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FCW : April 30, 2015
22 April 30, 2015 FCW.COM Converting computer documents into an indexed, search- able database is a massive undertaking for federal agen- cies. Such conversions are essential for providing the public with cost-efficient and accurate data, and although they can save time and money in the long run, the process can eat up resources and introduce compliance issues. Federal IT employees must ensure that digitized records comply with the Federal Records Act, and they could take a lesson from Jason Duke, a regional geographic information system coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Cookeville, Tenn. Holly Blalock-Herod, an FWS biologist in the Cooke- ville office, said Duke’s work was essential to the agency’s efforts to respond to current and future requests. “Without his assistance, our agency would not have been able to meet a [Justice Department] request for information,” she said. “During the period of archiving, he had to maintain access to and security for the same data and had to respond to [Freedom of Information Act] and agency data requests while building an administra- tive record.” And he managed to do all that “while ensuring that his superiors always had the data they needed when they needed it,” she said. Out from under the desk Duke defined the tools, mechanisms and protocols for collecting and collating all the electronic documentation BY CHAD HUDNALL digital records Reeling in The Fish and Wildlife Service’s Jason Duke transformed a jumble of files on a variety of media into a searchable database U.S.COASTGUARD/PETTYOFFICER3RDCLASSSTEPHENLEHMANN The diversity of data the Fish and Wildlife Service must organize stems in part from how it’s gathered. In 2010, Jason Duke (foreground) helped gather on-the-ground intelligence on oil sightings and cleanup methods in Louisiana. KURTSNIDER 0430fcw_022-023.indd 22 4/7/15 11:51 AM
April 15, 2015
May 15, 2015