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Release of 2013 RMSA

by on November 13, 2014


We are pleased to announce that the 2013 Records Management-Self Assessment (RMSA) report is now available here.  Chief Records Officer for the U.S. Government Paul Wester said, “This is our fifth RMSA and we are very pleased to see real progress being made by agencies. We expect this improvement to continue, especially as agencies continue to work towards achieving the goals in the Managing Government Records Directive.”

Positive trends from this year’s report include:

  • This year, 52% of agencies made improvements to their records management programs and increased their RMSA score. This is the first time the number of agencies in low risk exceeds the number in the high risk.
  • Agency records management staff have increased the frequency of routine RM evaluations, inspections, and audits.
  • Many agency records management staff are participating in the design and development of electronic systems and are working collaboratively with other units on issues related to electronic records.
  • RMSA findings and recommendations are consistent with the goals and requirements of the Managing Government Records Directive (OMB M-12-18). We believe that improvement will continue as the requirements of the Directive are implemented and as NARA’s records management oversight activities continue.

We use the RMSA to determine whether Federal agencies are compliant with statutory and regulatory records management requirements, identify positive and negative trends, and areas where further guidance may be necessary. Federal agencies use the RMSA to identify strong and weak areas of their records management programs and the impact of changes they have made since the previous assessment. As a whole, the data can be used to improve records management practices within the Federal Government.

If you have any questions regarding the RMSA please feel free to leave a comment here or send an email to Casey Coleman, the RMSA project lead, at casey.coleman@nara.gov.

RMSA 2014 is Here!

by on October 16, 2014


RMSA 2014 is here!

Yesterday we opened the Record Management Self-Assessment (RMSA) reporting period, which runs from October 15 to December 15, 2014.

If you are an Agency Record Officer or are responsible for responding to the 2014 RMSA, you should have received an email containing the link to access the questionnaire. Please remember that for security reasons, this link cannot be forwarded to other individuals, so it is imperative that we have the correct point-of-contact information for your agency. If you did not receive this link and think you should have or if you received the link and are no longer responsible for completing the RMSA, email rmselfassessment@nara.govimmediately!

You will have until 11:59 p.m. EST Monday, December 15, 2014, to complete the self-assessment. We will be unable to accept submissions via the online system after this date.

Here are a few things to help you get started:

  • MS Word and fill-able PDF versions of the 2014 RMSA that can be used while gathering information and compiling the official response. Please do not return either of these forms to us. Your agency’s official response must be entered into the survey tool using the link described above.
  • We are using a new survey tool this year. This tip sheet will help you navigate.
  • If your agency has identified unscheduled records that were not included on the inventory sent in 2013, you should complete this spreadsheet and send it to rmselfassessment@nara.gov.

If you have any questions regarding the RMSA, please contact Casey.Coleman@nara.gov or rmselfassessment@nara.gov.



We hear you!

Every two years, we survey our Federal agency customers to get feedback on satisfaction with core areas of NARA’s records management program. This year, the focus of the survey was on appraisal and scheduling services and records management training. The good news is that the overall satisfaction rate of 89% represents the highest score ever for the survey, which began back in 2004.

We want to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey and especially those who submitted detailed comments that we can use to make improvements to the services we provide the Federal RM community.

You can download the full 2014 Survey Report as a .pdf here.



The annual records management reporting period will soon be open. This year’s reporting period will be from October 15, 2014 to December 15, 2014. Agencies will be receiving additional communications with full details and instructions from our office.

This year, we will ask agencies to report on the following:

1. Senior Agency Official (SAO) annual report: This report measures progress towards the goals or requirements in the Managing Government Records Directive. Agencies will receive instructions and the template for the report prior to the beginning of the reporting period. SAOs are listed here. If agencies need to designate an SAO or make changes to this list, they may send a notification to rm.communications@nara.gov. We will prepare a comprehensive report later in FY 2015 to summarize results.

2. Records Management Self Assessment (RMSA): The survey tool information for the RMSA will be sent to Agency Records Officers prior to the beginning of the reporting period. We will send agencies an individualized report of their results after we analyze the data. We will also prepare and publish a comprehensive report later in FY 2015. Questions about the RMSA may be sent to rmselfassessment@nara.gov.



We have issued NARA Bulletin 2014-05, NARA-Created Transfer Records to agencies this afternoon.

This Bulletin establishes a time period for agencies to take action on NARA-created Transfer Requests (TR) in the Electronic Records Archives (ERA). NARA typically creates TRs for permanent records located in Federal Records Centers and are eligible for legal transfer as a convenience for agencies. These TRs then have to be proposed by the agencies for action. 

Under this Bulletin, all NARA-created TRs will expire 15 months after creation in ERA if the agency has not taken action. Additionally, all NARA-created Standard Forms 258, Agreement to Transfer Records to the National Archives of the United States (SFs 258), which have not yet been submitted to NARA will expire two months after the issuance of this Bulletin. The purpose for establishing an expiration date for NARA-created ERA TR is to ensure that they contain the most current information about the records.

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