FIRM charter and bylaws : LUSENET : Federal Information and Records Managers Council : One Thread

All- Below is the charter and bylaws of the Federal Information and Records Managers council. Feel free to pass this information on to others. Spread the word about the FIRM! ---------------------------------------------------------------------




The purpose of the Council is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Federal Information and Records Managers (FIRM) functions in all agencies by providing a forum for sharing knowledge, resources, and methodologies for the implementation and evaluation of systems and practices. Objectives of the FIRM Council include:

A. Providing leadership to the FIRM Community as it creates partnerships with archivists, librarians, program staff, technical staff, the information industry, professional associations, and other information management professionals to: 1. manage the life cycle of federal information, and 2. protect the nations documentary heritage.

B. Providing advice and assistance to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); the Office of Management and Budget; the Government Accounting Office; the Office of Personnel Management; the National Institute for Standards and Technology; the General Services Administration; and other federal entities charged with oversight of information and records management.

C. Providing a forum to advance professional knowledge and techniques through educational programs, workshops, seminars, and by sharing experiences, approaches, and information related to the records management profession.



A. Membership: All Federal employees from the Records Management, Information Technology, and Chief Information Officers staffs are eligible to be members of the FIRM. Each member shares the responsibility for an effective FIRM council by initiating and participating in activities to further FIRM objectives. The sustaining members of the FIRM Council are interested information management professionals involved with the management of Federal data, documents, or systems. Membership is for the purpose of individual professional development to allow members to share expertise and lessons learned. Members are not expected to speak for their agencies or organizations. This is a non-profit, volunteer association, thus no dues are charged. B. FIRM Council Board: The Council Board will be composed of eleven elected FIRM members. The Council Board is charged with representing the FIRM Council. Board members are elected for a term of two years which matches the government fiscal year. [Initial elections will be six members for one year and five members for two years.]

The Council Board will elect a Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary from the elected Board members. The Board Chair shall be the Executive Officer of the Council and is responsible for providing leadership and guidance. In the event of a tie vote at any meeting of the Council or the Board, the Chair shall cast the deciding vote. Duties of the Board: 1. The Board shall administer the affairs and business of the Council. 2. The Board, by majority vote, shall have the authority to fill any vacancy, remove any Board member for cause, or replace any Board member for absenteeism. 3. The Board shall meet at least four times each Federal fiscal year. FIRM business can be conducted only at Board Meetings called by the Chair or by a quorum (seven) Board members.

C. FIRM Vice Chair: The Vice Chair shall be the point of contact for public relations and inquiries; organize Council mailings; and act for the Chair, as required.

D. FIRM Council Secretary: The Secretary will arrange for all FIRM Council and Board meetings (meeting rooms, agenda, and minutes) and notify members of meetings. The Secretary shall maintain the membership and mailing lists and Council archives.

E. FIRM Council Work Groups. Work Group Leaders are appointed by the Board. The Work Group Leader brings recommendations to the Board and to the Council for discussion and approval. Work Groups focus on issues the Council agrees to address each year. Workgroup members are interested information professionals willing to volunteer to work towards the Councils goals. All Council members are welcome to participate in Work Groups. [Proposed Work Group topics are included in Section VI.]


A. Nominating Committee: The Chair shall appoint a Nominating Committee no later than August 1. The committee shall consist of not less than three Council members, who do not wish to be nominated for the Board. The Nominating Committee shall make recommendations to replace Council Board members whose terms are due to expire, and to replace any Board members who may have been appointed to fill a vacancy during the Council year. Candidates must be willing to serve and want to lead one of the Council Work Groups. B. Election Procedures: The Secretary shall record the slate of nominees prior to September 1. The nominees receiving the greatest number of votes shall become the new Board. Ballots may be submitted in person at the meeting or absentee ballots may be submitted to the Secretary via e-mail or fax.


A. All Council members are invited to submit agenda items at any time to the FIRM Secretary. The Secretary will compile a list of agenda items for review by the Board prior to each meeting. The Board will decide which issues should be addressed by the entire Council at meetings to be held at least six times a year (alternate months). All public statements shall be approved by the Board. B. Changes to the way FIRM operates are proposed by Council members through the Secretary and brought before the entire Council after receiving the Boards approval.

V. EFFECTIVE DATE OF CHARTER AND BYLAWS: May 27, 1999. As submitted by the Charter Drafting Work Group, this Charter and set of Bylaws shall be in effect upon approval by the Council members.

Respectfully submitted by the FIRM Council Charter Work Group Members: Baker, Anne (NOAA) Barth, Charley (NAVY-CIO) Brock, CRM, Carol (OPIC) Cory, CRM, Carol (OCC) Deley, John Paul (FTC) Fraser, Greg (CIA) Gannon, CRM, Alice (OFHEO) Mchale, CRM, Laura (EPA) Miller, Nancy (NLRB) Rawlings-Milton, Mary (OTS) Schultz, Kathy (PTO) Van Wingen, Rachael (EPA) Vasko, John (CIA).


A. Electronic RM, Signatures, Recordkeeping Systems, Commerce B. Relationships among the Chief Information Officer, RM, & Information C. Technologists D. Publicize that records management responsibilities apply to all Federal employees E. Definition of a record (that is understandable to users) F. Consistent RM position descriptions and grade levels, RM internships G. Communication and advocacy of RM information H. Program evaluations I. Litigation concerns affects on the RMs ability to appropriately manage the RM J. Programs K. Vital records and disaster recovery L. RM training M. Defining what records must be created and maintained N. Record copy capture O. Fee-for-service records storage P. Re-write the General Records Schedules Q. Small Agency RM R. Administrative/management support for RM Programs S. Knowledge of the FIRM Market Place T. Recognition of Federal Records Centers & Regional Office Concerns U. Archival Outreach V. Legislative Initiatives

-- Anonymous, June 11, 1999

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