April 19, 2010
National Archives Reports on Federal Agency Records Management Programs
Results of 2009 Agency Self-Assessments Transmitted to Congress
Washington, DC…The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) transmitted to Congress today a report entitled: “Records Management Self-Assessment 2009: An Assessment of Records Management Programs in the Federal Government.” View the report.
In September 2009, NARA issued a mandatory records management self-assessment to 245 Federal cabinet-level agencies and their components, and independent agencies. The goal of this initial self-assessment was to gather data to determine how effective Federal agencies are in meeting the statutory and regulatory requirements for records management. The National Archives report on the results of the self-assessment has been transmitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and to the Oversight and Appropriations committees in both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate.
Nearly 90% of Federal agencies responded to the self-assessment. The National Archives found that 79% of agencies are at either a High (36%) or Moderate (43%) risk of improper destruction of records. These findings indicate that Federal agencies are falling short in carrying out their records management responsibilities, particularly regarding the exponential use and growth of electronic records. The National Archives will work with Congress, OMB, and Federal agencies to address these concerns and improve records management performance across the Federal Government.
Commenting on the report, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero said, “Today, the Federal Government does not consistently manage its records and information – particularly its electronic records – well enough to meet business needs, protect rights or assure accountability, and ensure the continued preservation and access of permanently valuable records. The long-term success of the Open Government initiative - and the ability of the National Archives to safeguard and ensure access to the records of our government - hinges on the ability of each Federal agency to effectively manage its records. As Archivist of the United States, this level of risk is of great concern to me, and the National Archives will take action with Federal agencies to address this unacceptable risk.”
NARA has the authority to inspect the records management programs and practices of Federal agencies under 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906. NARA evaluates agencies for compliance with requirements stated in 44 U.S.C. Chapters 31 and 33 and the regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) – specifically Subchapter B – Records Management of 36 CFR Chapter XII.
# # #
For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.