Survey: Federal Agencies Overspending on Records Management by an Average of $5 Million Annually

  Survey: Federal Agencies Overspending on Records Management by an Average of
  $5 Million Annually

   Government finance and records professionals cite exponential growth of
    records as main culprit and call for better training as a top solution

Business Wire

BOSTON & ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- March 18, 2013

The volume of information federal agencies must manage has outgrown their
budgets, challenging the nation’s records handlers to control this deluge of
information and costing their agencies more and more money. This is the
central finding of a new study from MeriTalk, the government IT network, and
storage and information management services company Iron Mountain Incorporated
(NYSE:IRM) that asked federal records managers and finance professionals to
assess the state of federal records management. The results show agencies
exceed their annual records management budgets by an average of 17 percent,
despite shelling out increasing sums to store and manage mounting volumes of

Titled “Federal Records Management: Navigating the Storm,” the online survey
asked 100 federal records managers and 100 federal finance professionals in
September 2012 to assess their records practices, budgets, opportunities for
savings, and views on the future. Chief among the findings is each federal
agency spends an average of $34.4 million per year on records management, or
$5 million more than budgeted. And according to the results, those sums will
only increase. Agencies expect records management spending to more than double
to $84.1 million by 2015 due to an expected 144 percent increase in records
per agency over that period.

The survey revealed that the chief causes of blown records budgets come from:

  *Too many records – A single federal agency currently manages an average of
    209 million records; government-wide, agencies manage approximately 8.4
    billion records.
  *Runaway information growth – The number of records per agency is expected
    to grow to 511 million by 2015, an increase of 144 percent over current
    records volume.
  *Multiple information types – Agencies increasingly create  records in more
    varied sources and formats. For example, 47 percent of all records are
    electronic, while 41 percent of records are created electronically but
    managed in a paper format.
  *A D-I-Y approach – Sixty-two percent of federal records managers use
    in-house systems, but that may not be the most effective approach, as 60
    percent of federal finance professionals say problems with managing
    records hinders agency operations.

In addition to the cost and volume pressures of managing records, federal
agencies are also racing to comply with the Presidential Directive on Managing
Government Records, a government-wide effort to reform records management
policies and practices. The Directive, enacted in August 2012, instructs each
agency to modernize its records management policies through more efficient
operations, including digitizing records and establishing a new infrastructure
that will minimize costs and promote openness and accountability, which form
the backbone of President Obama’s Open Government initiative.

“Federal record volumes will only continue to grow, driving up budgets and
making it harder for agencies to manage information on their own,” said Sue
Trombley, managing director of consulting for Iron Mountain. “This growth and
the added pressure from the Presidential Directive are combining to make
records management very complicated and unsustainable. Most agencies know they
need outside help and are looking for alternatives that include the
development of a strategic plan, agency-wide collaboration and training,
implementing technology solutions, and policy guidance and enforcement all
aimed at regaining control for today and the future.”

When asked to name solutions for their information management problems, survey
respondents cited training (43 percent), more funding (33 percent), and
greater support for records management from agency leadership (32 percent). By
focusing on those three factors, federal finance professionals estimate saving
24 percent of their records management budget, and records management
professionals estimate the savings at 36 percent. This could mean an annual
savings of $8.3 to $12.4 million per agency and between $330 million and $495
million government-wide each year.

To realize these significant cost savings, Iron Mountain recommends the
following building block strategies:

  *Make it an executive priority – Bring together leaders from all functions
    within the agency, including IT, finance, operations, legal/compliance,
    and security to help create, implement, and enforce a culture of records
    and information management compliance.
  *Invest in training – Regular training and education creates a culture of
    accountability and responsibility for records management, helping to
    ensure that employees are invested.
  *Smart digitization & timely destruction – A common mistake when converting
    paper records to an electronic format is to scan (then save) everything;
    instead, agencies should consider what records they have, who needs them,
    for what purpose, and for how long, then digitize those records first and
    destroy older inactive records no longer needed for compliance or business
  *Where possible, streamline – Choose a process to standardize on for the
    entire agency, as records management programs have a better chance of
    success if there is agreement on common policies/practices and schedules
    for addressing access, retention, and other processes.

To download the full study, please visit For more information on Iron Mountain’s
services for the federal market, please visit

About MeriTalk

The voice of tomorrow’s government today, MeriTalk is an online community and
go-to resource for government IT. Focusing on government’s hot-button issues,
MeriTalk hosts Big Data Exchange, Data Center Exchange, Cyber Security
Exchange, and Cloud Computing Exchange – platforms dedicated to supporting
public-private dialogue and collaboration. MeriTalk connects with an audience
of 85,000 government community contacts. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, @meritalk.

About Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) is a leading provider of storage and
information management services. The company’s real estate network of 64
million square feet across nearly 1,000 facilities in 32 countries allows it
to serve customers around the world with speed and accuracy. And its solutions
for records management, data backup and recovery, document management, and
secure shredding help organizations to lower storage costs, comply with
regulations, recover from disaster, and better use their information for
business advantage. Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain stores and protects
billions of information assets, including business documents, backup tapes,
electronic files and medical data. for more

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Erin Leahy, 703-883-9000 ext. 139
Iron Mountain
Christian T. Potts, 617-535-8721
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