Records management is the discipline of managing records to meet operational business needs, accountability requirements and community expectations. The proliferation of technology and changes occurring through development, modernization and enhancement of systems necessitates the ability for federal agencies to accurately maintain electronic records.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provide governance and oversight of federal records, including electronic records as codified in 36 CFR 1234.
Federal agencies are responsible for developing and implementing an agency-wide program for the management of all records created, received, maintained, used, or stored on electronic media; integrating electronic records management with other records and information resources management programs; assuring compliance with Government-wide policies, and various other tasks associated with effective management of the Nation’s electronic records.
Agencies aligned records management activities within specific programmatic areas with heavy emphasis on paper-based records.
Development, modernization and enhancement (DME) of E-Government activities have delivered technological changes that affect the creation and storage of electronic records, thus substantially altering electronic records management past practices. Unfortunately, many agencies did not embed electronic records management criteria in DME project plans and system designs, thus creating a situation where traditional records management programs do not adequately reflect today’s technological advances, distributed information environments, and dynamic use of data in a manner consistent with NARA, OMB, and other Government-wide policies.
Federal agencies are now tasked with aligning traditional records management practices with today’s E-Government advances while applying the relevant security controls to protect sensitive information.
Project Masters’ information engineers are multi-disciplined in federal records and information resources management. Our information engineers are able to assess current records management practices, identify gaps within agency and Government-wide policies, develop action plans to reengineer traditional records management practices consistent with actual business practices, and align agency’s records management practices with the enterprise architecture. In many cases this means working horizontally and diagonally across the agency to trace a record’s life-cycle, overlay the record’s life-cycle with relevant information technology systems’ life-cycles, compare management of the record with the relevant General Records Schedule (GRS); and implement approved policy and procedural changes to assure appropriate management of the record consistant with the GRS. If the record is unique and a GRS does not apply, Project Masters’ information engineers develop the appropriate records schedules for submission and approval by NARA. Once approved, Project Masters works with agency personnel to integrate the new records management procedures within current business practices.
Electronic records management practices include;
- Creation and use of text documents
- Management of electronic mail records
- Judicial use of electronic records
- Security of electronic records
- Selection and maintenance of electronic records storage media
- Retention and disposition of electronic records
- Destruction of electronic records
Project Masters’ information engineers frame the work to be performed into a project plan with a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), schedule, and milestones based on 30, 60, and 90 day increments. Our experience shows this provides agencies with the ability to monitor performance and achieve rapid improvement in records management programs through short-term incremental results.