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Details wanted on NARA's electronic records system

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NARA, the National Archives and Records Administration, is hard at work developing a spending plan for its next generation Electronic Records Archive. But the General Accountability Office said the plan, estimated to cost more than $550 million, doesn't have enough detail, or a working backup system.

The GAO report said there were weaknesses that could compromise its ability to keep up to date on the project, described by NARA as the "Archives of the Future." On the upside, the GAO said the expenditure plan did satisfy legislative markers.

The building blocks for the next generation archives are especially important because the ERA system must be able to handle, preserve and provide access to all kinds of electronic records.

"Without more specific and accurate information on the immediate and long-term goals of the program and the outcomes expected from its resulting efforts, NARA will be hindered in effectively monitoring and reporting on the cost, schedule, and performance of the ERA system, and congressional appropriators will lack information necessary to evaluate the agency's requests for funds," the GAO report stated in an article reported by Federal Computer Week.

For more on NARA's electronic records:
- check out this Federal Computer Week article