Press/Journalists

Press Release
August 3, 2004


National Archives Names Two Companies to Design an Electronic Archives

Washington, D.C. . . Today, Archivist of the United States John W. Carlin announced the two companies that will lead the way in designing a technological solution to the challenge of preserving electronic information across space and time. These design contracts are valued at $20.1 million. At the end of the one-year design competition, the National Archives will select one of these two contractors to build the Electronic Records Archives, a revolutionary system that will capture electronic information, regardless of its format, save it permanently, and make it accessible on whatever hardware or software is currently in use. Over the life of the contract, it is potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars with countless positive implications for individuals, private businesses, and government organizations alike.

The two companies are:
Lockheed Martin, Transportation and Security Solutions Division
Harris Corporation, Government Communications Systems Division.

Lockheed Martin is a leader in Defense and Government Markets. Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, the corporation employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services.

Harris Corporation is an international communications equipment company focused on providing product, system, and service solutions for commercial and government customers. The company serves markets for microwave, broadcast, secure tactical radio, and government communications systems. Harris has more than 10,000 employees, including 5,000 engineers and scientists, and is headquartered in Melbourne, Florida.

In making the announcement, Mr. Carlin said, "I am proud that the National Archives has both the mission and the capabilities to solve the problems posed by electronic records. At every step of the process of developing the Electronic Records Archives, we have partnered with the best and the brightest to develop solutions, and today that will continue as we reach this milestone. ERA will make electronic information available virtually anytime, anywhere. We are not just talking about the information contained in Government records. We will START with Government records, but there is no end to where ERA can take us."

The awarding of the contracts follows five years of intensive study and research by the National Archives into the possibilities, approaches and requirements for the design and implementation of the archives of the future. The National Archives evaluated each of the offers it received as to how well the company understood both the mission and the particular challenges faced by the Archives in the area of electronic records. The Archives also investigated how well the companies have performed on other contracts, and did an in-depth analysis of their proposed costs.

The companies were asked:

  • to describe a solution in terms of an overall architecture which addresses all of the National Archives requirements, and a design which shows that the architecture can be implemented, and that it can evolve over time;
  • to demonstrate that they have the technical know-how to build the system and that they have the management capability to do it on time, according to specifications and within budget;
  • to show how they would help the Archives achieve its performance objectives; and
  • to link the awards they could receive to those achievements.

The Lockheed Martin firm-fixed price design contract value: $9.5 million
The Harris Corporation firm-fixed price design contract value: $10.6 million

Background information: The National Archives is responding to the challenge posed by the diversity, complexity, and enormous volume of electronic records being created today and the rapidly changing nature of the systems that are used to create them by developing the Electronic Records Archives (ERA). ERA will be a comprehensive, systematic, and dynamic means for preserving virtually any kind of electronic record, free from dependence on any specific hardware or software. When operational, ERA will make it easy for the public and government officials to find records they want, and easy for NARA to deliver those records in formats people need.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) ensures, for the citizen, the President, the Congress and the Courts, ready access to essential evidence that documents the rights of citizens, the actions of federal officials, and the national experience. The National Archives is a public trust that plays a key role in fostering effective and responsible government through management of the lifecycle of records in all three branches of the Federal Government and through sustained access to historically valuable records in the National Archives and the Presidential Libraries. These records enable people to inspect for themselves what the government has done, allow officials and agencies to review their actions, and help citizens hold them accountable.

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The announcement will be webcast beginning at 3 PM, August 3, at: www.archives.gov/electronic_records_archives

For more information, the media should contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 301-837-1700 or 202-501-5526.

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