology managers what organizations must achieve to ensure that electronic records are created, maintained, and preserved to support their operational, informational, and evidentiary needs. These requirements should be implemented in any system developed to support an organization's business processes. The Functional Requirements rest on a concise definition of a 'record.' We define a 'record' as the complete set of documentation required to provide evidence of a business transaction.

Underpinning all three functional requirements is the concept of 'compliance.' The laws, regulations, and policies that authorize or define a specific government business process, either explicitly or implicitly, define the records management requirements for that process. The requirements identify the records that must be created and may define requirements for records management, access, content, and structure. Many professions or disciplines also have established standards or best practices for records management related to their fields. An organization must identify these requirements and determine how they will be implemented. In addition, changes in the legal and regulatory environment and in professional standards need to be monitored and reflected in modifications to the requirements. Each requirement can be mapped to a compliance factor based in law, regulation, standard, or best practice. The use of the term 'best practice' refers to practices formally adopted or generally accepted by a profession or discipline. Examples of best practices include Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and the American Health Information Association's Recommended Practices for Information and Documentation.

A 'record' is the complete set of documentation required to provide evidence of a business transaction.