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Press Release
July 29, 2013

National Archives Releases 2012 Records Management Self-Assessment Report

Washington, DC…Today, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) released the 2012 Records Management Self-Assessment Report, online at [www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/resources/self-assessment.html]

In June 2012, NARA issued the mandatory annual records management self-assessment (RMSA) to Federal agencies to assess compliance with statutory and regulatory records management requirements. Of the 281 agencies that received self-assessment, 85 percent responded.

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero said, “The National Archives is pleased with the progress some Federal agencies have made in managing their records. However there is room for improvement.  We will continue to provide appropriate records management guidance and oversight to ensure that our nation’s records are preserved.”

The 2012 report highlights some positive trends for improving recordkeeping by Federal agencies. The number of agencies that scored in the “Low Risk” category continues to rise.  Many agency records management staff now participate in the design and development of electronic systems and work collaboratively with other units on issues related to electronic records.  Also, agencies have increased their permanent electronic records transfer activity using the Electronic Records Archives, NARA’s strategic initiative to preserve and provide long-term access to the electronic records of the Federal Government.

Chief Records Officer for the U.S. Government Paul Wester said, “We are committed to continuing to work with Federal agencies to strengthen their records management programs so these scores improve. The actions taken in support of the Managing Government Records Directive will ensure records management success across the Federal government.”

On August 24, 2012, the Office of Management and Budget and NARA issued the Managing Government Records Directive1, a significant first step in an “executive branch wide effort to reform records management policies and practices.” The Directive sets forth a robust 21st-century framework for managing Federal records and information. The RMSA supports this framework by collecting data on Federal records management programs. NARA and agencies are working together to resolve the most persistent weaknesses, specifically electronic records management, training, and lack of senior level support. NARA plans to link future RMSAs to the Directive’s requirements. 

NARA will use the results of the RMSAs in other records management oversight projects including formal agency inspections. NARA has the authority to inspect the records management programs and practices of Federal agencies under 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906. NARA evaluates agencies for compliance with requirements stated in 44 U.S.C. Chapters 31 and 33 and the regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) – specifically Subchapter B – Records Management of 36 CFR Chapter XII.

For more information, see NARA’s National Records Management Program Blog, Records Express, at http://blogs.archives.gov/records-express/.


1M-12-18: Managing Government Records Directive (August 24, 2012) is available via http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/2012/m-12-18.pdf

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300.

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