Comment by March 29, 2019: Protect GHI’s Institutional Knowledge

Please take a moment to read and submit your comments on the draft record retention policy to mgmtoffice@ghi.coop by March 29, 2019. What follows below are vital points for your consideration that were raised in conversation with a thoughtful, well-informed GHI neighbor.

Why this Matters?

The GHI Board of Directors is considering a draft policy that identifies routine categories of records generated in the course of routine business. However, there remains a number of records that have not been evaluated and categorized — unless the Board takes action through the policy, these records may be destroyed after five years without first being evaluated for their importance to the co-op’s institutional knowledge.

Examples of records that may be destroyed include:

  • Federal Government records relating to the development of Greenbelt and sale of the housing units to the Cooperative
  • Annual Reports
  • Committee and Task Forces Files* (including major initiatives such as the Greener Greenbelt Initiative and Greenbelt Historic District Study)
  • Documents relating to prior partnerships/projects with Federal/County/City Governments (including energy studies, demographic studies, and efforts to make GHI more racially, economically and ethnically diverse)
  • Newsletters and Marketing Materials dating back to the 1950’s
  • Major Studies conducted by Consultants (including: Replacement Reserve Studies)
  • Photographs

* The policy appears to be unclear about what committee/task force files will be saved.

For Your Consideration

As you submit comments, consider asking the Board to appoint a Records Management Task Force that will:

  • Inventory and evaluate existing records for historical or operational significance
  • Partner with the Greenbelt Museum/University of Maryland Special Collections or other organization to make historically significant records available to the public.
  • Digitize records which are important for understanding the current operations of our co-op.
  • Explore opportunities to apply for grants that will fund records-preservation efforts.

Thank you!

photo courtesy mcfarlandmo under Creative Commons license Attribution 2.0

Author: Mo Hamilton

Mo Hamilton joined GHI in 2013 after living in the Washington area for 18 years. She lives in large yard that was sold with a block honeymoon cottage attached. Contact Mo at mhfalls@outlook.com.

Please be aware of our Comment Policy. Further information can be found in the About section.

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