Annual RM Reporting Period

The annual records management reporting period will soon be open. This year’s reporting period will be from November 16, 2015 to January 29, 2016. Agencies will be receiving additional communications with full details and instructions from our office.

This year, we will ask agencies to report on the following:

1. Records Management Self-Assessment (RMSA): The survey tool information for the RMSA will be sent to Agency Records Officers prior to the beginning of the reporting period. Agencies will have access to an individualized report of their results after completing the survey. We will prepare and publish a report later in FY 2016. Questions about the RMSA may be sent to

2. Senior Agency Official (SAO) for Records Management annual report: This report measures progress towards the goals or requirements in the Managing Government Records Directive and other related records management initiatives. SAOs will receive instructions and the template for the report prior to the beginning of the reporting period. SAOs are listed here. If agencies need to designate an SAO or make changes to this list, they may send a notification to .

Posted in Upcoming | Tagged , ,

New Video Resources for Federal Agency Users of ERA

We have posted two new video resources for federal agency users of NARA’s Electronic Records Archives (ERA).

ERA Boot Camp Videos

A two-part video of the ERA Boot Camp workshop held in January 2015 is available on NARA’s YouTube channel. Part 1 relates to Scheduling in ERA and Part 2 covers Transferring in ERA. Please see the ERA Online Training page for further information and a link to the videos at

ERA Video FAQs

Ten new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) videos are now available. These short videos answer ten of the most frequently asked questions by ERA users. Five of the videos focus on scheduling-related questions and five focus on transfer-related questions. Please see the ERA Video FAQs page for further information and links to each of the videos on NARA’s YouTube channel at

Links to these resources may also be found on the main ERA web page at

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Hurricane Joaquin Threatens East Coast

In advance of Hurricane Joaquin 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 records recovery processes.

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 to report on the 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 John P. Fitzpatrick of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) on 202-357-5205 or via email at

Posted in Records Disaster Preparedness, Regional | Tagged

Capstone GRS Published

We are happy to announce the publication of GRS Transmittal 25 (.pdf), which issues GRS 6.1, Email Managed Under a Capstone Approach. The transmittal only adds new chapter GRS 6.1; all schedules in Transmittal 24 are still current and active.

GRS 6.1 is available only to agencies implementing a Capstone approach to managing email. Agencies choosing to use this GRS must submit a verification form (Form NA-1005) prior to implementation and must disseminate the schedule within 6 months. The form and other information about the GRS is available from this page. Keep in mind some browsers do not support viewing of PDF documents. For best results, it is recommend that Firefox or Internet Explorer be used to open the form, or that the form be downloaded directly from the page.

We will release an online training module on how to fill out the verification form on October 13, 2015. The time between release of this Transmittal and release of this training will ensure that agencies have adequate time to review the GRS, its affiliated FAQ, and the verification form prior to the training. Agency Records Officers should also begin discussing the transmittal of GRS 6.1 with the appropriate agency stakeholders, including the Senior Agency Official (SAO) for Records Management, General Counsel, and Chief Information Officer. The NARA training is not mandatory, but encouraged.  Agencies may begin completing the verification form at any time.

Additional questions to those already included in the FAQ document released with the transmittal:

  1. What does this transmittal provide Federal agencies?

GRS Transmittal 25 publishes GRS 6.1, Email Managed Under a Capstone Approach. GRS 6.1 gives disposition authority for email accounts at agencies adopting a Capstone approach to managing their email. It does not provide disposition authority for other email records management strategies. Agencies may not use GRS 6.1 until the completion and approval of NA-1005, Verification for Implementing GRS 6.1, Email Managed Under a Capstone Approach.

Agencies implementing a Capstone approach must adhere to the definitions provided in this GRS, including the definition of Capstone officials. If an agency cannot adhere to the definitions in the Capstone GRS, the agency must submit an agency-specific schedule.

  1. Why was GRS 6.1 developed?

Acknowledging that the majority of Federal agencies have an interest in adopting a Capstone approach to managing their email, NARA has developed this GRS to provide disposition authority.

The goal of this GRS is to help Federal agencies meet various electronic records management requirements and allow agencies to focus on implementation and the management of their email rather than the process of seeking disposition authority from NARA. For NARA, from a government-wide perspective, this GRS supports NARA’s oversight responsibilities by reducing subjectivity and increasing consistency in the determination of Capstone officials. This GRS establishes a baseline understanding of roles and disposition of email across the government and will reduce the risk of improper implementation.

  1. Where can I learn more information about the Capstone Approach?

Additional information on the general Capstone Approach may be found in Bulletin 2013-02, Guidance on a New Approach to Managing Email Records and in NARA’s White Paper on The Capstone Approach and Capstone GRS .  Information on general email management and more specifics on the Capstone Approach, as well as associated implementation aspects, may also be found on NARA’s email management web page.

For more information, please see the GRS web page. If you have any questions about the GRS, please contact

Posted in Email Management 2.0 | Tagged ,

New NARA Bulletin on Digital Identity Authentication Records

We are pleased to announce the issuance of NARA Bulletin 2015-03 Guidance on Managing Digital Identity Authentication Records.

This Bulletin provides guidance to agencies on managing digital identity authentication related transactional records, such as digital certificates and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) files, created or used in the course of agency business. It supersedes our earlier records management guidance for PKI digital signature authenticated and secured transaction records.

This Bulletin will not interfere with agencies’ ability to use digital identity authentication measures that meet their business needs. Agencies must remove any digital identity authentication measures, such as passwords or encryption, from permanent records before transfer to NARA. NARA will coordinate the secure transfer of records to NARA with encryption that can be removed upon arrival in NARA.

Posted in General | Tagged ,

Release of NARA Bulletin 2015-02: Guidance on Managing Electronic Messages

We are pleased to announce the issuance of NARA Bulletin 2015-02, Guidance on Managing Electronic Messages.

This Bulletin applies to text messaging, chat/instant messaging, messaging functionality in social media tools or apps, voice messaging, and similar forms of electronic messaging systems. The Bulletin addresses the new definition for electronic messages and other issues covered in the recent amendments to the Federal Records Act. Overall, the Bulletin provides basic records management guidance for electronic messages.

This Bulletin is consistent with the Managing Government Records Directive (M-12-18) charge to develop a 21st-century framework for managing records. This Bulletin recognizes technology is rapidly changing and employees are using electronic messaging systems to conduct their work. We aim to create guidance agencies can use as the technologies evolve. The rapid evolution of technologies requires agencies to automate records management processes to the fullest extent possible.

A briefing on this Bulletin will be delivered at the August 19 BRIDG meeting. Further information about this meeting will be posted here soon. Please leave any questions and comments you may have.

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Updated RM for Legal Counsel Materials

In May, we presented the updated Records Management for Legal Consul briefing. Video from the two parts of this briefing have now been uploaded on  NARA’s You Tube Channel. A copy of the briefing slides is available as a .pdf.

This program utilizes CART services in place of sign language interpreters. To see the captions, click on the CC logo at the lower right part of the frame.

Below are the videos and the major points in each session.

Records Management for Legal Counsel Part I – Time: 1:25:00

Key points in Federal statutory and regulatory requirements that relate to agency records
Best practices in building a defensible records management program
Counsel’s role in an agency records management program
Challenges and legal issues associated with electronic records

Records Management for Legal Counsel Part II – Time: 1:13:00

Statutory updates from 2014
The role of legal counsel in an agency’s record keeping program
E-Record keeping and E-Discovery
Special Issues
Legal holds on records and the duty of agency counsel

Posted in General | Tagged ,

Release of NARA Bulletin 2015-01

NARA is pleased to announce that we have issued NARA Bulletin 2015-01, Determining the Appropriate Age for Scheduling the Legal Transfer of Permanent Records to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

This Bulletin clarifies the appropriate age at which permanent records, regardless of their media or format, should be transferred into NARA’s legal custody. Generally, records should not be scheduled for the legal transfer to NARA before 15 years for unclassified records and 25 years for classified records. This bulletin is associated with a new scheduling aid, Checklist for Proposing the Early Legal Transfer of Permanent Records. The checklist is a tool to help agencies and NARA staff determine if the records are appropriate for legal transfer before 15 years.

NARA Bulletins provide fundamental guidance to Federal agencies who must then determine the most appropriate ways to incorporate the guidance into their work.

A briefing on this Bulletin will be delivered at the August BRIDG meeting. Please leave any questions and comments you may have. Thank you.

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