Records Managers

Joint Interoperability Test Command's Letter

November 14, 2000

Honorable Arthur L. Money
Senior Civilian Official
Assistant Secretary of Defense
(Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence)
6000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-6000

Dear Mr. Money:

In December, 1997, your predecessor and I signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishing a partnership between DoD and NARA on records management initiatives. On October 19, 1998, I transmitted to you a report detailing our internal evaluation of the conformance of DoD 5015.2-STD with the Federal Records Act and relevant sections of 36 CFR Parts 1220-1238. Today, I transmit to you our second and final report evaluating the Joint Interoperability Test Command's [JITC] software certification testing program related to DoD 5015.2-STD.

I am pleased to inform you that as a result of its evaluation of the JITC test case procedures, detailed and summary final reports on 5015.2-certified products, and on-site inspection of two software tests, our internal team has recommended that NARA endorse the JITC testing process.

I am also pleased to send you the enclosed report of our evaluation. While we found no critical shortcoming in the JITC 5015.2 certification testing program, we did recommend two changes to the Processes and Procedures document and a modification to one of the Test Cases. The recommendations are explained in the report and the JITC staff have already made these changes.

I plan to notify other agencies on November 27, 2000, that NARA does endorse JITC 5015.2-certification testing program. NARA's endorsement of the JITC certification testing program means that the procedures employed adequately test for the presence of those mandatory functions specified in the 5015.2 standard. In our previous endorsement of 5015.2, NARA stated that the functional requirements specified in 5015.2 represent "one approach to managing electronic records." Based on NARA's review of the testing procedures, NARA now can say that software that has been certified by JITC represents 'one approach to managing electronic records', however, NARA does not endorse specific commercial products, which we will make clear in our communications with Federal agencies and the press.

In announcing NARA's endorsement of the JITC certification testing program, we will also need to draw attention to the fact that the JITC functional testing does not evaluate a broad range of other important technical and business requirements that must be considered when automating records management (e.g., human factors, ease of integration, scalability, system performance, reliability, provider stability, etc.). We will therefore encourage agencies to address these additional requirements separately, should they choose to automate records management with a JITC-5015.2-certified product.

I believe that the partnership between DoD and NARA covered by the past MOU has been very useful to our agencies, and more widely to the entire Federal Government. I look forward to discussing with you and your staff what next steps might be taken to continue to extend and refine the standard.

Sincerely,

JOHN W. CARLIN
Archivist of the United States

Enclosure

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