Standards group issues guidance for e-doc systems

The international authority on content management has released today a new set of guidelines for electronic document management systems (EDMS) used by government agencies and businesses.

The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), an enterprise content management industry association, has published its third version of procedures that should be performed whenever choosing or implementing EDMS information technology systems.

The suggested policies apply to the National Archives and Records Administration and all federal records managers.

The AIIM Standards Board’s previous work laid the foundation for the new document. Board members included Linda Koontz, information management issues director at the Government Accountability Office, and Melonie Warfel, director for worldwide standards at Adobe.

A committee of representatives from federal, state and local government agencies, and industry users then drafted recommendations. The committee members include Andrew Taylor, assistant director for Records and Information Management Services at the Georgia Archives; John Breeden, agency records manager for the Virginia Transportation Department; and Mark Giguere, IT lead co-program manager for policy and planning for NARA’s Electronic Records Management Initiative.

"As organizations continue to evaluate and implement document management technologies, the demand for vendor-neutral information increases," said Robert Blatt, AIIM committee chairman and president of Electronic Image Designers, a document management consulting firm. "The intent of this document is to provide a road map for organizations worldwide to make smart technology decisions through the detailed information about the technologies used in document management, how the technologies work together and the associated industry standards and guidelines."

Members of the California state government also participated on the committee.

"As technology continues to advance, and an increasing share of the state's official business is done electronically, it is critical that we work together to implement best practices to ensure adequate protection of electronic documents for years to come,” California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson said.

At a glance: Electronic Document Management SystemsElectronic Document Management Systems is becoming an all-encompassing term, referring to the integration of the underlying technologies including:

  • Document imaging.
  • Document/Library services.
  • Workflow.
  • Enterprise Report Management.
  • Forms Management.
  • Optical Character Recognition/Intelligent Character Recognition Technologies.

From a high-level perspective, electronic document management technologies enable users to:


  • Control access to documents.
  • Link documents to various sources outside the Web/HTML environment.
  • Update documents.
  • Maintain documents with native editors or manipulation tools.
  • Position documents as part of a business process requiring bidirectional communication.
  • Customize the format, content and accessibility.

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