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15K Linear Feet of Storage Reclaimed and Historic Materials Protected

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) faced a big challenge. They were using four World War II era metal buildings to store their off-site inventory. Over the years these buildings succumbed to the heat and humidity of South Louisiana. The Agency wanted to reduce the inventory before looking into other options for managing the 26,000 linear feet of material.

DOTD is responsible for maintaining public transportation, roadways, bridges, canals, select levees, floodplain management, port facilities, commercial vehicles, and airports, in the state of Louisiana. The Agency has approximately five thousand personnel and operations are run through nine district offices across the state.

Unknown Inventory

The Agency had only one staff member partially devoted to records and information management. There was no current inventory of the materials stored off-site and no means of tracking an inventory. The Agency’s retention schedule had been developed after many of the items stored off-site were packed, so boxes could contain a number of records series and have a variety of disposal dates.

DOTD is mandated to keep the copy of record of project plans for the major roadways and bridges in the state of Louisiana.  Many records are of great importance because of the long life and high usage of DOTD’s assets.  Plans stored off-site required immediate review and conversion to electronic files or microfilm to ensure their long term availability for the people of Louisiana.

DOTD absorbed the Department of Public Works and all of the documents, maps, and plans that they maintained.  The off-site storage buildings contained historic river and city maps, blueprints of state buildings, and plans for levees and dams.  These records were of historic importance to the state and were not being maintained in such a way that would ensure their continued availability.

Access Sciences to the Rescue

Access Sciences employees conducted an inventory of the 26,000 linear feet of material stored off-site. The inventory was conducted at a folder level for each box and drawer. Appropriate record series were matched to boxes and retention end dates applied. A custom database was developed and populated for ongoing inventory management. 

Of the 26,000 linear feet of inventory, only 41% required storage at an off-site storage facility, which represents a savings of 15,000 linear feet or storage space. The remaining material was ready for disposition.

Our Ongoing Work at DOTD

Since 2010, we have supported DOTD in its mission to deliver transportation and public works systems that enhance quality of life and facilitate economic growth. Our services to DOTD include an embedded team of information management professionals who:

  • Revised DOTD’s retention schedule from one with over 900 record series to one with less than 100 record series. 
  • Developed a taxonomy to manage all of DOTD’s records, regardless of format.
  • Completed a records inventory of physical files at DOTD’s headquarters, district offices, and offsite warehouses, exceeding 50,000 linear feet.
  • Developed an inventory control system that allows users to track the location, retention, check-in/out, transfer of ownership, etc. of agency managed records and instituted a system of barcoding items to manage the collection.
  • Developed a comprehensive plan for centralizing agency-wide scanning operations including: space, staffing, equipment, hardware and software considerations; pilot testing and planned roll out; and training for users.
  • Developed a RIM Coordinator Network and provided training to coordinators. 
  • Developed and implemented a communications plan to guide change management activities involving new RIM policies and procedures and the updated retention schedule
  • Provide ongoing operational support for records warehouse processes including managing new item intake, check-in/out, determining boxes available for disposal, facilitating disposal through contracted vendor, etc.
  • Provide ongoing operational support for inventory management for 60,000 reels of microfilm including intake of new reels, check-in/out, research for requests for records, and reel retention.
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