Federal Agencies Submit Annual Records Management Reports to National Archives
Press Release · Thursday, April 6, 2017

Washington, DC

The National Archives has posted federal  agency records management reports online.

March 17 marked the deadline for Executive Branch departments and agencies to submit their annual records management reports to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for 2016.

Preliminary data show that the majority of agencies self-reported they are managing their email electronically and have met the target in the Managing Government Records Directive. The preliminary data also shows that improvements are needed to be fully in compliance with National Archives success criteria for managing email records.

"Records management is the backbone of open government," said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.  "Effective records management by all Federal agencies ensures the preservation and access of the permanently valuable records of the Federal Government."

This year, the National Archives required agencies to submit three separate reports, each providing insight into a different aspect of agency records management programs:

  1. The Senior Agency Official for Records Management (SAORM) Report. The purpose of this report is to ask these high-level officials about the progress of their agency or agencies towards the goals or requirements in the Directive. For the second year in a row,  the SAORM reports can be found online at:

  2. The Federal Email Management Report. This is the first time the National Archives has specifically asked for reports on email management. The National Archives created a maturity model template based on the success criteria. The email reports can be found online at:

  3. The Records Management Self Assessment (RMSA). The RMSA documents each agency’s internal evaluation of compliance with federal RM statutes and regulations, along with an appraisal of their general records management program functions. The RMSA submissions are not made publicly available online but the National Archives will provide an analysis of the data later this year.

Laurence Brewer, Chief Records Officer for the U.S. Government said, “The Directive established December 31, 2016, as the target for agencies to manage their email electronically — no more printing-and-filing. Therefore, this year we added an email management report to our annual reporting requirements to help us learn how successful agencies were at meeting that target. Overall, at this point, the results are trending positive.  Most agencies have taken action, but there is still a ways to go in many areas, including policy promulgation, systems implementation, managing access, and — important for NARA — transferring email to our agency for permanent preservation.” 

About the National Archives and Records Administration

The National Archives and Records Administration is the nation's record keeper. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept forever.

Many people know the National Archives as the keeper of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. But we also hold in trust for the public the records of ordinary citizens—for example, military records of the brave men and women who fought for our country, naturalization records of the immigrants whose dreams shaped our nation, and even the canceled check used to purchase Alaska.

In a democracy, records belong to the people, and for more than eight decades, NARA has preserved and provided access to the records of the United States of America. Records help us claim our rights and entitlements, hold our elected officials accountable for their actions, and document our history as a nation. In short, NARA ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government.

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This page was last reviewed on April 6, 2017.
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