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Government Directive Establishes Framework for Digital Records Management

Published by: Marketwired

Guidelines Set Government Precedent for RIM Best Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dec. 3, 2012 In accordance with the Managing Government Records memorandum signed by President Obama in November 2011, government agencies this month have actively begun to meet scheduled objectives for the digitization of permanent and temporary records. The records and information management (RIM) directive, specifically designed for the Executive Branch, constructs a framework for records management policy that urges the use of technology to ensure accountability, accessibility, and security in recordkeeping.

With the ultimate goal of fully digitized records management by the end of 2019, the directive establishes major milestones to guide agencies in their adoption of records technology. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), as the leading government agency for historical record preservation, will assist the process by establishing standards for reaching policy objectives as well as acting as a final repository for permanent records organized by other agencies. Some key dates are highlighted:

  • November 15th, 2012 – Executive Branch agencies were required to designate a Senior Agency Official (SAO) to oversee and coordinate the review of existing records policy
  • December 31st, 2013 – The SAO will ensure that permanent records dated older than 30 years are identified and prepared for their transfer to NARA
  • December 31st, 2013 – All agencies will develop and initiate enactment of plans to manage all permanent records electronically, for eventual transfer to NARA
  • December 31st, 2014 – Federal agencies must establish records management training as well as a standard method of informing records management responsibilities and policy
  • December 31st, 2016 – All email records, both permanent and temporary, must be managed in electronic format by Federal agencies
  • December 31st, 2019 – Permanent records of Federal agencies will be managed electronically to the fullest possible extent, and formatted for NARA storage

While the directive explicitly addresses digitization of records in the Executive Branch, it also has sweeping implications for the future of records management policy in the government as a whole. Increased expectation of security and electronic access to records at the highest level suggests that lower level organizations may eventually be encouraged to follow suit. Cloud storage and other “Big Data” management technology, gradually adopted by the Federal government, will likely pave the way for such methods to be utilized by all branches.

ZL Technologies’ Unified Archive® provides a secure system for management of records and electronically-stored information (ESI), fulfilling all stringent requirements set forth by the government directive. With DoD 5015.02 certification, the highest level of authentication for records management, the Unified Archive® allows government agencies to manage ESI securely in a manner that fulfills Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other legal requirements. ZL’s scalability and capacity to handle an immense variety of unstructured data types, including Google Mail, provides government agencies and similar organizations with the ability to archive and manage information in a manner meeting Executive Branch precedents.