We are pleased to announce the release of the 2011 Records Management Self-Assessment Report (.pdf). Last May, we issued the mandatory annual records management self-assessment (RMSA) to Federal agencies. The goal of the self-assessments is to determine whether Federal agencies are compliant with statutory and regulatory records management requirements.
This year, the findings are similar to last year’s report. The responses indicated that a large majority of Federal agencies responding remain at high to moderate risk of compromising the integrity, authenticity, and reliability of their records. They risk improper management and disposition of records or, in some cases, they are saving their records but not taking the necessary steps to ensure that they can be retrieved, read, or interpreted.
However, this report also revealed positive trends. There was a slight increase in the number of agencies that scored in the Low Risk category. In addition, a number of agencies have in place or are working on guidance for managing records in social media and web 2.0 platforms as well as cloud computing environments. Federal agencies recognize the need for performance metrics for their records management programs, and several agencies have established sophisticated metrics that can serve as a model for others. Also, agencies are increasingly transferring their permanent electronic records to NARA using the Electronic Records Archives, NARA’s strategic initiative to preserve and provide long-term access to the electronic records of the Federal Government.
Agencies can use RMSA data to chart their own programs. We use the annual RMSA as a tool to monitor and oversee Federal records management programs. The work reflected in this report was accomplished prior to the issuance of the Presidential Memorandum on Managing Government Records, which requires each agency to designate a senior official to supervise an evaluation of the agency’s records management program. Data from the RMSAs and agency submissions in response to the Presidential Memorandum, will provide a Government-wide base of information from which to develop the Records Management Directive later this summer.
We are pleased to announce information about RACO 2012, NARA’s 24th Annual Records Administration Conference.
RACO 2012 will be a half-day conference, with no fees. This year’s program will focus on the implications of the Presidential Memorandum on Managing Government Records and case studies of the 2012 Archivist Achievement Award (AAA) winners. Additional details, with specific information on the AAA nomination process and deadlines, along with instructions for the registration process will be forthcoming via RM Communications, here on the blog and the main RACO web page.
Just a reminder that next week, we will be holding a meeting to solicit comments from the public on the Presidential Memorandum: Managing Government Records. Comments and suggestions that we receive during this meeting will help inform the Records Management Directive that will be issued later this year.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 27 from 10 AM – 12 PM at the National Archives Building, William G. McGowan Theater, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC. This meeting is primarily focused on gathering input from the public interest community, from the vendor/IT community, and from members of the public at large. If you are planning to attend the meeting, please use the Special Events entrance at 7th and Constitution.
If you can’t attend, but would still like to contribute a comment, please visit our IdeaScale site. We are keeping the IdeaScale community open until Friday, April 6.
On Friday, March 9, 2012, as part of the Obama Administration’s ongoing Open Government activities and their support of Sunshine Week (March 11th through 17th), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released the Final Position Classification Flysheet for a new job series called the Government Information Series, 0306. This job series covers work involved in establishing, disseminating, or managing Government information, including two distinct functions: administration of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and administration of the Privacy Act.
As this effort began a year ago during Sunshine Week 2011, the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, asked the NARA Management Team to think more broadly about this opportunity. He directed us to collaborate with OPM, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), our other federal agency customers, and external stakeholders to build support for the creation of a new job series for Federal records management professionals across the government. As you may recall, he spoke of the need for a new records management job series at RACO 2010 shortly after becoming Archivist of the United States.
Starting last spring at our Bi-monthly Records and Information Discussion Group (BRIDG) and Federal Records Council meetings, we discussed the need for a new job series for Federal records managers and encouraged records officers to work with the human capital managers in their agencies to make OPM aware of their agencies’ views. Because of our combined efforts, and the issuance of the Presidential Memorandum on Managing Government Records in November, OPM now acknowledges the need to explore the records management job series issue more deeply.
Starting in early fall 2012, shortly after the issuance of the new Records Management Directive called for in the Presidential Memorandum, OPM will initiate a study of the need for a records management job series, and they have asked that NARA play a leading role in this effort.
In the coming months, as we complete our work with OMB and the Department of Justice on the Records Management Directive and enter late summer 2012, we will provide you more information on our work with OPM on this study.
Thanks so much for your efforts over the past year, and we look forward to engaging you on the records management job series issue later this fiscal year.
We continue to work on meeting the requirements in the Presidential Memorandum on Managing Government Records and have reached out to our colleagues in related professions and the general public by setting up an IdeaScale community where ideas can be submitted, voted on, and commented on. When we announced the community, we indicated that it would be open for comments until March 27. Now, we have added a public meeting about the Memorandum scheduled for that same March 27.
As a result of these activities, we have extended the deadline for the IdeaScale community until Friday, April 6. We hope that extension will increase participation in this community and encourage all of those interested in this important project to visit the site.
The General Records Schedules (GRS) Team has received the following comment on the recent RM Communication, AC 09.2012: Announcing a New General Records Schedule Team, and wanted to share their response in the event that the expressed concern is shared by others.
Comment: It is just our experienced opinion that before the GRS Team embarks on the “much needed” Schedule for Web and Social Media Records, NARA might consider filling the glaring gaps for records that have been missing in the Schedules for years and really are “much needed” (e.g. Environment, Health, and Safety, Annual Employee Engagement Survey, and the new series created as a result of shared automated systems for Federal Travel, Employee Benefits, Payroll that are not clearly addressed, just a few examples). Then, NARA can consider Social Media. NARA has no idea how to manage Social Media records (mounted on third party sites) at this early stage, so clear guidance, as opposed to a GRS is needed, rather than preliminary generalized scheduling.
GRS Team response: The GRS Team does plan on addressing gaps in the GRS. However, before we can address those gaps we need to identify what they are. Part of our upcoming survey (see AC 10.2012) asks agencies to let us know what is missing so that we know what we need to add. Many of the gaps specifically noted in your e-mail relate to existing GRS schedules and those records will be addressed as we go through the revision process. Those that are completely new categories will be worked into our overall plan as well.
There has been a call from Federal agencies for NARA to work on a new GRS for web and social media records. It was one of the main concerns addressed to the Chief Records Officer at the recent ARMA meeting. We chose it as the first new GRS project because NARA and the Federal Records Council have already been working towards a GRS to cover social media records and because it was a readily identifiable need. We recognize that further guidance is needed in regard to managing web and social media records and we believe that drafting a GRS is a step forward.
We welcome further comments and input as we proceed with updating the GRS. As stated above we will be sending out a survey to Federal Records Officers to gather some basic input, followed by some web and hopefully in-person sessions to delve further into issues and address agency needs. If you would like to comment or express concerns about the GRS or the GRS revision process, please feel free to contact us at GRSTeam@nara.gov. We welcome your input in order to improve the GRS to better meet agency needs.
As published in the Federal Register last Thursday, we will be holding a public meeting on March 27 to solicit comments from the public on the Presidential Memorandum: Managing Government Records. Comments and suggestions that we receive will help inform the Records Management Directive that will be issued later this year.
This meeting is primarily focused on gathering input from the public interest community, from the vendor/IT community, and from
members of the public at large. (Federal agencies will separately be submitting reports to NARA that contain their suggestions for improving
and reforming records management.) In addition, we are accepting comments on our IdeaScale site.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, from 10 AM – 12 PM at the National Archives Building, William G. McGowan Theater, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20408. Please enter on the Constitution Avenue side of the building.
Please leave us a comment if you have any questions about the meeting.
We are happy to announce the start of our public information gathering related to the Presidential Memorandum on Managing Government Records. We will be using the IdeaScale tool for this. Records and information management professionals, vendors, and the general public are all invited to participate in this community.
We have set up the Managing Government Records IdeaScale at http://govrecordmanagement.ideascale.com/. This community will be open for comments until March 27, 2012.
Here is how it works. You can also download this handy .pdf of quick tips.
- Create a free IdeaScale account.
- Submit your ideas for improving the management of Federal records under the six categories specified by the President in the Memorandum. These are: Creating a government-wide framework; Promoting practices that enable agencies to Fulfill Missions; Maintaining accountability through documentation; Increasing Open Government and Access; Supporting Agency Compliance; and Transitioning from paper to electronic when feasible.
- Provide comments on ideas already submitted.
- Vote “up” or “down” on posted ideas. This will indicate to others what you think of the idea.
- Encourage others to participate! Send a link to your colleagues or professional network
- Check back to the site to see what is going on. Did others like your idea? Do you have something else to propose?
In addition to Ideascale, feel free to contribute a comment here. Let us know of the ideas big and small that should inform the directive to be issued this summer in response to the Presidential Memorandum.
Thank you for your participation!
This message is from our colleagues at The National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA)
Registration is now open for the 2012 E-Records Forum, a unique conference focusing on current issues in Electronic Records Management. This program is sponsored by NAGARA, and co-sponsored by the NARA Southwest Region, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, University of Texas at Austin School of Information, and the Society of Southwest Archivists.
This year’s Forum, April 25-26, will again be held at the Courtyard by Marriott/Residence Inn Downtown/Convention Center in Austin, Texas. The registration fee for the two-day forum is $199.00; to register for the E-Records Forum, please follow this link.
Join us for timely records management training, a continental breakfast (both days), a plated lunch on April 25, and an open house at the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s Visualization Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin.
Sessions will include:
- Presidential Memorandum about Federal Electronic Records Management
- SAA DAS Certification
- Storage Architecture
- Trusted Digital Repositories
- Tools for Preserving Electronic Records
- Funding ER Programs
- Unifying Access to Digitized and Born-Digital Collections
- Auto-Categorization of E-Mail
For more E-Records Forum and hotel information, please follow this link.
Please contact the NAGARA Office (518-694-847 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
We look forward to seeing you at the E-Records Forum!
The Office of the Chief Records Officer has been making the rounds talking about the Presidential Memorandum and all the work that is underway to draft the response. We’ve spoken to audiences inside the National Archives and to regional ARMA Chapters (the Metro Maryland as well as the Greater Baltimore Chapters) with additional events lined up over the next few weeks and months.
We wanted to share the current briefing slides that we have been using for these presentations. They can be downloaded here as a .pdf file. We will update this presentation as we continue to work on the Presidential Memorandum.