News from the Field: “Practicing what we preach” Compliant electronic recordkeeping in the NARA Rocky Mountain Region
This week News from the Field welcomes guest blogger, Mark Ferguson, CRM/CBCP who is the Director of the Records Management Division, Rocky Mountain Region in Denver, CO.
NARA has been using a Records Management Application (RMA) product in selected offices for several years now, including the Rocky Mountain Region in Denver, Colorado. The Regional Archives, Federal Records Center, Records Management, and Regional Administration staff all use the RMA to file electronic records that they make and receive. The web-based RMA repository, which is compliant with the DoD 5015.2 standard, contains thousands of electronic records, mainly e-mail messages and attachments, but also records generated with Office applications. With this software we can capture e-Records at or near the point of creation, such as when an e-mail message is ready to be sent. Users can then file the e-record by selecting from pre-loaded disposition categories in order to link the record (and its metadata) to the correct NARA retention category. We can even scan legacy paper records and marry them up with related electronic ones in the same e-folder. Fast searching can be done by browsing folders, or through keyword searches. Either way, the application has proved to be a valuable tool in reducing the region’s reliance on paper recordkeeping systems and has increased the speed with which we can retrieve filed records and view them in their native formats. Although filing actions can take several clicks of the mouse, we still feel a certain comfort level that we are making a good use of technology to capture essential information that documents the work of our programs and activities. NARA has developed several guidance products that assist agencies who are considering acquiring e-recordkeeping software; these guidances can be found at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/initiatives/erm-guidance.html. NARA also recently completed two studies concerning Federal agencies who are using this type of software. The study results can be found at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/resources/rma-studies.html.”