On May 1st, NARA (National Association of Records Archives) posted their agency self -assessment report. This is where all of the federal agencies self-report how they are performing against the statutory and regulatory records management requirements. Interestingly, this self-assessment was conducted before the Obama administrations memorandum about records management.
Not surprising, is that agencies do not have adequate controls for most major activities, and are greatly lacking in understanding how to manage electronic records. They’re lacking training, and are overwhelmed by the volume of records.
Sadly, since the last survey, small amounts of progress were made, but the general consensus is that the recommendations from the 2010 response still hold.
This year there was an emphasis in the executive action recommendations to create a deeper partnership of records managers and IT, as well as the need for training. Moreover, there was an emphasis on having a holistic policy on records management, something that we’ve talked about a lot, and we’re addressing with our Unified Records Management framework.
Now, I didn’t count all of the answers, but there are obviously more agencies that were high risk than low risk, the pattern of scores was not promising. This is not great news given that new rules and regulations are being issued at the end of July 27 in the federal directive around the new rules for Records Management. It’s not hopeless; there are people out there who are industry experts to help.
What can a federal records manager do? You can take a look at where your agency ranked, and see if there is anything that you can do to get organized while you wait for the new directive.