This morning, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum on Managing Government Records. This memorandum marks the start of an executive branch-wide effort to reform records management policies and practices. A statement by Archivist David Ferriero has also been posted on our website.
The memorandum requires each agency to report the name of a senior agency official who will supervise an agency-wide evaluation of its records management programs. These evaluations, which are to be completed in 120 days, are to focus on electronic records, including email and social media. After the senior agency officials have been named,we will schedule meetings to provide additional information on completing the requirements in the memorandum.
These requirements are described in more detail in a Memo to Records Officers and accompanying Letter to Heads of Federal Agencies that we will be sending to agencies shortly.
We strongly support this memorandum from the President, which sends a very clear message to Federal agencies about the importance of electronic records. Records management must keep up with the technologies used to create records in the Federal government and the President’s Memorandum underlines the critical nature of this. We are pleased that this is a priority of this Administration, and appreciate that the President reiterated what we have long noted: records management is the backbone of open government.
Please feel free to leave a comment or question about the Memorandum here.
Updated 11/29 to indicate revised timeline for the Memo to Records Officers.