In his Memorandum on Managing Government Records,Â President Obama stated ââ¦proper records management is the backbone of open Government.âÂ The Memorandum began an executive branch wide effort to reform records management policies & practices and required each agency to:
- identify a Elder official responsible for records
- provide plans for improving or maintaining its records management program, especially electronic records; &
- suggest obstacles to sound, cost effective management policies & practices
Finally, the Memorandum mandates that the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) & I will issue a Records Management Directive which focuses on:
- creating a Government wide records management framework that is more efficient & cost effective
- promoting records management policies and practices that enhance the capability of agencies to fulfill their statutory missions
- maintaining accountability through documentation of agency actions
- increasing open Government & appropriate access to Government records
- supporting agency compliance with applicable legal requirements related to the preservation of information relevant to litigation; &
- transitioning from paper-based records management to electronic records management where feasible.
I am am pleased to report that this morning Jeffrey Zients, Acting Director of OMB & I will will issued the Managing Government Records Directive. Â With lots of hard work on the part of National Archives and Records Administration, White House, Federal agency staffs & stakeholder groups, the directive charts new directions for the management of the records of the country.
Among the highlights:
- Federal agencies must manage all permanent electronic records in an electronic format by 31 December 2019 & must have plans to do so by 31 December 2013
- All agencies must manage both permanent & temporary email records in an accessible electronic format by 31 December 2016.
- NARAÂ will issue updated guidance on managing, disposing of, and transferring email by 31 December 2013
- All agencies must have records management training in place for appropriate staff by 31 December 2014; &
- NARA will work with the Office of Personnel Management to establish a formal records management occupational series to elevate records management roles, responsibilities, & skill sets for agency records officers & other records professionals.
This is an historic moment for all of us charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the records of the country are being managed in a manner that will allow current & future generations to hold their government accountable & to learn from the past.