Federal Records Management

AC 37.2016

September 8, 2016

MEMORANDUM TO FEDERAL AGENCY CONTACTS: Release of Electronic Messages White Paper

We are pleased to announce the release of the Electronic Messages White Paper. Throughout fiscal year 2016, NARA conducted research to assess current practices in Federal agencies regarding the management of electronic messages and use of electronic messaging technology. This white paper represents NARA’s findings as of March 2016. On the whole, NARA’s research indicates that records management practices around electronic messages are emerging. As new electronic messaging technologies are created in the marketplace, Federal agencies must determine how to manage the records they create when they implement these tools.

This white paper is intended to help agencies begin to address the management of electronic messages beyond email. NARA’s research included a review of current guidance, analysis of agency reports, forums with agency records managers, and research into capture tools. For the purposes of this research project, we focused on text and chat/instant messages. NARA will continue to ask for detailed information on agency use of electronic messaging. NARA’s future goals include producing guidance and sharing promising practices to manage electronic messages.

Thank you to all the agencies who participated in this research project. If you have any questions about this white paper, contact PRMD@nara.gov.

Chief Records Officer
for the U.S. Government