Social Media Guidance now in DYPS

We are pleased to announce we have added social media account guidance to our web publication, Documenting Your Public Service (DYPS). This guidance builds on NARA Bulletin 2014-02: Guidance on Managing Social Media Records and our Social Media Capture White Paper. It specifically addresses the administration of social media accounts during a time of transition. The guidance states the following:

  • Social media accounts created or used for official agency business must stay under the control of the agency. This could also include accounts that might be personally managed by an individual, but are obviously used for agency business and therefore must be captured and managed. If any employee does use a personal account, the account may become the property of the agency.
  • It is best practice to create unique agency-administered accounts when an employee uses a social media platform on behalf of the agency. This allows for a clear delineation of when an employee is acting in an official or personal capacity.
  • Departing employees should create new social media accounts after leaving an agency. If they wish to continue using a social media platform in their personal capacity, departing employees should send a sign off message from the existing agency account and provide followers with their new account username. In this way, their followers would not roll over to their new account. This process will allow the public to continue following the preferred social media account.

Additionally, agencies should remind employees using social media accounts they must copy or forward Federal records created or received in personal electronic messaging accounts to official agency accounts in accordance with 44 USC 2911 requirements.

If you have any questions please contact us by email at

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

New LMS for Records Management Training

Our Records Management Training Program will transition from the current learning management system (LMS) to a new one in the middle of November. We are planning to migrate the data in the current system on Friday, November 18 and bring the new system online on Monday, November 21. To ensure a successful transition, we will not enter any new data in the current LMS after November 10.

What does that mean for you? Starting November 11, agency personnel will not be able to:

  • take tests
  • register for classes
  • pay for classes

We anticipate resuming these services on November 21, 2016 when the new system is live.

Customers that completed all the requirements for the Certificate for Federal Records Management Training during September – December 2016 will not receive the certificate until January 2017.

We apologize for this inconvenience, but we want to ensure our records are accurate and we have time for testing the accuracy of the data migration to the new system. We will continue to conduct scheduled training courses during the transition to the new LMS.

In the coming weeks we will provide further information about the new LMS, including the website URL and updated information on when the new system will be available and how to access it.

If you have questions please contact Gary Rauchfuss, Director, Records Management Training, at (301) 837-1710 or by email to

Posted in General | Tagged ,

Happy World Standards Week!

[T]echnology is not within national boundaries but on a global scale” — Dr. Patrick Gallagher, 14th Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

This week, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is celebrating World Standards Week (October 24-28).  ANSI bridges the gap between standards developers and governmental agencies that create legislation affecting the standards community. In addition, since the passage of The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (P.L. 104-113) (NTTAA) as well as the issuance of The Office of Management and Budget Circular A-119, ANSI facilitates government agencies’ use of voluntary consensus standards created by the private sector as an alternative to agency-developed standards.

Federal agencies create records with wide-ranging variability. The different file formats, metadata, and agency recordkeeping practices pose challenges to NARA’s ability to ingest, describe, and provide access to records that belong to or will come to the National Archives of the United States. Voluntary consensus standards in NARA’s regulations and guidance helps agencies adopt widely-recognized approaches, system capabilities, record types, formats, and metadata across the Federal government. The more standardized Federal records management practices become, the better we will be able to accomplish our mission to preserve and make available the permanently valuable records of the federal government.

For more information about the use of standards in government, see “Incorporation by Reference, Reasonable Availability, and the U.S. Standardization System” ANSI has also posted a schedule of events for  World Standards Week 2016.

Stay tuned for future posts about standards and metadata work happening in our office.

Posted in General

Hurricane Matthew Aims at the East Coast

In advance of Hurricane Matthew, we remind Agency Records Officers that NARA posts records emergency information and other useful guidance in order for them to pass along this information to other agency personnel.

For advice and assistance on preparing before the Hurricane and records recovery operations after the end of the storm, please refer to the preservation section 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) for contracting for records recovery services and a list of records recovery vendors. This list of vendors is provided by NARA for informational purposes. Inclusion on the list should not be viewed as an endorsement of the quality of the vendor’s services.

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

For advice on records recovery issues, please contact the Preservation Programs Division at 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 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.

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

Posted in Records Disaster Preparedness | Tagged

The Capstone Approach and Legacy Email

Agencies using GRS 6.1, Email Managed Under a Capstone Approach, are expected to apply items the agency uses to all existing email, including legacy email. Legacy email is defined as email that still exists in an electronic format, at the time of Capstone implementation (see GRS 6.1 FAQ #19). When submitting an NA-1005 form, agencies must summarize the state of their legacy email. For example, “no legacy email exists for this agency, as traditional records management with a print-and-file policy was enforced prior to Capstone adoption” or “agency will be including legacy email for all items being used, dating back to approximately 2010.”

If agencies do not know the status of their legacy email–for example, they are not certain if they can access or read an older format–they may still submit an NA-1005 form, but must note what action is being taken to determine if the email is readable or unreadable. For example, “agency has legacy email dating back to 2005 and will notify NARA within [30, 60, 90 days] if email is readable or unreadable.” Readable email is email that is retrievable and usable for as long as needed to conduct agency business and to transfer permanent email records into the National Archives. Agencies must submit an agency-specific schedule for email that is not retrievable and usable, i.e. unreadable.

Please refer to GRS 6.1 Frequently Asked Questions for more information, and as always, please feel free to contact the GRS Team at


Posted in Email Management 2.0, GRS | Tagged , ,

ARMA Live! Federal Roundtable

Are you travelling to San Antonio to attend ARMA Live! 2016? If so, we would like to point out a special event for attendees interested in our work.

The U.S. Federal Government Roundtable will be held in room 206-A of the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center on Tuesday, September 27 from 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm. Meet Laurence Brewer, Chief Records Officer for the U.S. Government and other staff and leaders from our office during the event. We hope to see you there.

If you are planning to attend and would like to hear more about a particular topic, please leave a comment and we will be sure to discuss it in San Antonio.

Posted in Upcoming | Tagged

Opportunity for Comment: Draft Training Bulletin

We are requesting comments on a draft Bulletin entitled “Agency Records Management Training Requirements.” The draft is available here.

We anticipate releasing this Bulletin later this year. It was developed to support  the July release of OMB Circular A-130, as well as current laws and Directives governing Federal records management programs. This Bulletin will specify agency records management training requirements and best practices, including who must take training, the frequency of training, and the content that should be covered.

We welcome participation in the development of this guidance. Please comment here or email with any questions or comments for consideration by September 29, 2016. We will review all the comments we receive.

A status update of this Bulletin will be provided at the November 17, 2016 BRIDG meeting. Thank you.

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

More flexibility for managing permanent email under GRS 6.1!

Transmittal 26 includes a revision to GRS 6.1, Email Managed Under a Capstone Approach, that provides a more flexible period for transferring permanent email to NARA. Agencies raised concerns about transferring records containing highly sensitive or personally identifiable information (PII) 15 years after cutoff. The new instructions provide a retention band, allowing agencies to select a transfer period between 15 and 25 years. Agencies should indicate the transfer period for their permanent email on the NA-1005. The disposition instruction still allows for transfer after declassification as well. Please refer to question 8 of our FAQ for GRS 6.1 for additional information on the new transfer instruction.

Also, just as a reminder, NARA issued a change to the cutoff instructions for permanent email in GRS 6.1 in AC 18.2016. Originally, GRS 6.1, item 010, required cutting off records at the end of the calendar year. The current instruction allows for cutoff in accordance with agency business needs. The agency does need to indicate the cutoff instruction it will use on the NA-1005.

If you have any questions about these changes, please feel free to contact the GRS Team at

Posted in GRS | Tagged ,

Release of Electronic Messages White Paper

We are pleased to announce the release of the Electronic Messages White PaperThroughout fiscal year 2016, NARA conducted research to assess current practices in Federal agencies regarding the management of electronic messages and use of electronic messaging technology. This white paper represents NARA’s findings as of March 2016. On the whole, NARA’s research indicates that records management practices around electronic messages are emerging. As new electronic messaging technologies are created in the marketplace, Federal agencies must determine how to manage the records they create when they implement these tools.

This white paper is intended to help agencies begin to address the management of electronic messages beyond email. NARA’s research included a review of current guidance, analysis of agency reports, forums with agency records managers, and research into capture tools. For the purposes of this research project, we focused on text and chat/instant messages. NARA will continue to ask for detailed information on agency use of electronic messaging. NARA’s future goals include producing guidance and sharing promising practices to manage electronic messages.

Posted in General | Tagged ,

2015 SAO Reports Analysis

We are pleased to announce the 2015 Senior Agency Official for Records Management (SAORM) Annual Reports Analysis is now available (.pdf).

David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, said:

Working together, NARA and all agencies continue to make progress on the key goals and requirements in the Directive. For us to succeed as a records management community, the SAORMs in each agency must drive the change that needs to happen if we are to realize the vision of a digital Government. Based on the data summarized in this report, we are making progress, but there is still much work to do.

The analysis shows that SAORMs reported they:

  • Will meet the email target by the end of this year (92%).
  • Will meet the target to manage permanent electronic records in an electronic format by the end of 2019 (92%).
  • Are taking actions to ensure records in non-official messaging accounts are captured in an official account within 20 days (83%).
  • Will submit schedules for all existing paper and other non-electronic records by the end of 2016 (91%).
  • Are preparing for the upcoming change in Presidential administration (79%).

In addition, a majority of SAORMs indicate they are considering or using the Capstone Approach for managing email records.

This year, in the interest of transparency and open government we posted all SAORM reports on our website for all to view. We plan to continue to post future SAORM reports to the website.

We also released the 2015 Records Management Self Assessment (RMSA) in July. We encourage you to review both the 2015 SAORM Annual Report Analysis and the 2015 RMSA.

In the fall, we will send agencies information about the upcoming 2016 reporting cycle. If you have any questions about the SAORM reporting process, please leave a comment or contact

Posted in Presidential Memorandum, Uncategorized | Tagged ,