Please mark your calendars for the next BRIDG meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 15, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The Pre-BRIDG Networking Hour will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. The meeting will be held at the National Archives and Records Administration downtown building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (Metrorail’s Yellow or Green lines to the Archives/Navy Memorial station) in the McGowan Theater. Please enter on the Constitution Avenue side of the building.
Meeting agenda items include the following:
- Presidential Memorandum Update Paul M. Wester, Jr., Chief Records Officer, will give a brief update on the activities NARA and other Federal agencies are conducting in response to the Presidential Memorandum—Managing Government Records.
- Using Scanning to Jump Start a Business Process Markus Most, Federal Records Centers Program’s (FRCP) Director of Business Development, will give a report on how the FRCP is providing scanning services to help its agency customers streamline and modernize business processes. The presentation will include an overview of a large-scale scanning project the FRCP is undertaking to assist the Veterans Administration in digitizing its claims process as well as information on other smaller-scale projects at other Federal agencies.
- Appraisal Team Reorganization Margaret Hawkins, Director of Records Management Services, will give an update on the reorganization of the Appraisal Teams and agency assignments, as announced in Memorandum to Federal Agency Contacts AC 07.2012. Her presentation will cover the open houses that the Office of the Chief Records Officer and the FRCP are jointly hosting for agencies to meet their appraisal archivist and account manager.
- General Records Schedule (GRS) Team Margaret Hawkins will also give a presentation about the newly formed GRS Team. This team’s role is to update and revise the General Records Schedules, create new General Records Schedules, and serve as subject matter experts. The presentation will provide an overview of the three projects the team will be focusing on this FY: 1) a study to consider how best to restructure and update the GRS to better meet agency needs; 2) guidance on incorporating GRS authorities into agency big bucket or functional schedules; and 3) drafting a new GRS to cover web and social media records.
As we mentioned in the September 9, 2011 ”BRIDG Improvements” memo, NARA has been exploring how to offer a live webcast of BRIDG meetings. During this BRIDG, we will be piloting delivery of the meeting to a small group of testers, and we want in-person attendees at the meeting aware that it will be filmed and webcast live to this small group of testers. We hope to offer webcasting of BRIDG meetings to all agencies in the very near future.
Pre-BRIDG Networking Hour
Join your colleagues in records management from other agencies and NARA Agency Services staff from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. in the Jefferson Room (Mezzanine Level of the National Archives Building) to chat over doughnuts and coffee. Feel free to bring materials to share from your agency (announcements of upcoming RM-related events, job openings, etc.).
To reserve a place for the Agency Services-BRIDG meeting and/or the pre-BRIDG networking hour, please provide your name, telephone number, and agency via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than Monday, February 13, 2012. You may reserve places for several staff in the same email, but for security purposes we must have each individual’s name and telephone number. To attend the pre-BRIDG networking hour, you must RSVP in your email response. We need to determine an accurate headcount for catering.Please email Shannon Olsen at email@example.com, or call 301-837-3486 if you need assistance.
NARA encourages agencies to participate at BRIDG by presenting best practices or lessons learned that would be helpful to other attending agencies. If you wish to lead a discussion, please leave a comment here.
We reserve the right to postpone or cancel a meeting at any time. We will make every effort to contact registrants by e-mail and telephone if that occurs, so complete information at the time of registration is very important. Meetings WILL BE CANCELLED if the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announces a “closed,” “unscheduled leave,” “liberal leave,” or “delayed arrival” policy for Federal employees for that day or if there has been an elevation to threat level RED in the Homeland Security status. Official Government closing and leave information is located on the OPM web site.
The following memo to our agency contacts was sent out this morning.
NARA’s Office of the Chief Records Officer (OCRO) and Federal Records Centers Program (FRCP) are making some changes to the teams that work most closely with agency staff on records management issues-the Appraisal Archivists and the FRCP Account Managers. We are making these changes to be more responsive to customer needs and help the Appraisal Archivists and the Account Managers better work together in serving our customers.
The Appraisal Archivists in the OCRO’s office work directly with Federal agencies to appraise and process records schedules (SF-115, Requests for Disposition Authority) and handle questions related to records management. FRCP Account Managers (www.archives.gov/frc/acct-reps.html) ensure that agency customers are satisfied with the services they are receiving from the FRCs and make customers aware of new and existing services the FRCs can provide on a fee-for-service basis.
Attached are two documents related to these teams:
- The spreadsheet Agency Assignments (link opens a MS Excel spreadsheet) provides a detailed list of all Federal agencies assigned to OCRO Appraisal Archivists and FRCP Account Managers.
Your agency’s Appraisal Archivist and/or Account Manager may have changed. Where possible, we designed team structures and individual assignments to preserve existing relationships in order to capitalize upon institutional knowledge. In some cases, however, overall streamlining and aligning of Appraisal Teams and Account Manager assignments necessitated changes. We are confident that the new structure will result in better customer service.
We would like to provide an opportunity for you to meet your Appraisal Archivist and Account Manager and speak directly with them about your records management needs. We have scheduled three open houses over the next several weeks where we will provide more information about what we do and how we can best serve you. The meeting schedule is:
- Tue., February 7th, 9:00 am Appraisal Team One agencies
- Wed., February 15th, 1:00 pm Appraisal Team Three agencies
- Thu., March 8th, 9:00 am Appraisal Teams Two and Four agencies
The open house meetings will be held in the Washington Room at the National Archives and Records Administration downtown building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (Metrorail’s Yellow or Green lines to the Archives/Navy Memorial station). Please enter on the Constitution Avenue side of the building.
To reserve a place for the open house, please send your name, telephone number, and agency to RM Communications@nara.gov, no later than February 3rd. You may reserve places for up to three staff in the same email, but for security purposes, we must have each individual’s name and telephone number. Please email Shannon Olsen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 301-837-3486, if you need assistance.
In addition to these meetings, we will hold a webinar for agencies that are located in the field and for those headquarters agencies that are unable to attend the scheduled open houses. More information regarding the webinar will be sent out soon.
It is our hope that this OCRO and FRCP unified approach will better serve all of your records management needs in the future. We look forward to meeting with you at the upcoming open house events.
PAUL M. WESTER, JR.
Chief Records Officer for the
Director, Federal Records Centers Program
At our December Agency Services Bi-monthly Records and Information Discussion Group (BRIDG) meetings, we announced that we would hold an agency stakeholder session as required by the Presidential Memorandum – Managing Government Records. Now we have more information about those sessions. This same information is being sent to our records management contacts in agencies as AC Memo 06.2012.
Senior Agency Officials (as previously designated to NARA) and Records Officers are being invited to a two-hour event which will take place on February 8, 2012, at our Archives I building on Pennsylvania Avenue. We will offer a morning session and an afternoon session. The deadline for registration is Wednesday, February 1, 2012.
These sessions will discuss agency responsibilities pursuant to the Presidential Memorandum. Following the briefing, agency representatives will meet and mingle, discuss and debate, and take part in activities based on real-life examples of information agencies are considering for inclusion in the required reports under sections 2(b)(2) and 2(b)(3) (see NARA memorandum AC 03-2012).
For more information about what we are requesting agencies do to participate in these sessions and how to register for one, please refer to AC 06.2012.
We will continue to use our blog to keep everyone informed about our progress as we work to complete the reports required by the Presidential Memorandum.
Section II(b) of the recently issued Presidential Memorandum on records management requires agencies to submit a report that:
(i) describes the agency’s current plans for improving or maintaining its records management program, particularly with respect to managing electronic records, including email and social media, deploying cloud based services or storage solutions, and meeting other records challenges;
(ii) identifies any provisions, or omissions, in relevant statutes, regulations, or official NARA guidance that currently pose an obstacle to the agency’s adoption of sound, cost effective records management policies and practices; and
(iii) identifies policies or programs that, if included in the Records Management Directive required by section 3 of this memorandum or adopted or implemented by NARA, would assist the agency’s efforts to improve records management.
We have received several requests from agencies for a template that could help in structuring this response. We have developed a simple Microsoft Word document (link is to a .doc file) to serve this purpose. Agencies are not required to submit their response using this word document.
As a reminder, agency responses are due by March 27. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment. We will continue to use this blog as a way to distribute information about this important project.
Happy New Year! This year is shaping up to be a very busy one here in the Office of Chief Records Officer.
Today, we will be sending to our Federal agency contacts AC 05.2012. In this memo, we are reminding Federal agencies of the reporting requirements that were contained in the Presidential Memorandum – Managing Government Records that was issued in November. Under this Memorandum, agencies had 30 days to designate a senior agency official for records management. The deadline for this designation was December 28. Possibly because the designation was to occur at the height of the holiday season, some agencies have not yet responded. Agencies should submit the name and contact information for the senior agency official via email to RM.Communications@nara.gov as requested in AC 03.2012.
A second issue that we have been asked about is the creation of a simple template to assist agencies with creating the responses required by the rest of the Memorandum. We will be posting that template here on the blog early next week. Use of this template is optional. Agencies have until March 27 to compile this portion of their response.
Please let us know by leaving a comment if you have any additional questions about the Presidential Memorandum.
There has been considerable interest from agencies and other stakeholders about the requirements of the Presidential Memorandum. As we wrote yesterday, the Archivist has issued a Memo to Agency Heads that clarifies the requirements and describes more broadly how we will proceed with the development of the Records Management Directive that is required by the Presidential Memorandum. These items were also discussed at length at yesterday’s BRIDG meeting (slides of that presentation are available here as .pdf).
From that interaction, and interactions that we have been having with agencies, we have compiled the following FAQ that have been raised:
1) What is the definition of a senior agency official as used in Section 2(a)(iii)?
The memorandum is not specific but the general benchmark is a senior official at the SES level with agency-wide visibility and authority. A comparable assignment would be the senior agency official required to work with NARA’s Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) as required by Executive Order 13526. Senior agency official designations are also required in the FOIA world. We have identified our COO (3rd highest person in the agency) as our senior agency official.
2) Do agency components of a larger Department respond to NARA or can there be a single Department-wide response?
NARA seeks a response from each executive agency as defined in Section 102 of U.S.C. 40. We leave it to Department-level records programs to determine the level of coordination or review of submissions from subordinate agencies.
3) What if our agency does not respond? Are we required to respond if we are not an executive branch agency?
The Presidential Memorandum was sent to heads of all executive branch agencies. However, we believe that all agencies will wish to respond so that they may contribute to the development of the directive.
4) Does the memorandum cover records in hard copy as well as electronic records?
Records in all media will be covered by the directive required by section 3(a) of the memorandum. While special attention is being paid to electronic records and the directive is to consider “transitioning from paper-based records management to electronic records management where feasible”, the universe of Federal records must be addressed when developing a records management framework for the 21st century.
5) Will there be further assistance forthcoming from NARA in helping agencies to submit the reports required by section 2(b) of the memorandum?
We will be posting and sharing a template for agencies shortly.
Please feel free to leave any comments or questions here. We will continue to update our blog throughout this project. For quick access to all posts about the Presidential Memorandum, feel free to bookmark this link: http://go.usa.gov/5fg
We are pleased to announce that NARA Bulletin 2012-02, Guidance on Managing Content on Shared Drives has been issued. NARA recognizes agencies have long used shared drives to store content. Agencies have had varying degrees of success in managing the Federal records on shared drives. This Bulletin outlines the records management implications and challenges, agency responsibilities, and benefits of organizing and managing content stored on shared drives.
The bulletin has been posted to our website at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/bulletins/2012/2012-02.html. Or, http://go.usa.gov/5vt is the shortened link.
NARA bulletins are designed to provide fundamental guidance to Federal agencies who must then determine the most appropriate ways to incorporate the guidance into their work. This bulletin was written from feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders, including the agency records officers and the Federal Records Council. In addition, recall that back in October, we posted a preliminary draft for comment. We thank everyone for their input.
We have just issued AC 03.2012, a Memo to Federal Records Officers that contains further information about the Presidential Directive released last week.
Included is a Memo from the Archivist of The United States (available here as a .pdf) designed to assist agencies in fulfilling the reporting requirements of the directive. This memorandum provides more information about Presidential directive and the due dates for the various actions. In addition, it briefly describes how this input will be used by NARA to produce the 21st century framework for managing government records required by Section 3 of the directive.
We will be updating Records Express tomorrow with some frequently asked questions that we have been receiving about the directive.
This morning, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum on Managing Government Records. This memorandum marks the start of an executive branch-wide effort to reform records management policies and practices. A statement by Archivist David Ferriero has also been posted on our website.
The memorandum requires each agency to report the name of a senior agency official who will supervise an agency-wide evaluation of its records management programs. These evaluations, which are to be completed in 120 days, are to focus on electronic records, including email and social media. After the senior agency officials have been named,we will schedule meetings to provide additional information on completing the requirements in the memorandum.
These requirements are described in more detail in a Memo to Records Officers and accompanying Letter to Heads of Federal Agencies that we will be sending to agencies shortly.
We strongly support this memorandum from the President, which sends a very clear message to Federal agencies about the importance of electronic records. Records management must keep up with the technologies used to create records in the Federal government and the President’s Memorandum underlines the critical nature of this. We are pleased that this is a priority of this Administration, and appreciate that the President reiterated what we have long noted: records management is the backbone of open government.
Please feel free to leave a comment or question about the Memorandum here.
Updated 11/29 to indicate revised timeline for the Memo to Records Officers.
The Office of the Chief Records Officer at the National Archives is conducting research of our customer agencies’ use of web conferencing services, social media sites, and video streaming websites. We will use this data to assist us in procuring services that the greatest number of our customers can access.
Please click on this link to complete the poll: http://questionpro.com/t/AFoi8ZMCrG
If your agency blocks access to Question Pro or you would like to see the questions as a word document, click here. Responses can be submitted via email attachment to the address below.
All survey responses will be strictly confidential and data from this research will be reported only in the aggregate. If you have questions at any time about the survey or the procedures, you may contact Elizabeth Philpott at 301-837-0603 or by email at email@example.com.