Update from the GRS Team

The General Records Schedules (GRS) Team has received the following comment on the recent RM Communication, AC 09.2012: Announcing a New General Records Schedule Team, and wanted to share their response in the event that the expressed concern is shared by others.

Comment: It is just our experienced opinion that before the GRS Team embarks on the “much needed” Schedule for Web and Social Media Records, NARA might consider filling the glaring gaps for records that have been missing in the Schedules for years and really are “much needed” (e.g. Environment, Health, and Safety, Annual Employee Engagement Survey, and the new series created as a result of shared automated systems for Federal Travel, Employee Benefits, Payroll that are not clearly addressed, just a few examples).  Then, NARA can consider Social Media.  NARA has no idea how to manage Social Media records (mounted on third party sites) at this early stage, so clear guidance, as opposed to a GRS is needed, rather than preliminary generalized scheduling.

GRS Team response: The GRS Team does plan on addressing gaps in the GRS.  However, before we can address those gaps we need to identify what they are.  Part of our upcoming survey (see AC 10.2012)  asks agencies to let us know what is missing so that we know what we need to add.  Many of the gaps specifically noted in your e-mail relate to existing GRS schedules and those records will be addressed as we go through the revision process.  Those that are completely new categories will be worked into our overall plan as well.

There has been a call from Federal agencies for NARA to work on a new GRS for web and social media records.  It was one of the main concerns addressed to the Chief Records Officer at the recent ARMA meeting.  We chose it as the first new GRS project because NARA and the Federal Records Council have already been working towards a GRS to cover social media records and because it was a readily identifiable need.  We recognize that further guidance is needed in regard to managing web and social media records and we believe that drafting a GRS is a step forward.

We welcome further comments and input as we proceed with updating the GRS.  As stated above we will be sending out a survey to Federal Records Officers to gather some basic input, followed by some web and hopefully in-person sessions to delve further into issues and address agency needs. If you would like to comment or express concerns about the GRS or the GRS revision process, please feel free to contact us at GRSTeam@nara.gov.  We welcome your input in order to improve the GRS to better meet agency needs.

About Arian Ravanbakhsh

Records Management Policy Analyst in the Office of the Chief Records Officer.
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