Records Managers

AC 28.2013

July 29, 2013

MEMORANDUM TO FEDERAL SENIOR AGENCY OFFICIALS AND AGENCY RECORDS OFFICERS: NARA’s 2012 Records Management Self-Assessment Report

I am pleased to announce the publication of NARA’s Records Management Self-Assessment (RMSA) report for FY 2012.  It is now available on our web site http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/resources/self-assessment.html.

Each year, NARA requires all Federal agencies to conduct and submit to NARA an annual records management self-assessment (RMSA). The goal of the self-assessments is to determine whether Federal agencies are compliant with statutory and regulatory records management requirements.  In FY 2012, of the 281 agencies that received the self-assessment, 241 responded, including all Cabinet-level agencies and those under the Executive Office of the President.

Agencies received individual RMSA results last Fall. Agencies can use RMSA data to chart their own programs. NARA uses the annual RMSA as a tool to monitor and oversee Federal records management programs.

I am pleased with the progress Federal agencies have made in managing their records. However there continues to be room for improvement. 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.

While the majority of Federal agencies remain at high to moderate risk of compromising the integrity, authenticity, and reliability of their records, we believe as the requirements of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and NARA Managing Government Records Directive issued last August are implemented along with our other records management oversight activities we will continue to see improvements.

NARA is committed to continuing to work with Federal agencies to strengthen their records management programs so these scores improve. We look forward to working with Congress, OMB, and the Federal agencies to improve records management performance across the Federal Government.

If you have any questions about the report, please contact your appraiser who can provide any additional information you might need. If you do not know who your assigned appraiser is, you will find a list of the appraisal and scheduling work groups and regional contacts on the NARA website at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/appraisal/index.html.

PAUL M. WESTER, JR.
Chief Records Officer
for the U.S. Government

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