September 9, 2011
MEMORANDUM TO FEDERAL AGENCY RECORDS OFFICERS: BRIDG/FRC Forum Improvements and FY 12 Meeting Schedule
Over the last few months, we have been working on ways to improve the Bimonthly Records Information Discussion Group (BRIDG)/FRC Forum meetings we hold for Federal records managers at the National Archives building in Washington, D.C.
At the June and August 2011 meetings, we surveyed customers about the meetings (results of these surveys are attached). We got a lot of great feedback about what you like and do not like about the meetings and what topics you would like to see discussed.
Based on this input, we are making some changes to the meetings beginning in fiscal year 2012.
Here is what you can expect to see:
- Advance notice on meeting dates for the entire fiscal year
This will enable you to block the dates on your calendar for the entire fiscal year and to share information on upcoming meetings with others in your agency well in advance.
The dates for FY 12 are as follows:
- Tuesday, October 4, 2011
- Tuesday, December 6, 2011
- Wednesday, February 15, 2012
- Wednesday, April 18, 2012
- Wednesday, June 27, 2012
- Wednesday, August 15, 2012
- An integrated meeting agenda (and a single meeting name)
Under NARA's Transformation, the Office of the Chief Records Officer (which runs the BRIDG) and the Federal Records Centers Program (which runs the FRC Forum) have been integrated into a new program office (Agency Services) within NARA, so it made sense for us to integrate the agenda of this meeting. In addition, since the vast majority of our customers attend both meetings, there is little advantage to hosting two separate meetings. The integrated meeting will now be known as the "NARA Agency Services BRIDG Meeting". Attendees will only need to register for one meeting, and there will no longer be a long break in the middle of the meeting.
- Topics based on customer suggestions
As the attached survey results indicate, we got a lot of wonderful suggestions for discussion topics. We will be drawing heavily upon these lists as we set up meetings and speakers for FY12. To our delight, a number of customers indicated a willingness to lead discussion topics. We will be contacting those volunteers to see if they are available to serve on discussion panels and to share best practices at future meetings.
- Time to network
We plan to start the formal meetings a little later (at 10:00 am) so that we can have some time before the meeting (from 9:00 to 10:00) for attendees to network with NARA staff and each other. During this time, we will have informal discussions on various topics in a roundtable format. This networking will take place in the presidential conference rooms on the mezzanine level of the National Archives building, and we are investigating the feasibility of offering refreshments during these networking sessions.
- More interactive discussions in the main session
Meeting announcements will encourage participants to bring specific questions on the meeting's topics. Attendees can drop questions in a box at the beginning, or they can line up at microphones during the presentation to ask questions of the presenters (and of other attendees).
- Remote access to the meeting via webcasting or other technologies
NARA is exploring a live webcasting option for all events held in the McGowan Theater. We hope that this will be available early in FY 2012. This will enable Federal records managers outside the DC area (or local customers who cannot make it to the meeting) to participate. We envision this to be a fully interactive offering through which remote participants can see and hear the meeting and ask questions in real time. Since we will likely have participants from across the country, the later start time of 10:00 a.m. will enable customers on the west coast to participate live.
The changes outlined above will be rolled out incrementally over the course of the fiscal year. For the October meeting, you can expect an integrated agenda and improvements to the Q&A section of the meeting. In December, we will have our first pre-meeting networking session. And in calendar year 2012, we hope to launch the remote access/webcasting features.
We are very excited about the above changes, and we thank you for your continued input on how to continuously improve this meeting.
PAUL M. WESTER, JR.
Chief Records Officer for the
Director, Federal Records Centers Program