Federal Records Management

NARA Bulletin 2006-02 Attachment 2

Policy for Effective and Comprehensive Management of Electronic Records

December 15, 2005

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 This page has been superseded.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/2010/2010-02.html. Please note that this page is available only as a technical and historical reference.


The Federal Records Act directs the Archivist of the United States to provide guidance and assistance to Federal agencies to ensure adequate and proper documentation of the policies and transactions of the Federal Government.

The E-Government Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-347) further directs the Archivist to issue policies to ensure that the Federal Records Act is applied effectively and comprehensively to Government information on the Internet and to other electronic records.

Existing Policy

To fulfill its statutory responsibilities, NARA regularly promulgates records management policy to ensure adequate and proper documentation of the policies and transactions of the Federal Government. Current records management policy is available at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/

The following are links to significant records management policy and practical guidance for electronic records, including web records.

Web Records:

NARA Guidance for Managing Web Records (January 2005) http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/policy/managing-web-records-index.html

Other Electronic Records


Future Tools, Policy, and Requirements

Toolkit for Managing Electronic Records (ERM Toolkit). The ERM Toolkit will be developed as an organized portal where a collection of proven ERM guidance tools such as case studies, best practice documents, process models, policies and directives, tips and techniques, training programs, lessons learned, presentations, and other practical tools that can be used by Federal agencies to promote and implement effective management of Government information on the Internet and other electronic records.

An initial proof-of-concept will be deployed in March 2006, with subsequent tools and capabilities added thereafter. NARA-developed guidance outlined below will be available in the ERM Toolkit.

Records Management Profile and Records Management Service Components With a wide variety of stakeholders, NARA will develop policy and conceptual products to support Federal agencies in building records management requirements into IT systems creating electronic records. These include:

  • Records Management Profile. The Records Management Profile is a framework that overlays, or cross-cuts, the inter-related Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) reference models: the Business Reference Model, the Service Component Reference Model, the Technical Reference Model, the Data Reference Model, and the Performance Reference Model. The Records Management Profile explains how the reference models provide a context for embedding effective records management practices into agency business processes.

    Developed in concert with the Office of Management Budget (OMB) and other stakeholders, this guidance will be available in FY 2006.
  • Records Management Service Components (RMSC). In FY 2005, NARA led an effort with records management, counsel, IT, and program management leaders from eighteen Federal agencies that identified functional requirements for records management within a components-based architecture. An RMSC is a piece of software that provides services that support the creation, management, transfer, and destruction of electronic records within a components-based or service-oriented computing environment.

    In FY 2006, NARA will invite back representatives from the eighteen participating agencies to review industry responses to a Request for Information (RFI) about the seven components currently identified to support records management in a components-based architecture and to finalize the requirements. The results of this activity will eventually be registered in the CORE repository and may be used by integrators assisting agencies deploying component-based or service-oriented architectures.

Increasing Awareness of Records Management Considerations in the Professional Services and IT Services Community. Although OMB and NARA have issued policies and guidance on statutory records management requirements, in further clarification of 36 CFR §1222.48, NARA will broaden and increase records management considerations in professional services and IT system procurements by:

  • Providing professional services providers (GSA Schedule Mission Oriented Business Integration Services (MOBIS) providers) criteria and standards to ensure statutory and regulatory Federal records management requirements are accounted for in the business solutions they provide to Federal agencies that affect or result in the creation of Federal electronic records. This work will be completed by October 1, 2008.
  • Providing IT service providers (GSA Schedule 70 providers) criteria and standards to ensure statutory and regulatory Federal records management requirements are accounted for in IT systems creating electronic records in the transaction of Federal Government business. This work will be completed by October 1, 2008.

Identification, Preservation, and Continued Access to Permanently Valuable Electronic Records. To ensure the identification, preservation, and continued access to Government information on the Internet and to other electronic records, NARA will develop policy for managing permanent or potentially permanent electronic records generated in Federal agencies. In addition to developing the tools outlined above and continuing general work on NARA regulations and guidance, NARA will develop:

  • Concise, public-use versions of criteria in NARA 1441, Appraisal Policy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
  • Concise articulations of NARA's permanent records priorities based on our government wide resource allocation results, identifying the Federal Enterprise Architecture, Business Reference Model, Services to Citizens areas (Lines of Business) that NARA is most concerned with.
  • Self-analysis checklists for Federal agencies to use to identify and report on:
    1. the major government information systems resources that they are responsible for that generate permanent or potentially permanent electronic records; and
    2. the general, high-level technical requirements Federal agencies must meet to manage their permanent or potentially permanent electronic records.
    The agency self-analysis would include the NARA 1441 and the resource allocation criteria, as well as technical evaluation based on the Records Management Profile.

These tools will allow agencies to help Federal agencies and NARA identify and manage the electronic records that need to be preserved for access and use by future generations. This work will be completed by October 1, 2007.

NARA Bulletin 2006-02
NARA Bulletin 2006-02 - Attachment 1
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