Ferriero previews governmentwide records management directive

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Agencies can expect the National Archives and Records Administration and the Office of Management and Budget to issue significant records management reforms by July 25.  

“I can’t predict what the directive is going to have in it at the moment, but…we have opportunities to look at statutes, regulations, guidance, so this is a moment in time for us,” said Archivist David Ferriero April 5 at the FOSE conference in Washington, D.C.

Under a November 2011 White House memorandum, agencies were to submit evaluations of their records management programs and suggested changes to NARA by March 27. Now NARA is analyzing their submissions to identify best practices that will make up a governmentwide directive due out this summer.

“Reviewing general records schedules was high on several agencies responses, so we’ve got some work to do there,” said Ferriero.

The general records schedule team is re-examining the structure of the existing general records schedule, he said. The team’s final report will include a project plan outlining the time frames for updating the general record schedules. Records schedule revisions could clarify what is and is not a “record” and change time frames for agencies to turn records over to NARA.

Agency reviews also complained about the “clunkiness” of the Electronic Records Archive, said Ferriero. “The need to make it much more user friendly is another thing that came through loud and clear,” he said.

“The turnaround time, the dissatisfaction with the time it takes for disposition decisions to work their way through the National Archives is another thing that’s on the list,” said Ferriero.

Because the White House memorandum says the records management directive should focus on electronic records, including email and social media, NARA’s general records schedule team is also drafting a “much-needed” records schedule to cover web and social media, said Ferriero.

For more:
- listen to Ferriero’s address
- read the memo

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