Can new ECM technology ease the complexity of document declassification


Hidden complexity in document declassification 

The explosion in digital records has made declassification a challenge, but recent document-leak events, including WikiLeaks, have heightened the pressure to ensure that all government documents and records being considered for declassification are managed securely prior to release. Typically, only the agency that creates classified information can declassify it. If an agency produces a record containing its own information as well as information from one or more other agencies, it must not only review its own information for declassification but also must refer the record to each agency that “owns” the additional classified information in question. A final declassification determination on information in the record is made only after all agencies have rendered decisions on their respective equities. 


I believe this structural process has inherent productivity limitations: if even one agency has minimal content in a record, it must declassify its portion. Agencies must alleviate these complexities to improve the efficiency and accuracy of declassification. Integrated collaboration tools with ECM systems would alleviate this as well.


I am seeing more ECM technology being deployed that addresses these issues by not only managing the classification, organization and retention of information but also automating delegation and task management. This consolidated, end-to-end approach helps ensure that all aspects of document declassification occur in accordance with legislation and in the time frame required.

Plus with the fact that digital content is growing in volume but also in “type” means that ECM systems in governments needs to automate more and as I have said in the past integrate policies to the underlying process flows; in order to be truly efficient.


Thoughts ?

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