Paperwork reduction initiative aims to cut down on excess documents prior to U.S. Army Europe headquarters move

March 14, 2012

By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Soldiers and civilian employees assigned to the U.S. Army Europe headquarters here are being asked to archive or dispose of mission-related paperwork to cut back on paper use and reduce the volume of records that will move as the headquarters shifts to Wiesbaden, Germany. 

All Army personnel are responsible for the life cycle of documents they acquire or create on the job, both hard copy and electronic, said Lorna D. Martin Gross, the Records Administrator for Headquarters USAREUR. In December an initiative to reduce document holdings throughout the headquarters was put into place that is expected to reduce paper documents by 75 percent by June, she added.

“This process allows for the transfer of long-term and permanent files directly to the Army Electronic Archive by using the Army Records Information Management Bulk Archive Tool,” said Martin Gross.

The Bulk Archive Tool, found on the ARIMS website, allows users to send copies of long-term and permanent electronic official records in bulk to the Army Electronic Archive, she said. The AEA is the Army Records Management and Declassification Agency’s long-term, secure storage repository for electronic records.

Prior to relocation, Martin Gross said, personnel should examine the documents in their possession, both paper and electronic, and use applicable regulations to determine how long each should be kept. Documents that will be retained should be digitized and stored locally, while ARIMS should be used to electronically archive long-term or permanent documents. Documents eligible for destruction should be disposed of.

Documents consisting of short-term data should be digitized by the document owner with a scanner or digital sender, and stored on the agency’s shared drives or its file locations on the online USAREUR Enterprise Portal. Digital copies of documents with long-term value can be archived using ARIMS, while paper documents with long-term value can be transferred to the Publications and Records Center of Excellence in Kaiserslautern, Germany, which houses the Army in Europe Records Holding Area. Documents that are no longer needed can be destroyed by shredding or disposal in “for official use only containers” that will be made available periodically, or sent to the AERHA for disposal.
Some paper documents will continue to be retained as needed based on an organization’s mission or regulatory requirements.

Martin Gross recommended that headquarters personnel should begin now to prepare their documents for the move to Wiesbaden, and suggested that they incorporate records management into every business process.

Records managers and records coordinators have been appointed at each headquarters staff directorate, special staff section and directorate to assist with recordkeeping requirements and document disposition, said Martin Gross.

The next set of “for official use only” disposal containers is scheduled to be available on Campbell Barracks here from April 16-20.

For more information or assistance, or to locate a records manager or records coordinator within a unit or organization, call Martin Gross at 370-8804.


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