Farmers Insurance Wins Industry’s Highest Award For Records And Information Governance

Earlier this month, Farmers Insurance Group, Inc. was honored with the highest award for Records Management and Information Governance, “Excellence for an Organization,” by ARMA International. The award recognized the achievements that our organization has made in the implementation and enhancement of our Records and Information Governance program as defined by the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles® and the ARMA Maturity Model®. ARMA announced the award in InfoPro Magazine and at the ARMA Live Conference in Orlando.


Farmers recognized an opportunity to modernize its overarching Information Governance strategy. The organization invested in research, eDiscovery tools and policy development based on a holistic approach to Records and Information Management.

Key takeaways from our approach:             

1 – Less Is More – In a world where employees are being bombarded with information in both their personal and professional lives, less is often more. An Information Governance framework should aim to mitigate risks related to records retention, legal holds, privacy and other challenges with clear, digestible policies and well defined initiatives.

2-  Gaps Are Opportunities – Treat gaps, vulnerabilities and risks on the horizon like shared opportunities for all stakeholders.  Help reshape the optics around a problem by encouraging colleagues to help build a better future state instead of harping on old pain points and finger pointing.

3-  Relationships Are Key – Success at relationship building requires the right cadence and can’t be taught in school. Don’t be perceived as demanding executive support for IG and trying to force it on your colleagues.  Focus on facilitating environments and spirited organic discussions that support IG dialogue and help determine consensus.  Build your case carefully by developing relationships with peers across the enterprise and synthesizing that expertise and collaboration into a real solution everyone can stand behind.

Information Governance,  when properly introduced and deployed can help organizations make effective decisions that both protect their assets and reputation while reducing costs associated with records, data security, knowledge management and litigation support. To lead and become successful at these efforts you must remain an evangelist for the very process and approach.  In order to conquer indecisiveness and achieve you must coral the best independent minds around you, agree on your common goals and then address them methodically and professionally.

-Rafael Moscatel


June 2016 Member Spotlight: Rafael Moscatel, IGP, CRM

June 2016 Member Spotlight: Rafael Moscatel, IGP, CRM

Very proud to be featured by ARMA’s Info Pro publication this month!

Jun 15, 2016

Meet Rafael Moscatel, IGP, CRMMoscatel - Member Spotlight

ARMA received the following nomination from April Dmytrenko, CRM, FAI, for the Member Spotlight:

Rafael Moscatel is a Certified Records Manager (CRM) and Information Governance Professional (IGP) with more than 20 years of experience implementing world-class records retention, data governance, and compliance programs for large enterprises. He designed process transformations, led team-building efforts, and spearheaded change management initiatives in a variety of complex and highly regulated industries. His expertise includes developing document management strategies, decommissioning legacy systems, performing risk assessments, and performing audit remediation.

Rafael truly understands his field and specifically IG and technology. He was instrumental in rolling out the enterprise-wide program at Paramount Pictures. Now he is working for Farmers Group, where he has established an outstanding IG framework from which to continue to support an effective program. He is proactive, strategic, and not only a talented RIM professional but an excellent business professional. He develops outstanding collaborative relationships, understands the value of senior management support and involving the business units, and is a strategic risk taker.

Moscatel lives and works in Los Angeles. He serves as the director of information governance for Farmers Group, Inc. He has been an ARMA member for 12 years.

As you can tell, Rafael is a great fit for the Member Spotlight, an honor meant to recognize members’ involvement within the profession and the association. If you would like to network with him, you can contact him through LinkedIn or at


Read More Here….

Accountability at the OPM in wake of breach

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S PERSONNEL AND RECORDS CHIEF Katherine Archuleta resigns in wake of massive data breach that allowed hackers to steal the records of more than 21 million people under her watch

ARMA International announces new mission statement…


As I mentioned in my previous letter to you, the board of directors and HQ staff have been working on making strategic changes, largely based on your feedback. In that letter I told you that our first goal would be to better define who we are and address some existing confusion in the market place.

I am pleased today to announce that the ARMA International board of directors has approved a change to our formal vision, core purpose, and mission statement on behalf of the international association.

Our vision:
ARMA International is a leader in information governance because we are the authority on records and information management (RIM). RIM is broadly recognized as the foundation of information governance.

With this shift, we affirm our long-held commitment to the aims and outcomes of the records and information management profession and establish our goal to be a strategic thought leader in information governance.

Our core purpose:
To promote principles and practices that 1) result in organizations understanding that their success relies on the effective management and governance of information and 2) create career and professional development opportunities in RIM and information governance.

Our mission statement:
To provide information professionals the resources, tools, and training they need to effectively manage records and information within an established information governance framework.

I speak on behalf of ARMA headquarters staff in saying that these newly approved statements reflect our focus on helping you better manage information as the strategic asset it is so that you and your organizations can meet with greater success.


ARMA International, 11880 College Blvd., Suite 450, Overland Park, KS, 66210, USA

You are receiving this message as a benefit of your membership or other association with ARMA International. If you do not wish to receive future e-mail updates from ARMA International, you can opt out by visiting the My ARMA section of our site at

Join The Conversation:

From the CEO: Changes to Happen at ARMA International-Great Changes

New ARMA CEO introduces himself to the records management community… Looks like a great start!

Good morning,

My name is Robert Baird, and I’m excited to officially introduce myself as ARMA International’s chief executive officer. I can’t begin to express how excited I am to lead this organization into the future. In my first week onboard, I have learned two things. First, I have a terrific board of directors dedicated to making ARMA International the best it can be. Second, I have amazing staff who can execute the board’s vision.

Over the last few months I have been listening and learning. And, frankly, what I have learned is that we’ve got some work to do. The good news is that we definitely have something solid to build on–our members, our volunteers, our staff, and this association’s incredible history.

Where will we start?

Continue reading

The Paperless Office

By Rafael Moscatel

The extent to which any organization can reduce its dependency on paper is largely determined by laws and the industry regulations it faces, the technology available to it and how well its leaders manage change, internally as well as for customers.

Here are some thoughts on how to begin solving the paper problem around your office:

Understand the affordances of paper  One of the most thorough examinations of the issue of paper and its role in our lives and workplaces came in 2002 when MIT press published The Myth of the Paperless Office.  The book’s findings make a case for the “affordances of paper” and stress that to reduce paper production and consumption we must understand the underlying habits and processes driving how our clients and colleagues work.

Attorneys for example often require a contextual or “case at a glance” perspective that a chronological or issue focused file offers… a “story telling” approach to presenting information which can’t always be matched even with the best software. Similarly, auditors or project managers will often work with and create aggregated records which serve a specific purpose for which imaging might be overkill or too costly. And contrary to popular belief, there still exist quite a few scenarios where it remains more affordable, practical and efficient to even store information in paper form. Conversion costs and risks required to maintain the digital lifecycle of infrequently referenced documents and avoid bitrot* can often exceed those associated with retaining the same materials in paper form.

Make the right policy changes with executive level support  Every Records or Information Governance policy initiative or project your business undertakes should have senior level executive support and reflect the best practices within your industry.

Here are some policy and procedural ideas to consider that can act as catalysts for change.

  • Get a Retention Policy / Schedule, implement it and regularly enforce it -A Retention Schedule (often in line with a data map) is the most effective tool for properly managing records and information and its necessity cannot be understated.  It not only protects an organization and keeps paper and electronic storage costs low, it gives executives a tool for understanding and navigating the massive network of silos and records their businesses create.
  • Institute an E-signature Policy for all contracts under a specified financial threshold
  • De-duplicate emails and all other electronic content repositories systematically
  • Identify where duplicates are created, determine why and what can be done to prevent them going forward
  • Take a “final draft and / or executed version” approach to your document lifecycle rules
  • Establish “uniform” email retention rules.  For example –  enforced retention period, tools and rules for what to do with attachments
  • Standardize e-mail signatures corporate wide
  • Discourage personal chronological or “work” files
  • Place restrictions on file shares and acceptable file formats within repositories
  • Evaluate all forms and documents in all files to identify consolidation opportunities and streamline workflows
  • Train employees to properly recognize records and understand legal holds and custodianship

Continue reading

Records management in the cloud: a multidimensional issue – KMWorld Magazine


More information than ever is being stored in the cloud, with the increasing use of cloud-based e-mail, content from mobile devices that have limited storage capacity and the continual accumulation of digital data in general. Competition among cloud storage providers for customers is intense, as evidenced byMicrosoft’s promise last year of unlimited low-cost cloud storage. But as information accumulates, what happens when a file in the cloud needs to be classified and managed as a record? The answer is not simple.

Records management in the cloud: a multidimensional issue – KMWorld Magazine.

Chief Information (Governance) Officer – Why Hire A New Actor For An Old Role?

The concept of Information Governance has been evolving into a discipline for a few years now but as a community of knowledge workers are we getting a little ahead of ourselves by championing the idea of a Chief Information Governance Officer (CIGO)?  I mean, isn’t that what a CIO is for?  In large enterprises we often have a Chief Technology Officer in addition, or subordinate to the CIO, but where exactly would a CIGO fit into the corporate hierarchy?  To whom would this person report anyway, to the CIO or the General Counsel or directly to the CEO? Alternatively, would it make sense to have the CIO answer to the CIGO? Or, is adding another cook to this kitchen really just a recipe for disaster that will ultimately prove counterproductive to IG goals?


The C-Level Suite

Companies and organizations are quickly recognizing that their most senior information leaders need to be individuals with a broader set of skills, experiences and principles.

Each organization must determine what works best for them but I think the debate around both the CIGO role and IG in general definitely indicates one thing.  That is, in large part, public and private entities are beginning to reject the vendor driven “just add more storage” approach to managing information. Boardrooms are taking a closer look at their IT budgets and realizing they need mature decision makers at the helm with the vision to look 5, 10 and 25 years down the road.

Companies and organizations are quickly recognizing that their most senior “information” leaders need to be individuals with a broader set of skills, experiences and principles.  It’s reasonable to assume that the IG movement is also fueled by e-Discovery companies who want another way into IT, but also legitimately by legal departments who have been poorly served by traditional IT approaches. Yet while IT might not be the best group to harvest these leaders from, do we really need a new role to complicate our org structures?  There are already a number of CIO’s who have the vision and background necessary to refocus their energy in line with the discipline of IG?  Also, given the existing pressures CIO’s are facing, isn’ it reasonable to assume that the CIO will be forced to evolve?  Shouldn’t we simply rebuild this role… in our own image?

Continue reading

A Record Of The Film

I was recently asked exactly how my background in archives and information technology assisted me with my documentary, The Little Girl with the Big Voice.  I hadn’t really thought about it until that point because it was a passion project and I was so wrapped up in telling the story it didn’t seem to matter. In retrospect, my years in Records & Information Management really were instrumental in helping me collect, organize and clear all of the materials for this film.  Filmmaking involves a lot of document management, project management and asset management and always has.  Understanding how to organize large collections of materials, authenticate and reference them contextually proved very useful in creating the historical sequences seen in the film.


The Little Girl with the Big Voice examines the struggles of women and children in the early 1930’s and 40’s through the eyes of Mary Small, a child prodigy, restless wife and dedicated mother whose resilience in the face of constant challenges made her a defining symbol of her generation.

When it came time to putting together a clip log, the metadata and information I collected and associated with each piece of media made it easy for me to clear each image which is essential to secure a good insurance policy. In doing so, a lot of the principles I’ve learned as an Information Governance Professional came into play in terms of ensuring authenticity. As a result of properly documenting my sources from the get-go I ended up with a treasure chest of digital resources that I can now use over and over.  My experiences with digital imaging also helped with rendering the scans and pictures I used and in resolving pixelation issues.  The organization of documents and images into (hopefully) logical historical sequences based on various data points, is very much a business discipline.

Stills Part 3

I also wanted this film to be an example of how filmmakers can use the Fair Use Doctrine to uncover and tell some of the richest, most compelling stories of this era, which were until the advent of the internet, almost trapped in library catalogs and press break scrapbooks.

So I teamed up with Stanford University’s Documentary Film Program and learned how to present these images in context so that they passed muster.  Doing so probably reduced the cost of the film’s licensing fees by as much as 90% or more and the research alone gave us a cache of items that we can hopefully use to tell another great story.

Click here to visit Kickstarter campaign.  Please check it out and consider supporting us!

Getting Behind The Information Governance Initiative


Like many Information Management practitioners, I’ve seen a lot of re-branding of Records Management and its related disciplines over the years and as such have been very skeptical of Information Governance as a distinct concept.  I am always weary of what may appear to be product or vendor driven initiatives. I worry about organizations losing focus as they move from buzzword to buzzword and I’m a little exhausted of having to pay for certifications.  Full disclosure – I’m a Certified Records Manager and an Information Governance Professional.

However, with the release of the Information Governance Initiative’s Annual Report, I realize that it may be time to reconsider my reservations and back this effort to not only get control of our information, but to raise the profile of information managers and the value of our everyday work. The IG initiative is well coordinated and may be the best opportunity to date to help the C-Suite truly understand how valuable proper information management and governance really is.

We are proud to publish our first Annual Report on the state of information governance today. In this comprehensive 50 page report, loaded with infographics that information governance practitioners can take and freely use, we examine IG as a concept, as a market, and as an operational model. In other words, what is it, can I buy it, and how do I actually do IG? We advance a definition of IG based on overwhelming support from the IGI community. We identify typical IG projects and how much organizations are spending on them. We advance a RACI Matrix for IG, and provide a host of of other insights and recommendations based on extensive benchmarking interviews, surveys, and research days. – Release from

In the infographic provided below by the Information Governance Initiative, we can see the many facets of information governance across a typical enterprise.  As Records Managers and IT folks, we are already involved in so many of these areas that it does make sense to start thinking about our work holistically and defining it as involving “coordinated functions.”  As information and it’s formats proliferate at light speed and organizations continue to be overwhelmed, having a set of tools built around a well-defined concept of information strategy and management can be helpful.  By doing so we may also be able to create new opportunities for collaboration and consolidation.

I like to think of Information Governance, in some ways, as a summary of a DataMap, an overall view of how information flows in and out of an organization, revealing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats we all face.  It allows us to step out of the area under our control and influence momentarily and see the broader picture, which gives us the perspective and insight we need to work smarter and more efficiently in our own groups. Continue reading