Federal Records Management

Frequently Asked Questions:


Automated Technologies to Reduce the Burden of Records Management Responsibilities

Q: Can a vendor present its solution for automating electronic records management to the Federal records community?
A: Yes! Presentations of solutions that can help agencies automate the management of their electronic records are encouraged. To provide a presentation for the audience of Federal records managers and IT staff who are interested in increasing the use of automation in electronic records management, the vendor should:

  1. Choose a date and time. When selecting a time, remember that participants may be in multiple time zones.
  2. Choose a webinar platform and note the connection information
  3. Send a notice with all the details about the presentation to PRMD@nara.gov
  4. Include the words “vendor presentation” in the subject line of the email to ensure the notice is forwarded correctly.

When NARA receives it, NARA will distribute the presentation notice to its list of interested Federal records management and IT staff. Each recipient will choose the presentations he or she is interested in attending.

Q: What should vendor presentations cover?
A: NARA will provide a short list of questions that we will ask or that presentations must cover. We will capture and publicize the answers along with the answers of other vendors as part of the A3.1 project.

Acquisition, technical and confidential information that should not be shared with other vendors should be clearly marked so that the Government can maintain the necessary confidentiality.

Q: Does NARA select which vendors can present?
A: No, any interested vendor can schedule a demo. NARA will forward all presentation announcements it receives.

Solutions presented will be expected to address the challenge of Managing Government Records Directive goal A3.1, however. NARA hopes that by publicizing the questions the audience will ask in advance, vendors will be able to judge if they are a good match for this audience.

Q: Must every vendor be able to automate every task for every type of record listed in the questions?
A: No, each vendor does not need to do everything. We are also interested in solutions that solve particular problems well and interoperate easily with other solutions. However, each solution should address at least some of the needs raised in the questions.

Q: Will NARA make arrangements for the presentations?
A: No, vendors are responsible for arranging their presentations via webinar. NARA will simply share the date, time, and connection information as it is provided by the vendor.

Q: Will NARA endorse a particular solution?
A: No, NARA will not endorse particular products. No endorsement of vendors or solutions is implied by publicizing the presentations. As it has done in the past, however, NARA may endorse standards.

Q: Will NARA eventually require that all Federal agencies acquire a particular solution to manage their electronic records?
A: No, NARA will not require all agencies to use a single solution.

Q: Is NARA currently planning a procurement to support PRMD A3.1?
A: No, NARA does not currently plan a procurement associated with the Managing Government Records Directive (Goal A3.1 automated records management solutions).

NARA is gathering information to share with the entire Federal information management community. NARA believes that many other agencies will procure products to help them automate records management, and will use the information in these presentations as part of their market research.

Q: What other kinds of private sector engagement does NARA invite under Managing Government Records Directive Goal A3.1?
A: NARA is currently planning four types of interaction, but additional events and methods of engagement will follow as further stages of the Managing Government Records Directive plan are developed.

  1. Vendor presentations, as described above.
  2. An industry day in September 2013 at which the Federal records management and IT community will explain to industry what we are hoping to achieve under the Managing Government Records Directive.
  3. An RFI for vendor capability statements shortly after the industry day. These capability statements will be a more formal written follow-up to the vendor presentations. The statements will be shared with the Federal records management and IT communities to support their planning to meet the goals of the Managing Government Records Directive.
  4. General input from the private sector on ways to improve the Federal government’s ability to manage and provide access to information over the long term. This input should be submitted in the form of short white papers and can be sent to PRMD@nara.gov at any time with the subject line “A3.1 vision”.

Note: These FAQs were approved by NARA’s General Counsel, but other agencies should seek the advice of their agency's counsel for agency-specific guidance.