Hurricane Redux: Hurricane Maria Targets Puerto Rico, USVI, and Threatens Mainland U.S.

As Hurricane Maria, now a Category 5 hurricane, bears down on Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, before possibly turning northeast and threatening the east coast of the U.S, we again remind Agency Records Officers that NARA posts records emergency information and other useful guidance to pass along to other agency personnel. This information is also still relevant for any Federal agencies that experienced damage to their records as a result of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

For advice and assistance on preparing for the Hurricane and records recovery operations after the end of the storm, please refer to the preservation section (https://www.archives.gov/preservation/records-emergency/federal) of our website. Here, you will find a section on preparation, and several sections about what to do if you have records that have suffered damage.

Depending on the damage caused by the Hurricane, it may be necessary for your agency to implement a records recovery operation. Water damage will likely be the major records recovery issue. The web page also includes a template (.pdf)(https://www.archives.gov/files/preservation/disaster-response/contracting-emergency-records-recovery-template.pdf) for contracting for records recovery services. Contact Preservation Programs staff listed in the preservation section (https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/vital-records/disaster-pocs.html) of our website for any questions regarding records salvage and recovery vendors.

NARA staff members are available to provide additional information and guidance.

For advice on records recovery issues, please contact Preservation Programs at preservation@nara.gov. Preservation staff monitors the email address and will respond accordingly.

For advice and assistance on other records management issues arising from the storm, including the need for emergency destruction of irreparably damaged records under 36 CFR1229.10 or the loss of records under 36 CFR1230.14, please contact the appraisal archivist assigned to your agency. Please see this list of agency staff assignments and points of contact (https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/appraisal/work-group-all.html).

For advice and assistance on issues concerning classified national security information, please contact the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) on 202-357-5250 or via email at ISOO@nara.gov.

Hurricane season ends in the U.S. on November 30.

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Update: NARA’s Draft Strategic Plan, 2018-2022

The NARA draft strategic plan has been updated and submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for their review.  We want to offer our sincere thank you to all who provided us with comments and questions.

We made a number of changes to this version. The most obvious change is that we added narrative descriptions for each objective. These new narratives better describe the current state and our vision for the future, as well as identify strategies for how we plan to achieve each objective.

Two of the changes most related to federal records management are:

  • By FY 2020, NARA will have policies and processes in place to support Federal agencies’ transition to fully electronic recordkeeping. We added this new objective under our Strategic Goal Connect with Customers based on comments from our customer Federal agencies who asked us to make a commitment to assist them in transitioning to a fully electronic environment.
  • By December 31, 2022, NARA will, to the fullest extent possible, no longer accept transfers of permanent or temporary records in analog formats and will accept records only in electronic format and with appropriate metadata. We added the phrase “to the fullest extent possible” based on extensive feedback from both staff and external commenters. We modified the language of this objective to recognize that NARA may need to accept a limited number of analog records after the December 31, 2022 deadline.  

We will be talking about the draft strategic plan at the upcoming Agency Services BRIDG meeting on October 16th.

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Records Management Training Opportunities in September

September is a great time to earn NARA’s Certificate of Records Management by enrolling in our Knowledge Area (KA) courses.  We offer a Certificate of Federal Records Management Training to individuals who successfully complete Knowledge Area courses 2-6 and pass exams associated with each course. Upon completion of the courses and exams, participants will receive a Certificate signed by the Archivist of the United States.

We also offer specialty and overview courses like Electronic Records Management (ERM) and Basic Records Operations (BRO).

Training is offered online, in instructor-led courses held in Washington, DC, and in regional locations across the country.

Our online courses are offered in multiple virtual sessions for the convenience of our customers.

For more information on course registration, content, location, start times, costs and other course logistics, please go to our learning management system (LMS) at: nara.csod.com

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Note:  Agencies may also contact NARA via email (RMTI@nara.gov) to request on site RM training.

September 18 – 19 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM CST Knowledge Area 4 (KA4) Records Schedule Implementation Fort Worth Federal Records Center, 1400 John Burgess Rd., Training Rm, Ft. Worth, TX 76140
September 18 – 19 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM PST Knowledge Area 4 (KA4) Records Schedule Implementation Defense Media Activity, 23755 Z. Street, Riverside, CA 92518
September 18 – 19 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM EST Knowledge Area 4 (KA4) Records Schedule Implementation NARA, Lec. Room A, 8601 Adelphi Rd, College Park, MD 20740
September 20 7:00 AM – 8:30 AM PST Basic Records Operations – Online Courses Online
September 20 – 21 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM CST Knowledge Area 5 (KA5) Asset and Risk Management Fort Worth Federal Records Center, 1400 John Burgess Rd., Training Rm, Ft. Worth, TX 76140
September 20 – 21 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM PST Knowledge Area 5 (KA5) Asset and Risk Management Defense Media Activity, 23755 Z. Street, Riverside, CA 92518
September 20 – 21 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM EST Knowledge Area 5 (KA5) Asset and Risk Management NARA, Lec. Room A, 8601 Adelphi Rd, College Park, MD 20740
September 21 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM PST Vital Business Information – Online Courses Online
September 26 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM EST Electronic Records Management NARA Southeast Region, 4712 South park Blvd, Ellenwood Mtg/Conference Rm #154, Ellenwood, GA 30296
September 26 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM EST Knowledge Area 2 (KA2) Creating and Maintaining Agency Business Information Defense Media Activity, 6700 Taylor Avenue, Fort Meade, MD 20755
September 26 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM PST Electronic Records Management NASA Armstrong Research Center Edwards AFB, CA, ISF 4876 Lilly Drive, BLDG 4800, RM 2412
September 28 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM EST Electronic Records Management NARA, Lec. Room A, 8601 Adelphi Rd, College Park, MD 20740
September 28 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM PST Vital Business Information – Online Courses Online
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Hurricane Irma Threatening Puerto Rico and Florida

As Hurricane Irma bears down on the Caribbean and South Florida, we again remind Agency Records Officers that NARA posts records emergency information and other useful guidance to pass along to other agency personnel. This information is also still relevant for any Federal agencies in Texas and Louisiana that experienced damage to their records as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

For advice and assistance on preparing for the Hurricane and records recovery operations after the end of the storm, please refer to the preservation section (https://www.archives.gov/preservation/records-emergency/federal) of our website. Here, you will find a section on preparation, and several sections about what to do if you have records that have suffered damage.

Depending on the damage caused by the Hurricane, it may be necessary for your agency to implement a records recovery operation. Water damage will likely be the major records recovery issue. The web page also includes a template (.pdf) (https://www.archives.gov/files/preservation/disaster-response/contracting-emergency-records-recovery-template.pdf) for contracting for records recovery services. Contact Preservation Programs staff listed in the preservation section (https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/vital-records/disaster-pocs.html) of our website for any questions regarding records salvage and recovery vendors.

NARA staff members are available to provide additional information and guidance.

For advice on records recovery issues, please contact Preservation Programs at preservation@nara.gov. Preservation staff monitors the email address and will respond accordingly.

For advice and assistance on other records management issues arising from the storm, including the need for emergency destruction of irreparably damaged records under 36 CFR1229.10 or the loss of records under 36 CFR1230.14, please contact the appraisal archivist assigned to your agency. Please see this list of agency staff assignments and points of contact (https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/appraisal/work-group-all.html).

For advice and assistance on issues concerning classified national security information, please contact the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) on 202-357-5250 or via email at ISOO@nara.gov.

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GSA Posting Updates to Schedule 36

We have  been working with administrators from GSA to insert new language on Electronic Records Management (ERM) into Schedule 36, which deals with records management services. As a result, we have updated the existing SIN (51 504) and created a new Special Item Number (SIN 51 600) – one solely for the description of physical records management and one solely for ERM.

  • The Physical Records Management SIN 51 504 is an update from what was previously listed on Schedule 36. The language has been updated to reflect current regulations and requirements.
  • The Electronic Records Management SIN 51 600 includes any solutions and/or services necessary to provide a total electronic records management solution. We are excited to have the Universal ERM Requirements included as a part of this SIN.

GSA published a blog post detailing the specific changes made to Schedule 36. The post provides instructions on how vendors can contact GSA for questions about the schedule changes. The post also advertises an upcoming GSA webinar on these changes and a related Industry Day. We also welcome your feedback here.

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Hurricane Harvey Landfall in Texas

UPDATE (August 29): Harvey has made landfall in Texas. However, the information below is still valuable for Federal agencies and records personnel dealing with the effects of this storm.

In advance of Hurricane Harvey, we remind Agency Records Officers that NARA posts records emergency information and other useful guidance to pass along to other agency personnel.

For advice and assistance on preparing for the Hurricane and records recovery operations after the end of the storm, please refer to the preservation section (https://www.archives.gov/preservation/records-emergency/federal) of our website. Here, you will find a section on preparation, and several sections about what to do if you have records that have suffered damage.

Depending on the damage caused by the Hurricane, it may be necessary for your agency to implement a records recovery operation. Water damage will likely be the major records recovery issue. The web page also includes a template (.pdf) (https://www.archives.gov/files/preservation/disaster-response/contracting-emergency-records-recovery-template.pdf) for contracting for records recovery services. Contact Preservation Programs staff listed in the preservation section (https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/vital-records/disaster-pocs.html) of our website for any questions regarding records salvage and recovery vendors.

NARA staff members are available to provide additional information and guidance.

For advice on records recovery issues, please contact Preservation Programs at preservation@nara.gov. Preservation staff monitors the email address and will respond accordingly.

For advice and assistance on other records management issues arising from the storm, including the need for emergency destruction of irreparably damaged records under 36 CFR1229.10 or the loss of records under 36 CFR1230.14, please contact the appraisal archivist assigned to your agency. Please see this list of agency staff assignments and points of contact (https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/appraisal/work-group-all.html).

For advice and assistance on issues concerning classified national security information, please contact the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) on 202-357-5250 or via email at ISOO@nara.gov.

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Opportunity for Comment: NARA’s Draft 2018-2022 Strategic Plan

We are inviting our stakeholders to comment on NARA’s draft 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.

All Federal agencies are required to produce a strategic document every four years. As NARA develops its strategic plan, we are seeking input from our partners and stakeholders. This letter from the Archivist of the United States explains how you can provide feedback through GitHub or by email to strategy@nara.gov

Please submit your comments by September 1, 2017. We realize this is an aggressive timeline and we apologize for the short turnaround time.

If you have any questions about the draft plan or the review process, please email strategy@nara.gov.

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Opportunity for Comment: Draft SAORM Bulletin

We are requesting comments on a draft Bulletin entitled “Guidance on Senior Agency Officials for Records Management.” The draft is available here (.pdf)

We anticipate releasing this Bulletin by the end of the fiscal year. It was developed to consolidate guidance on the SAORM position and to clarify their roles and responsibilities. The Bulletin also outlines how Departments and agencies designate their SAORMs and agency Records Officers (ROs).

The draft Bulletin supersedes the Frequently Asked Questions about Senior Agency Officials (SAOs) Appointments and incorporates applicable content from the Managing Government Records Directive (M-12-18) (.pdf) and OMB Circular A-130 (.pdf)

We welcome participation in the development of this guidance. Please comment here or email PRMD@nara.gov with any questions or comments for consideration by August 28, 2017. We will review all the comments we receive.

Thank you.

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Universal Electronic Records Management Requirements

We are pleased to announce the release of the Universal Electronic Records Management Requirements as part of our Federal Electronic Records Modernization Initiative (FERMI). Through this initiative, we have been working to improve the way agencies acquire ERM services and solutions.

Agency staff can use the Universal ERM requirements as a starting point when writing a Statement of Work or Performance Work Statement for ERM tools or services. Records officers can share these requirements with their procurement and IT departments as a basis for work on specific requirements for agency systems.

We also expect these requirements to be used in other ways. GSA is developing a new Special Item Number under Schedule 36 for electronic records management services based on these requirements. GSA plans to award this new SIN to vendors who self-certify they meet these requirements.

We also envision integrating these requirements into each of the shared services being developed by the Unified Shared Services Management office. This could ensure any of the shared services’ IT systems will manage electronic records according to NARA guidance and potentially reduce the records management burden on individual agencies.

This represents a significant milestone in our ongoing effort to improve records management throughout the Federal government as mandated by the Managing Government Records Directive.

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