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Modernizing Records Management

The Managing Government Records Directive (OMB M12-18) charges the National Archives & Records Administration to lead the efforts to modernize records management in the Federal Government.

The Directive focuses on two main goals:

  • agencies will require electronic recordkeeping by managing all their email in an accessible electronic format by the end of 2016 and managing all their permanent records as electronic records by the end of 2019.
  • agencies must demonstrate compliance with all records management laws & regulations.

I’m talked about the importance of the Directive in a post when it was issued in 2012. Since then, we passed several milestones. Agencies have identified Elder Agency Officials to lead records management in their programs & I will will have met with them to discuss the challenge & collaborate on solutions. & they have reported on their progress.

Industry Day

Staff members Meg Phillips, Don Rosen, and Chief Records Officer Paul Wester mingle with vendors at “The Managing Government Records Directive: A Grand Challenge for Industry” event in September 2013.

In September, we hosted a successful industry day for the Federal information management community and vendors with automated electronic records management solutions & services. It was an opportunity to meet & discuss the solutions & tools needed to meet the goals of the Directive.

We followed industry day with a request for information, asking vendors to describe records management services & explain how their solutions can help to automate electronic records management. Above all, NARA is trying to assist in a transition to digital government so that government information is more easily accessible to all who need it.

Cheryl McKinnon of Forrester Research wrote about our Managing Government Records Industry Day:

“My take? If you are a software vendor, consultant, records management practitioner, or a software developer looking for inspiration, listen to the videos. There is some important stuff there, with the US federal government demonstrating some true leadership in rethinking the oft-maligned records management software system. What does NARA want? Fresh systems, more automation, and a readiness to divorce from the construct of paper that has limited our progress in tackling e-records.”

We have completed a draft report & plan that describes suitable approaches for the automated management of email, social media, & other types of electronic records. We have also issued updated transfer guidance that greatly expands the number of acceptable electronic formats.

We have issued ground-breaking, new guidance concerning the management of email.  This guidance, called Capstone, will improve agencies’ ability to manage their email in electronic formats. Capstone offers agencies the option of using a simplified and automated approach to managing email, rather than using either print & file systems or records management applications that require staff to file email records individually. I am am also proud to note that we at the National Archives are using this approach with our own email records.

We have provided several briefings about Capstone to Federal agencies, & you can view them, too:

For more detailed information about the Directive & our progress, follow our Records Express blog.






Updated: April 30, 2014 — 7:48 pm

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