Committee to suggest ways to easier records management

An interagency working group has identified four barriers that are keeping agencies from managing records effectively.

Nancy Allard, the National Archives and Records Administration’s project manager, said the E-Records working group of the Interagency Committee on Government Information later this week will issue a report detailing the problems agencies are having in managing records and the recommendations the committee will make to the Office of Management and Budget and the United States Archivist.

“Managing records is an immense problem in government,” Allard said. “It affects everyone and we have to figure out how to make sure the records are accessible for at least 20 years if not longer.”

The two biggest challenges agencies face are the inability of legacy systems to manage records and designing RM processes on the front end for new systems, she said.

Allard last week discussed records management and the work of the ICGI at a breakfast sponsored by the Bethesda, Md., chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association in Bethesda.

The working group found barriers to effective records management include:

  • Agencies do not recognize that records management helps their business processes.


  • Agencies do not see RM as a critical part of their mission.


  • Managers do not support records management by providing tools and training.


  • Agencies do not integrate IT and records management well.


The working group held seven meetings with more than 200 public and private sector employees, including CIOs, records managers, agency lawyers and inspector general staff members to identify the barriers, Allard said.

The E-Records group also is developing a framework to create a records management tool kit for agencies to manage records better.

Allard said by September the full committee will send OMB and the Archivist recommendations on the best ways to provide assistance to agencies.

“We want to figure out what the tool kit should include, such as guidance on Web records or a proposal to build records management into new systems,” Allard said.

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