DHS plans electronic records management system

DHS seeks to improve document storage, retrieval

The Homeland Security Department plans to deploy a new departmentwide enterprise records management system to improve its ability to store, retrieve and archive electronic documents, DHS’ top management official said today.

Elaine Duke, DHS’ undersecretary for management, said the new system officials hope to start under a pilot program in fiscal 2010 would allow the department to manage its records more efficiently and improve searchability. DHS doesn’t have a departmentwide system that allows electronic records to be searched and archived, she said in a speech today at the Law Enforcement IT Day sponsored by AFCEA International's Bethesda Chapter.

“Under the enterprise records management system, what we are looking for is a solution to allow us to better archive and then retrieve as appropriate, for accountability and transparency, records that are created within the department,” Duke said.

In an interview after her speech, Duke said President Barack Obama had requested about $3 million for the pilot program in his fiscal 2010 budget. She also said the program would be run through DHS’ chief administrative office.

Duke said the new system would let employees store records from their desktop PCs and make it easier to delete them according to record schedules.

During her speech, Duke described other programs that demonstrate the department's commitment to further integration.

“Under [Secretary Janet Napolitano], we are seeing a very strong push to one DHS,” she said. “I think the president’s budget reflects a real commitment to moving the department toward a more integrated department.”

In addition to the planned records system, other management efforts that Duke mentioned were:

  • Consolidating DHS’ many Washington-area offices into a new headquarters and several other buildings.
  • Expanding the department’s acquisition workforce through an internship program.
  • Deploying interoperable biometric identity cards to DHS employees as required by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12.
  • Reviewing the department’s business processes and internal controls to improve financial management.
  • Continuing to consolidate DHS’ data centers and deploy the department's OneNet information technology integration project.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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