Letter to the editor

Your editorial on e-records management in the Aug. 26 issue ["Head back to drawing board"] does not clearly communicate the new directions that the National Archives and Records Administration is considering in our draft proposal for a redesign of federal records management.

Our intent is for NARA to be a strong advocate for records management and be much more proactive in working with agencies in managing federal information. We already are doing this through our work in the Office of Management and Budget's e-government initiatives, CIO Council sponsored committees and briefings with high-level government staff and agency heads.

Records management is critically important and necessary to the business needs of agencies and to the rights and interests of the government and the public, and we will continue to make that point at every opportunity.

Equally important, we intend to use our statutory responsibilities for oversight to expand our inspections and evaluations of agency records management practices and to report the results of these evaluations to OMB and Congress. We also will recognize and commend good records management practices and help agencies to correct problems that we identify.

Our policies and procedures must add value to agency business processes to ensure that records are managed effectively for as long as they are needed, and that records of continuing value are preserved and made available for future generations. Thank you for recognizing the importance of these issues in Federal Computer Week.

Lewis Bellardo
Deputy archivist of the United States

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