Federal Records Management

BRIDG 03/18/04

March 18, 2004

Speakers:  Howard P. Lowell, Director, Modern Records Program
Michael J. Kurtz, Assistant Archivist for Records
   Services - Washington, DC
Kate Theimer, Policy and Communications Staff
Cheryl Stadel-Bevans, Policy and Communications Staff
Greg Bluher, Electronic Records Archives
Susan Cummings, Modern Records Program

Electronic Records Policy Working Group (ERPWG)- Michael J. Kurtz

The E-Government Initiative established in 2002 requires OMB to establish committees to implement the initiative's goals. ERPWG was established to develop recommendations for government-wide records management procedures concerning electronic records. ERPWG's objectives include identifying barriers to e-records management, developing interim tools to facilitate electronic records management, and identifying long-term solutions that will be compatible with the Electronic Records Archives (ERA).

To date, ERPWG has developed a workplan and begun identifying barriers, including legal, technological, and records management challenges posed by electronic records. In FY05 the goal will be to identify some common characteristics of e-records throughout the Federal government and develop toolboxes (including guidance, regulations, and templates for legacy and new systems) to aid agencies in managing e-records. For more information please visit the Interagency Committee on Government Information web site at http://www.cio.gov/documents/ICGI.html.

Records Lifecycle Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) Update- Kate Theimer

The Records Lifecycle BPR project aims to re-design records lifecycle processes for all types and formats of records throughout the entire lifecycle, to meet the needs and requirements of other initiatives, including the Records Management Initiative and ERA. In the current phase of the project, the BPR is looking at three processes; scheduling and appraisal, processing of electronic records, and customer interaction with the Records Center Program (RCP). In the next phase of the project, kicking off in the June/July timeframe, the BPR will analyze processes related to records management in Federal agencies. In trying to develop process improvements in RM, the BPR will focus on electronic records, try to increase collaboration between IT and records management, and incorporate new technology into existing processes.

For more information, contact RM.Communications@nara.gov.

Collaborative Tools to Support Scheduling and Appraisal - Cheryl Stadel-Bevans

NARA seeks to identify requirements for tools to facilitate a faster and more streamlined scheduling and appraisal process. Proposed tools include online access to schedules, an online forum for real-time chat with an archivist, or online access to a variety of forms and templates.

The request for customer suggestions for improving the scheduling process produced several themes. They include a system to track the SF-115 throughout the approval process, easy online access to all schedules, automatic notification of receipt of the SF-115, fast-tracking of urgent schedules, development of a timeline for final approval, and online links to specific retention requirements within the GRS and to Privacy Act notices. Some of these suggestions are more dependent on process than on new kinds of tools, including improved notifications and feedback on estimated times for approval of SF-115s. Where appropriate, these kinds of changes will be included in the improved work processes for scheduling and appraisal produced by the Records Lifecycle BPR. In addition, the BPR's re-designed processes will take into account the proposed collaborative tools for scheduling and appraisal.

Please send additional recommendations to RM.Communications@nara.gov by April 5, 2004.

Load Survey Pilot- Greg Bluher

Volunteers are requested for a pilot of a load survey which will be used to determine the necessary holding capacity of ERA. The load survey will attempt to quantify the stresses ERA will endure throughout its lifetime using hard data. The load survey hopes to capture what electronic record formats are currently used, the size of potential transfers, and when these records are expected to be accessioned into ERA. Pilot agencies will participate in a survey of their electronic record load and formats. Each agency participating in the pilot will receive its information back; this information could help the agencies asses their electronic holdings and assist with budget activities. Agencies will also be able to indicate electronic records services they would like provided by ERA and the RCP, like reference or record format migration.

Eventually all federal agencies will be surveyed beginning in 2005 and the pilot will uncover potential problems or gaps in required data. The survey will be conducted in collaboration with agency records managers and IT personnel. The IT departments will provide the size and formats of electronic data while the records managers classify and quantify record material.

To volunteer or receive additional information, contact RM.Communications@nara.gov.

RACO Update-Susan Cummings

The theme of RACO 2004 is "Records and Risk" and the keynote speaker is Christopher Olsen from the Central Intelligence Agency.