Electronic Records Archive to debut in September

The first release of the National Archives and Records Administration's electronic archiving system will come in September, said NARA’s chief information officer, Martha Morphy.

Development of the Electronic Records Archive, a project that aims to collect and preserve government records in electronic format, could be supported by the Bush administration's proposed increase in funds for the project in fiscal 2008. The administration wants $58 million invested in ERA, which is $12 million more than the estimated fiscal 2007 funding.

“Right now we're in the development phase,” Morphy said. The goal for the first release would be to begin transferring and processing information directly from agencies to ERA, she said. Currently, four agencies submit information to NARA’s electronic archiving: the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Naval Oceanographic Office and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. More agencies could be added to the program this year.

Morphy also said that the ERA development team hopes to be able to make the archive searchable, increase storage and processing power, and create a version of the system that would handle classified data.

This second system would primarily be developed to preserve e-mail messages, documents and Web pages of the Bush administration, specifically for the future George W. Bush Presidential Library. The proposed budget stipulates that $38 million of the funds could be used until September 2009 for archiving the administration's information.

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