Statement by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero: Release of Presidential Memorandum on Managing Government Records
Press Release · Monday, November 28, 2011

Today, the President issued a memorandum to heads of Executive Departments and Agencies on Managing Government Records. This memorandum marks the start of an executive branch-wide effort to reform records management policies and practices.

The National Archives and Records Administration strongly supports this memorandum from the President, which sends a very clear message to Federal agencies about the importance of managing electronic records. Records management must keep up with the technologies used to create records in the Federal government, and the President’s Memorandum underlines the critical nature of this responsibility. I am delighted that this is a priority of this Administration, and appreciate that the President reiterated what the National Archives has long noted: “good records management is the backbone of open government.”

The memorandum requires each agency to report to the Archivist the name of a senior agency official who will supervise an agency-wide evaluation of its records management programs. These evaluations, which are to be completed in 120 days, are to focus on electronic records, including email and social media, as well as those programs that may be deploying or developing cloud-based services.

After the senior agency officials have been named, the National Archives will schedule meetings to provide additional information on completing the requirements in the memorandum.

Once the evaluations have been submitted, the National Archives and the Office of Management and Budget will have an additional 120 days to issue a Records Management Directive to agencies that will provide specific steps to reform records management policies and practices.

The National Archives National Records Management Program Blog, Records Express [] will post more information on the requirements laid out in the President’s Memorandum on November 29, 2011.

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