Federal Records Management

NARA Bulletin 98-03

ATTENTION! This page has been superseded. The information listed below is no longer accurate. For NARA's current guidance please visit  http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/bulletins.  Please note that this page is available only as a technical and historical reference.

March 26, 1998

TO: Heads of Federal Agencies

SUBJECT: NARA space planning initiative

1. Purpose.
This bulletin provides information on NARA's initiative to improve the quantity, quality, and cost effectiveness of NARA's records storage space, and to obtain agency input in the planning process.

2. Expiration.
This bulletin will remain in effect until September 30, 1998.

3. Background.

  1. NARA's Strategic Plan recognizes that one of the major challenges facing NARA and Federal agencies is the explosion of both paper and electronic records. The growth of records in NARA's facilities has been one-third in the last decade; records centers continue to grow at the rate of more than half a million cubic feet annually. This has necessitated the construction of new records centers which in turn has increased the share of NARA's budget devoted to paying costs for the storage and maintenance of Federal records. These space costs now consume nearly half of NARA's current budget and are a primary reason for NARA moving in FY 2000 to a completely reimbursable system for the cost of storing and servicing temporary and pre-archival records.
  2. The Strategic Plan also recognizes that NARA needs to improve the quality of its space so that essential evidence will be preserved for as long as needed. The plan has set a goal that by the year 2006, 100 percent of NARA's holdings will be in space with appropriate temperature and humidity controls and space that will meet all other preservation standards.

4. Space Planning Team.

  1. To implement those Strategic Plan goals directing the improvement in the quantity and quality of NARA's records storage space, I have established a Space Planning Team to analyze the current space situation and to make recommendations for improvements. Specific objectives of this Space Planning Team are to increase the quantity of space that will be available to store Federal records; to improve the quality of space in current and future records storage facilities; to reduce space costs; and to enhance access to records.
  2. The Team will consider the configuration of facilities and evaluate where facilities should be located to best serve our customer agencies while at the same time being cost-effective in terms of rent and personnel costs. NARA wants to secure space that both meets storage and preservation standards while being as cost-competitive as possible so as to minimize agency reimbursable costs.
  3. To ensure that the recommendations address the needs of Federal agencies, NARA will over the course of this planning effort reach out to our broad spectrum of customers to gather input through public meetings, conferences, publications, and the Internet.

5. Agency involvement.
NARA requests agencies to provide their views on where your agency's records should be located, what services your agency would like provided, and any other comment or suggestion you would like to make that would help NARA meet your records storage needs. Comments are requested by July 1, 1998. E-mail may be addressed to comments@nara.gov. Comments may be sent by regular mail to:

Space Planning Team
Room 4100 (NPOL)
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001


Archivist of the United States