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 ERAtraining@nara.gov

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 GRS_Team@nara.gov. 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 Archives.gov/open.

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 Archives.gov/open.  To provide feedback on NARA’s most recent Open Government Plan, please comment below or email opengov@nara.gov.

Posted in General | Tagged ,

Transfer Guidance Video

During the month of April, Kevin DeVorsey, Electronic Formats Specialist in the Office of the Chief Records Officer of the U.S. Government presented two online sessions on NARA’s new permanent electronic formats transfer guidance.  One of these sessions was recorded and is now available on the National Records Management Training Program’s YouTube playlist.

This recording highlights the key changes that are reflected in the recently released revision of NARA’s transfer guidance. From new categories of electronic records to new file formats, the guidance reflects a major shift and Kevin draws attention to these changes and explains what they mean to federal agencies as they work to meet their records management objectives.

Posted in Presidential Memorandum | Tagged ,

More Capstone Resources Posted

We are pleased to announce that additional resources related to Capstone, A New Approach to Managing Email Records, are now available. The resources added to our email management page include:

As always, if you have specific questions about Capstone, please contact your Agency Records Officer or your Appraisal Archivist.

Posted in Email Management 2.0 | Tagged ,

Support for Agencies Using ERA

NARA Bulletin 2012-03, issued August 21, 2012 informed Federal agencies that, beginning October 1, 2012, we will use the Electronic Records Archive (ERA) for scheduling records and transferring permanent records to the National Archives.

As a reminder, we provide ERA support and training for agencies using ERA and agencies just getting started. These include:

  • Online ERA training modules for scheduling and transfer are available on the ERA eLearning Page.
  • NARA has recently updated the ERA Agency User Manual (.pdf) with expanded instructions and additional illustrations.
  • NARA provides Crosswalk Documents to illustrate how SF 258 fields correspond to ERA Transfer Request (TR) fields, and how SF 115 fields correspond to ERA Record Schedule (RS) fields in ERA.
  • Agency records managers in the Washington DC area may request specialized on-site assistance by completing an Online Training Assistance Request Form (.pdf).
  • For technical ERA system issues like resetting of passwords, etc., users can call the ERA Help Desk.  Agencies can call the ERA Help Desk from 6 AM to 8 PM EST at 1-877-372-9594.  Agencies can also reach the ERA Help Desk by e-mail to ERAHelp@nara.gov.

These resources and links to additional ERA support can be accessed on the ERA Homepage. Agencies needing additional information should contact their NARA appraisal or accessioning archivist.

Posted in ERA | Tagged

Recent Opportunities for Comment

Over the last few weeks, we have posted several items for comment that we want to remind people about. Please take a moment and go back through these posts if you have not yet had the opportunity.We welcome any comments.

First, we posted the draft of our Automated Electronic Records Management Plan in support of goal A3.1 of the Managing Government Records Directive. Comments are being accepted on the draft until April 25.

We have also concluded our three part series on Managing Records in Mobile Environments. The posts can be found here, here, and here. Please feel free to review and leave comments on any individual post or any general comments about our approach to this topic. Do you have any ideas for future postings?

Posted in General | Tagged ,

Managing Records in Mobile Environments: Addressing Records Management Implications

wi-fi graphicIn this third and final post on mobile environments, the Records Management Policy Team will look at some ways Federal agencies can address the implications for managing records in a mobile environment. The steps that agencies can take to address security concerns have been well-covered in the many articles, vendor advertisements, and white papers on this topic. In contrast, the ways to address records management implications have not received the same level of attention, so we would like to start that discussion here. Please let us know your thoughts, any issues you’ve identified, and possible ways to address them.

One of the first things agencies can do is to recognize that employees have records management responsibilities when working on a mobile device or environment. We can point you to the three basic obligations for employees regarding Federal records, as outlined in NARA’s Telework FAQ:

  1. Create records needed to do the business of their agency, record decisions and actions taken, and document activities for which they are responsible;

  2. Take care of records so that information can be found when needed. This means setting up directories and files, and filing materials (in whatever format) regularly and carefully in a manner that allows them to be safely stored and efficiently retrieved when necessary; and

  3. Carry out the disposition of records under their control in accordance with agency records schedules and Federal regulations. Employees also must consider and follow agency-specific policies for managing records that contain personally-identifiable or security-classified information.

Secondly, agencies can look for best practices emerging in the Federal community around mobile. We’ve found the following best practices that could be useful to agencies who are beginning to address general mobile concerns that also affect records management:

  • Promulgate clear and concise policies that address the risks and concerns for BYOD programs and mobile environments

  • Provide training to employees on the appropriate use and conduct for using personal devices for work purposes, including management of records.

  • Have employees sign consent forms in writing so they understand what they are agreeing to when using their personal devices, especially for devices that may be wiped to avoid situations like this

  • Work with agency general counsel, IT staff, and the employees’ union to draft rules that balance employee privacy and agency security

  • Allow data to only be viewed by users on a device and not stored or replicated on the device. Keep data in central repository.

  • Implement “container” technology to separate work and personal uses of the same device. A device with this technology can be divided into personal and work sections, so that memory is assigned for each space. Then the only the work side could be wiped when the employee leaves or a device is lost.

  • Implement mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) solutions to push the appropriate data from enterprise systems to devices

  • Configure and manage devices with “information assurance controls commensurate with the sensitivity of the underlying data as part of an overall risk management framework.” (BYOD Toolkit, White House)

  • Remove government-owned devices that are not in use from the network, capture any records, and wipe them.

Third, agencies may consider establishing mobility policies that address the question of records management in a mobile environment.  In numerous Bulletins (Social Media, Email, Capstone), we’ve talked about the need for agencies to have policies that address the who, what, where, when, and why of managing records. We often talk about the importance of enlisting the assistance of a number of agency stakeholders when developing policy or even to form a working group that includes records management staff, information technology staff, privacy and information security staff, agency counsel, public affairs staff, and other relevant stakeholders. This type of  group could ideally meet regularly to discuss the records management concerns for a variety of topics, including the topic of managing records in a mobile environment.

For the Records Management Policy Team, one question we are considering is, “Does it matter what tool is used to create records and should policies be developed to address the records management implications of using mobile devices?” If so, what policy would be needed? We recognize that NARA guidance is often used by agencies who in turn develop their own specific policies. Such policies can help agencies articulate clear processes, policies, and recordkeeping roles and responsibilities for records in a mobile environment to ensure that records are identified, managed and captured.

We invite you to comment below with your thoughts about what Federal records management policies would be helpful agencies’ mobile environments.

Finally, there are a number of resources available to assist in managing content and devices in mobile environments. Below are some of the resources we’ve found helpful:

See also the following NARA resources:

What do you think? What records management implications have we missed? We would love to hear your thoughts and to keep the discussion going on this important topic.

Image credit: “Wi-Fi” by Fuma Ren under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Posted in General | Tagged , ,