Release of OMB M-14-16

Yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget and the National Archives released a Memorandum (.pdf)  to the heads of agencies on Guidance for Managing Email. This Memorandum also includes NARA Bulletin 2014-06.

This Memorandum reinforces the importance for each agency to manage their email properly and the need for all Federal employees to be aware of their responsibilities for managing email records. As you know, this has been an important issue for Congress and the Administration over the last few months. It is also an animating issue as we continue to work towards the goal in the Managing Government Records Directive (OMB M-12-18) that all email be managed electronically by the end of 2016.

Our Bulletin 2014-06 reminds agency heads of existing NARA guidance and resources to assist in managing email. This includes our Capstone Bulletin and other resources located here.



Posted in Email Management 2.0, Presidential Memorandum | Tagged , ,

And Then, There Was Cake

Sometimes, you get so caught up in the day-to-day world of work that it is easy to overlook some significant milestones. The end of August is the time of year when our office has two significant milestones to celebrate. In 2012, the Managing Government Records Directive was released on August 24. And on August 29, 2013, we issued the groundbreaking Capstone approach to managing email. Earlier this week, we took time to mark these milestones, with, what else, cake.

Image of two cakes

Our staff enjoyed the opportunity to take a few moments to mark all the work that has been accomplished over the last few years. It’s been a busy few years and we anticipate it will get even more busy as all of us in the Federal records community work toward the 2016 and 2019 goals in the Directive. Use the comments to let us know how we are doing. Stay tuned.

And yes, no Federal records were harmed in the baking, cutting or consuming of these cakes.

Chief Records Officer for the US Government Paul Wester cutting into the cakes

Chief Records Officer for the US Government Paul Wester cutting into the cakes

Posted in General | Tagged , ,

Opportunity for Comment: Appropriate Age for Scheduling Transfers

We are requesting comments on a draft NARA Bulletin entitled “Determining the Appropriate Age for Scheduling Permanent Records Transfers to the National Archives.”

This draft Bulletin provides Federal agencies with guidance on determining the appropriate age at which permanent records, regardless of their media or format, should be scheduled for transfer to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Bulletin also has a questionnaire for agencies to use when determining appropriate transfer age.

NARA Bulletins are designed to provide fundamental guidance to Federal agencies who must then determine the most appropriate ways to incorporate the guidance into their work.

Please make your comments about the draft Bulletin and questionnaire by September 10, 2014. We will review all the comments we receive. Thank you.

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Issues for Federal Agency Counsel Course Offering

We will offer The Case for Records Management: Issues for Federal Agency Counsel in College Park, MD on October 21, 2014.

Why attend?

Legal professionals know when business-critical information is missing or inaccessible, an agency risks damage to its reputation, failure to perform its mission, and expensive litigation. This half-day briefing by National Archives and Records Administration legal and records management staffs will discuss issues related to discovery, records retention and legal holds, and electronic information.

Who should attend?

This briefing is targeted toward general counsel, inspectors general, attorneys and paralegals interested in the management of their own records and/or responsible for providing legal direction in Federal agencies regarding agency records management and litigation.

Location:  Archives II, College Park, MD

Date:  Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Length – 1/2 Day   9:00AM – 12:00 Noon

Cost: none

Enroll by clicking here

For persons unable to travel to College Park, a recording of an earlier briefing is available on our YouTube channel.

Part I: Approximately 80 minutes.

  • Key points in Federal statutory and regulatory requirements that relate to agency records
  • Best practices in building a defensible records management program
  • Counsel’s role in an agency records management program
  • Challenges and legal issues associated with electronic records

Part II: Approximately 75 minutes.

  • The Nexus Between E-Record Keeping and E-Discovery
  • Email, Backup Tapes, Metadata
  • Legal Holds on Records and the Duty of Agency Counsel
  • The Presidential Memorandum and Implementing the Managing Government Records Directive

Posted in Upcoming | Tagged ,

Records Storage Facility Compliance

The National Archives unit involved with Federal agency records storage standards (36 CFR 1234, formerly numbered 1228 subpart K) has resumed contacting Federal agencies regarding the specific locations where they store records and the status of the certification of those facilities. The efforts now are to make contact with agencies that did not reply to previous attempts for the information or were not on the agency list we used when the initial effort to obtain this information took place in 2008 and 2009.

We seek information about agency records centers and commercial records centers that have not been previously certified by an agency as compliant with the standards. For those agencies that HAVE indicated an agency records center or commercial facility is compliant in the annual Records Management Self Assessment survey, but have not sought or received NARA approval to store records, we’ll ask for certification and documentation of compliance if we do not already have that material.

Our current effort will be directed to certain agencies using the Records Management Officer list maintained by NARA’s National Records Management Program unit and/or using information gleaned from question 38 of the 2013 Records Management Self Assessment survey which asked: “Where does your agency store its inactive records?”

Should your agency be contacted, or if any readers have a question about this, please contact standards compliance manager Rick Blondo at

Posted in General | Tagged

Upcoming ERA Boot Camp

We will host an ERA Boot Camp July 30 at Archives I. The ERA Boot Camp will consist of a morning and an afternoon session:

  • The morning session will focus on ERA records scheduling tasks and will be held from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
  • The afternoon session will focus on using ERA for permanent records transfer tasks and will be held from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

The ERA Boot Camp will be presented by NARA staff experienced in the use of ERA for scheduling and transfer tasks.  NARA staff will be available afterword to answer agency-specific questions.

The ERA Boot Camp will be held at Archives I, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.  The ERA Boot Camp is offered to federal agencies at no charge. Participants must have taken the ERA online training and have an active ERA user account before enrolling in the boot camp. Agencies may enroll in either session or both through NARA’s Learning Management System (LMS).

Additional questions may be sent to

Posted in Upcoming | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Opportunity for Comment: NARA-Created Transfer Requests

We are requesting comments on the draft of an upcoming NARA Bulletin on NARA-Created Transfer Requests. NARA bulletins are designed to provide fundamental guidance to Federal agencies who must then determine the most appropriate ways to incorporate the guidance into their work.

This Bulletin establishes a time period for agencies to take action on NARA-created Transfer Requests in the Electronic Records Archives. It also establishes a time period for agencies to take action on any NARA-created Standard Forms 258, Agreement to Transfer Records to the National Archives of the United States (SFs258), which have not yet been submitted to NARA.

Please make your comments about the draft Bulletin and any suggestions here by July 18, 2014. We will review all the comments we receive. We plan to issue the Bulletin by the end of July. You can download the draft of the bulletin (as .pdf ) here.

Posted in General | Tagged , | 2 Comments

GRS Team Update – June 2014

The GRS Team is now tracking schedules based on the GRS Transmittal we expect them to be issued under.

GRS Transmittal 23: The draft Transmittal is currently under internal review with publication expected by August 29, 2014. The GRS Team will hold in-person and web briefings on the Transmittal in September.

Schedules that will be included:

  • GRS 1.1: General Financial Management Records
  • GRS 1.2: Grant & Cooperative Agreement Records
  • GRS 3.1: General Technology Management Records
  • GRS 3.2: Information System Security Records
  • GRS 4.3: Input Records, Output Records, and Electronic Copies

Schedule that may be included:

  • GRS 4.2: Information Access & Protection Records (this schedule is still in the Federal Register process, but is expected to go for signature in time to be included)

The Transmittal will also include FAQs and implementation tools.

GRS Transmittal 24: This Transmittal is expected to be issued in Spring 2015. It currently includes the following schedules that are all either in stages of comment adjudication or appraisal:

  • GRS 2.1: Employee Acquisition Records
  • GRS 2.5: Employee Separation Records
  • GRS 2.8: Employee Ethics Records
  • GRS 4.1: Records Management Records
  • GRS 4.2 Addendums
  • GRS 6.2: Federal Advisory Committee Records

GRS Transmittal 25: This Transmittal is planned for Spring 2016. We have already started working on the following schedules:

  • GRS 1.3: Budget Records
  • GRS 2.2: Employee Management Records
  • GRS 2.3: Employee Relations Records
  • GRS 2.4: Employee Compensation & Benefits Records
  • GRS 2.6: Employee Training Records

If you have questions or are interested in providing assistance with any of the schedules currently in development (GRS Transmittal 25), please contact the GRS Team at You can also visit their webpage here.

Posted in GRS, Presidential Memorandum | Tagged

Open Government Plan 2014-2016

Open Gov Plan Cover

Last Friday, the Archivist of the United States blogged the announcement of the release of our newest Open Goverment plan in the post, “Innovate to Make Access Happen.” You can access the agency’s newest Open Government Plan in PDFWord, and at

We also wrote about the plan in more detail on our Narations blog.  For our records management stakeholders, I would encourage you to review section 5 “Provide Leadership and Services to meet 21st Century Needs” (starting on page 29)  where we discuss how the Open Government Plan supports the work being completed on the Managing Government Records Directive. Yes, Records Management is still the backbone of Open Government!

Please review the rest of the plan to see how we have integrated our new strategic plan and how we propose to “innovate to make access happen.” To learn more about our open government efforts, visit  To provide feedback on NARA’s most recent Open Government Plan, please comment below or email

Posted in General | Tagged ,