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.

3 Key takeaways              

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. Consider  how you’re perceived. Don’t try to force IG 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 tangible solution everyone can stand behind.

Information Governance helps organizations leverage their best minds and resources to make effective decisions that not only mitigate significant risks but protect vital assets. In order to conquer indecisiveness and achieve those goals you must coral the best independent professionals around you, agree on prioritized goals and address them methodically and with the right cadence. Farmers Insurance recognized the opportunity to modernize its overarching Information Governance strategy. We invested in research, eDiscovery tools and policy development based on a holistic approach to Records and Information Management. Our success garnered us ARMA’s 2017 Award for Excellence.

-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

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

Meet Rafael Moscatel, IGP, CRM

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….

ARMA Spring Conference

Please join me and some of my esteemed colleagues at the Annual ARMA-GLA Spring conference taking place this April at the Microsoft Technology Center in Playa Vista on April 15th, 2016!


Our Annual Spring Conference is back and better than ever!!

THE FUTURE IS NOW:   Managing Digital Records

Join your peers in the records and information management field for a full day of sessions, panels, interactive exchange, and NETWORKING!

Leading RIM and Information Governance Professionals with expertise in corporate, government, and law firms will be sharing insights, case studies, and perspectives on moving into a e-records environment, including Classification, Retention, Repositories, Technology, and General Workflow.


Full conference details will soon be up on our website, but here is a glimpse at what to expect:


  • Terry Coan, HBR Consulting

  • Marvin Cross, Kirkland & Ellis

  • April Dmytrenko, Consultant

  • Jim Higdon, Vendor Direct Solutions

  • Rafael Moscatel, Farmers Insurance

  • Jeffrey Lewis, Sheppard Mullin

  • Ali Shahidi, Cooley LLP

  • Carolyn Smallwood, Brutzkus

  • Helen Streck, Kaizen InfoSource

  • Kurt Thies, Tab

  • Greg Weigel, Revolution Software

  • Antoinette M. Mann,  City of Thousand Oaks

  • Justin Slagle, Microsoft

5 hours of ICRM Certification Maintenance Points Have Been Submitted for Approval


CANCELLATION POLICY:  Full Refund if Canceled before April 8.   $50 cancellation fee if cancelled after April 8.
TRANSFER POLICY:  Registrations are transferrable anytime PRIOR to the event.   Attendance can not be SPLIT.  One attendee per admission only.   Please contact Event Organizer for transfer requests.
The Microsoft Technology Center
130031 West Jefferson Blvd, Suite 200
Playa Vista, CA 90066

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event? The entrance to the parking lot is BEHIND the building YOU MUST TURN ON ALLA ROAD, ENTRANCE IS NOT ON JEFFERSON!!

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?  Contact Lorrie DeCoursey at or Jeffrey Lewis at

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

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