Opportunity for Comment: NARA Bulletin on Managing Content on Shared Drives

We are requesting comments on the draft of an upcoming NARA Bulletin on managing content on shared drives. 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.

NARA recognizes agencies have long used shared drives to store content. Agencies have had varying degrees of success in managing the Federal records on shared drives. This draft Bulletin will outline the records management implications and challenges, agency responsibilities, and strategies for organizing and managing content stored on shared drives. This Bulletin was drafted with the assistance of subject matter experts within NARA and interviews at selected agencies that have experience managing content on shared drives.

Please make your comments about the draft Bulletin and any suggestions here by October 27, 2011. We will review all the comments we receive. We plan to publish the Bulletin by the end of November. You can download the draft of the bulletin (as .pdf ) from this link.

Thank you for your input!

8 thoughts on “Opportunity for Comment: NARA Bulletin on Managing Content on Shared Drives

  1. General Comment: Make the “Approaches to Organizing a Shared Drive” portion of the Bulletin part of the actual document instead of the Appendix, and provide links in the various sections, where appropriate, linking to examples.
    Page 1, Section 1, Bullet 4:
    -Change to: “Structuring folders, sub-folders, and files within a shared drive to associate records with their approved records schedule and records series codes from the formalized office-level file plan.” (Also, provide an example and add a hyper-link to the “Manage the Remaining Content” section of the “Approaches for Organizing a Shared Drive”)

    Page 2, Section 5, Paragraph 2, 2nd sentence:
    Remove the “s” from “towards”. Sentence should read: “Organizing shared drives can also be the first step toward moving to …”

    Page 3, Section 6:
    Insert a bullet (first bullet) that reads: “Develop a formal file plan or organizational structure for managing business information, and make its usage mandatory within the organizational structure.”

    Page 6: Approaches for Organizing a Shared Drive:
    Make the “Manage the remaining content” section more robust. Include bullets such as: “Develop an organizational structure”, “Implement an office-level file plan”, and “execute end of year cut offs and disposition actions, in accordance with NARA-approved schedules and office-level file plans”
    Add examples to the “Develop day-forward policies and procedures” section

  2. It would have been helpful if this had been sent to agency records officers for review. I only found out about it yesterday in a Federal Computer Week link forwarded to me from another agency. I was not a subscriber to this blog until yesterday. Since this is a very important issue impacting not only records management but privacy, IT, and legal issues, this should be more formally sent out to agencies for review rather than relying on blog comments. Many agencies may not be aware of this blog. That being said, below are some general comments.

    One of my headquarters records liaisons reviewed and had the following comments: I reviewed the NARA guidance on shared drives and feel it is about time this issue has been addressed. I have often advocated some form of shared-drive governance at least for our office but it seems that upper management is always preoccupied with other more important issues. If we are serious about implementing some form of governance, then what NARA has proposed is a good start. Of course, the NARA proposal would have to be adapted to, then adopted by each agency. It would be unrealistic to expect a common set of specific rules to govern all Government agencies. The use of appendices should be used to provide direction to agencies on various issues without dictating an unworkable rule. One last thought: It may take the force of law, a regulation, or an executive order to gain the agencies’ cooperation on this matter.

    1. Also, some agencies are using SharePoint like shared drives. Will this apply to SharePoint files as well?

  3. I agree with Mr. Wagher regarding sending the bulletin to agency records officers for review and input. As you can see from the replies, you have very limited feedback to an important issue.

    The bulletin should address/mention the privacy act and the handling of records which contain PII, address managing content on SharePoint portals, and provide examples of managing content to include a sample policy and procedure (template) which would include much of what is mentioned on page 3, item 6.

    Most of us who have a shared drive will have to start with cleaning up a mess.

    I created a discussion on milBook (community site dedicated to connecting people from across the DoD) and included the link to your blog. Hopefully, people will provide feedback to the bulletin.

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