There are compliance standards and compliance officers to enforce those standards in nearly every office of most agencies. Compliance jobs, at the federal level, which include records management and compliance, email compliance in particular, are crucial to the agency structure. Federal agencies are more prone to public scrutiny and more vulnerable to attacks than most corporate entities. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows individuals, reporters, groups, and companies to request government documents. The FOIA specialists review the requested material and withhold or redact certain information as allowed under 9 exemptions outlined within the FOIA. Recent executive orders have opened the door wider for compliance careers.
The Transparency in Government memos that the Obama administration recently ordered mandate federal agencies to reveal more information when answering FOIA requests. It has dramatically altered the allowable withholding of material under the exemptions; in some cases it makes some exemptions almost obsolete. At the same time, most federal agencies are very dependent on email communication to carry out their daily operations. However, many employees use their government email to engage in personal discussions, discuss confidential or secure government policies and practices and other activities that could potentially compromise the security of the agency if the information were to wind up in the public domain. A FOIA request can include the email correspondence, plus attachments, of any and all federal government agency employees as well as contractors working for that agency. Compliance jobs focus on this activity and are created to corral it and keep it under control.
It is because of this that email compliance careers are more important than ever within federal agencies. Compliance officers work with the various offices, educating personnel on best practices for email correspondence. They monitor email traffic and head off potential security issues. They develop and execute agency policies, programs, and procedures to ensure that liabilities are minimized. They also work with records management in the archival of email to ensure that the laws of government email and written communication exchanged within a federal agency are followed. Compliance employment is a growing segment of the government workforce.
Through records management and email, compliance officers ensure that private information remains just that – private. Email is electronically transmitted and is not always secure, even on a government network. If sensitive or private information is transmitted, it can be intercepted and security breached. Compliance officers work to minimize those risks. Compliance careers are challenging but rewarding. The attention on sought after jobs is turning more towards compliance employment as the industry continues to grow.
Compliance jobs can be found in corporations and organizations as well. As laws are created that more stringently protect an individual's right to privacy and as regulations protect companies' trade secrets and internal policies, compliance employment will continue to be on the rise.