Records group readies report

A working group formed to recommend policies for managing electronic records expects to finish its initial report in a few months and plans to develop a tool box next year to help agencies tackle archiving.

The first objective of the Electronic Records Policy Working Group, formed under the E-Government Act of 2002, was to identify barriers to effective management of electronic records. Officials have held several targeting meetings and sought comments through the Federal Register. They will complete the first report by about mid-September, said Michael Kurtz, assistant archivist of the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of Records Management.

The working group, part of the Interagency Committee on Government Information, is charged with developing recommendations for the Office of Management and Budget and NARA related to electronic records management. The group has a two-year duty, the first year dedicated to identifying barriers and developing a work plan, Kurtz said, speaking May 12 at the Records Administration Conference in Washington, D.C.

The first report will also include the framework for a toolbox of training, best practices and policies for effective electronic records management. After the report is finished, it will be released for agency review and comment before being sent to ICGI.

Next year, the group will develop tools, including templates to follow when transferring electronic records to other agencies, and a training program for records management officials, Kurtz said.

"In all of these outreach sessions, [we heard] the need for training, for records management to be seen as essential," he said. "Many of these [issues] can at least partially be addressed by training."

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