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We are requesting comments on a draft of an upcoming report on open source tools for records management. This report was produced in response to item A3.2 in the Managing Government Records Directive (M-12-18).  This item actively encourages us to work with agencies to review and identify open source tools for records management tasks. To kickstart this discussion, we’ve compiled a selection of open source tools that could be used for various records management functions. The list will be a “snapshot” of available tools as of October 2014. We haven’t tested the tools, nor do we endorse them.

The draft is available (as a .pdf) here.

We would like your feedback by January 30, 2015. Have you used any of these tools? Do you know of other agencies that have used any of these tools? Do you have any additional recommendations?

Note that this project only focuses on currently available open source tools. NARA will not be developing any new records management solutions in the scope of this project. However, NARA will be exploring how to build relationships with the open source community to identify gaps in tools and identify opportunities for external involvement to develop new solutions. The intended audience for this document is not only records management and IT staff in Federal agencies, but also developers in the open source community and any other interested parties.

Please contact Beth Cron ( or Lisa Haralampus ( with any feedback.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts!


Managing the Lifecycle of National Security Information is a one day class designed to improve the management of classified records in the intelligence, law enforcement and defense communities by integrating records management, information security and declassification concepts. The intended audience is anyone who handles classified records in agencies within the civilian Executive Branch, the Intelligence Community, and the Department of Defense.

Course Objectives:
• Explain the role of NARA in managing records and safeguarding National Security Information
• Identify the roles and responsibilities of Records Management and Classification Management personnel at every point throughout the record lifecycle
• Apply the rules and mandates that govern the management and safeguarding of National Security Information and records
• Define the additional requirements that pertain to National Security Information for each stage of the record lifecycle


When: Wednesday, February 18, 2015; 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Where: National Archives, Jefferson Conference Room, Washington, DC

Cost: $150.00. To register, follow this link.

You can also download a .pdf version of the course flyer here.

GRS Notifications

by on January 16, 2015

This week we issued AC Memo 9.2015 reminding agencies about the need to notify NARA if they are going to be using their own authorities instead of the General Records Schedule (GRS). The communication extended the January 16, 2015, deadline in AC Memo 03.2015 to submit notifications to March 1, 2015.

There are consequences to not submitting a notification or requesting a further extension:

• Consequences to permanent authorities. If an agency has not submitted a notification or requested an extension and has a permanent disposition authority for records now scheduled as temporary by the GRS, it will either have to use the GRS or submit a new schedule. This includes big bucket items. Where this is going to come into play with the most recent transmittal is for grant case files, because the GRS now makes them temporary. Quite a few agencies have scheduled them as permanent.

• Consequences for big bucket schedules. It also could seriously affect agencies with big bucket schedules, although with temporary records it will only affect transfers to the FRCs. If they do not inform us they intend to use their big bucket items that incorporate GRS items they may find themselves having to resubmit schedules, which means unnecessary work for them and NARA, plus the expense of recoding Records Management Applications.

Additionally, NARA will be reviewing notifications and may choose to withdraw agency authorities if we find that the GRS should be applied instead of the agency’s authority. The review process may take up to 90 days or more for requests involving a difference in disposition (permanent vs. temporary). It should take less time for requests involving changes in retention period and requests to use temporary big bucket items. During the notification review period, accessions to the National Archives under the affected disposition authorities will not be processed.

Please contact to submit notifications, ask for an extension, or if you have any questions.

We are pleased to announce we have completed a review of the 2013 SAO (Senior Agency Official for Records Management) Annual Reports. The results have been issued in an Executive Report available here (.pdf). The Managing Government Records Directive  issued in August 2012, requires all agencies to submit to NARA an annual report outlining their progress toward implementing the provisions of that guidance.

Chief Records Officer for the U.S. Government, Paul Wester, said “The Directive called for the establishment of an SAO for Records Management which was an important recognition that records and information management needs top management support to be successful. This inaugural report is an important baseline for Federal records management programs and will be a useful tool for agencies to learn from each other.”

Our office received 107 reports. Generally the reports revealed that agencies are:

  • Working toward managing all email in electronic format by the end of 2016,
  • Interested in the use of the Capstone approach for managing email,
  • Beginning to explore and develop ways to manage permanent electronic records in electronic format by the end of 2019,
  • Deploying cloud services for their email, administrative functions, and some mission-related activities,
  • Concerned about their budgets,
  • Also concerned about other challenges including information technology issues, staffing, training, lack of standards, and conflicting priorities
  • Requesting assistance from NARA including additional technical and policy guidance, site visits/consulting, and training.

If you have any questions about the SAO Annual Report process, please leave a comment or contact Lisa Haralampus, NARA Records Management Policy Team, at

Earlier today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a memorandum to general counsels at all federal agencies. This memorandum lifts the litigation hold imposed in United States v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., Civil No. 99-CV-02496 (GK) (D.D.C.).

Because of this issue’s significance to the federal records management community, we are revising the agenda for next Wednesday’s Bi-monthly Records and Information Discussion Group (BRIDG) meeting. At this meeting, senior NARA officials and Allison Stanton, DOJ’s Director of E-Discovery, FOIA, and Records in the Civil Division, will discuss the records management implications of this memorandum.

In addition, David Weinberg, the Director of the Federal Records Centers Program (FRCP), will outline the next steps in lifting the tobacco litigation (TIL) freeze on records stored and serviced for customer agencies in the FRCP. David Weinberg said, “This is very significant moment for NARA, our customers, and the American taxpayers. Over the next few weeks, we will be developing a plan to move forward with all appropriate disposition actions.”

On Monday, we will be sending out the new agenda and reconfirming the logistics for the BRIDG meeting.

March 2015
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