Director: ERA on track

The $500 million Electronic Records Archives project remains on track, program director Kenneth Thibodeau said last week.

Officials for the National Archives and Records Administration still expect to choose an ERA team in August, even though Harris' progress was delayed by last fall's hurricanes that hit Florida, where the company's Government Communications Systems Division facilities are located. A Harris-led team is competing with a group led by Lockheed Martin for the ERA project.

NARA officials have already completed their baseline review of the proposals, Thibodeau said.

"We're in a horse race, and we're happy with the deliverables we've been getting," he said, speaking Jan. 13 during a joint meeting of the National Capitol Chapter of the Association for Information and Image Management International and the Association of Information Management Professionals. "We're going to have a tough call. Both teams came out alive."

The presentation in Virginia, entitled "Where in the World is ERA?" tracked the progress of the electronic records project.

Officials are reviewing the first of the major system proposals, which are the teams' translations of NARA requirements into their systems' specifications. Officials will then evaluate ERA system design reviews.

ERA is in the middle of its first contract year. NARA officials expect to have an operational archive in place by 2007 based on one of the two teams' designs.

ERA will be NARA's nationwide system for managing records and donated materials in federal records centers, national archives and presidential libraries. Although the program includes physical facilities, Thibodeau displayed a cyberspace map, depicted by Lumeta, that looked like a supernova. In cyberspace, the ERA will reside "anywhere it's needed

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