September 8, 2005
National Archives Names Lockheed Martin to Build Archives of the Future
Washington, DC…Today, Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein announced the award of a $308 million, six year contract to Lockheed Martin to build the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) system for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The ERA system will capture and preserve the electronic records of the federal government, regardless of format, ensure hardware and software independence, and provide access to the American public and Federal officials.
After a year-long design competition, Lockheed Martin was chosen to build the archives of the future based on the technical merit of the solution it proposed, the excellence of their system and software engineering methodology, and the quality of their project management. Lockheed Martin also demonstrated that it understood the intricacies of NARA's responsibilities in the field of record-keeping.
In making the announcement, Professor Weinstein said, "I am indebted to those who acted decades and centuries ago to ensure that the records of our past were preserved for use today. These parchments, pieces of paper, photographs, and maps have allowed us to reconstruct and understand the story of our nation and its people. Today, we act on behalf not only of archivists but of all Americans of the 21st Century who will use the electronic records being created by the Federal Government, today and tomorrow, to research, write, and understand the history of our times. The ERA system will make that possible. The Electronic Records Archives' goal is clear and simple: a system that accepts, preserves, and makes accessible - far into the future - any type of electronic document."
Professor Weinstein added that the National Archives selection team was impressed by Lockheed Martin's "ability to design a system which addresses in considerable depth NARA's business needs, on the one hand, and on the other hand, a system that entails a modern, service-oriented architecture. NARA's business needs encompass handling rapidly-growing volumes of electronic records, ensuring the authenticity of those records, preserving them for the long term, and providing public access while protecting privacy and sensitive information. The system's architecture makes it flexible enough to accommodate evolving policy change."
At the press conference, Mr. Donato (Don) Antonucci, President, Transportation and Security Solutions, Lockheed Martin Corporation said, "The Lockheed Martin team has had a priority focus on this vital program. Allow me once again to say our Lockheed Martin team is proud to have been selected for this essential solution and we will not fail you. He added, "Our vision is that the ERA system can adapt to the diverse needs of state and local governments to keep their electronic records accessible for generations to come. The challenge of preserving electronic records affects everyone from federal agencies, to state and local governments, to the academic community, to even the private sector."
This announcement comes at the close of a one-year design competition between Harris Corporation and Lockheed Martin. The announcement marks the beginning of the ERA system development, with the initial operating capability targeted for release during Fiscal Year 2007.
The search for a solution to preserve the federal government's digital heritage began more than seven years ago. Responding to the evolving nature of the digital age and to the public's growing use of electronic technology to interact with their government-NARA began looking for ways to preserve essential electronic records. In 1998, the National Archives invested seed money to engage government and private research partners to determine if preservation of electronic records was possible. This research created new techniques that led to the first proof-of-concept in 1999 and demonstrated that electronic records preservation was a possibility.
The National Archives then turned its attention to building a system that had never been created before and that was still subject to computer science research. Initial steps included the creation of an ERA Program Management Office the development of ERA system requirements with critical input from federal, state, and local governments, professional organizations, scientific communities, and private sector stakeholders. Finally, in 2004, the National Archives selected two world-class IT contractors, Harris Corporation and Lockheed Martin, Inc., to design limited prototypes for the ERA system.
BACKGROUND: The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) ensures, for the citizen, the President, the Congress, and the Courts, access to records that document the rights of citizens, the actions of Federal officials, and the national experience. NARA plays a key role in fostering effective and responsible government through management of the 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.
The information contained within these records include rich and varied sources of information that citizens and Government officials use to answer questions about our past and plan for our future.
ERA is the National Archives response to the challenges inherent in the diversity, complexity, and enormous volume of electronic records being created today, as well as the rapidly changing systems used to create them. 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 support NARA's mission by making it easy for the public and government officials to discover, use, and trust the records of our government, and to make it easy for NARA to deliver those records in formats people can use.
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.
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For further information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Office at 202-501-5526.