On November 26, 2014, President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 1233, The Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014. This law modernizes records management by focusing more directly on electronic records and complements our efforts to implement the President’s 2011 Memorandum on Managing Government Records. The law also represents the first significant changes to the Federal Records Act of 1950. The major points of this legislation are as follows:
- Strengthening the Federal Records Act by expanding the definition of Federal records to clearly include electronic records.
- Confirming that Federal electronic records will be transferred to the National Archives in electronic form.
- Granting the Archivist of the United States final determination as to what constitutes a Federal record.
- Authorizing the early transfer of permanent electronic Federal and Presidential records to the National Archives, while legal custody remains with the agency or the President.
- Clarifying the responsibilities of Federal government officials when using non-government email systems.
Passage and enactment of this law marks a significant moment in the history of Federal Records Management. We are in the process of reviewing our existing regulations in light of these new provisions and will have much more to say about changes to our regulations and policies in the future.
For additional information, please see the press release that was issued yesterday. Stay tuned to the blog for further updates. Do not hesitate to leave a comment if you have a question and we will do our best to respond.