Records Managers

NARA Bulletin 2008-07

September 10, 2008

TO: Heads of Federal agencies

SUBJECT:Endorsement of DoD Electronic Records Management Software Applications Design Criteria Standard, version 3

EXPIRATION DATE:September 30, 2011

1. What is the purpose of this bulletin?

This bulletin advises agencies that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) endorses version 3 of the Department of Defense (DoD) Electronic Records Management Software Application (RMA) Design Criteria Standard (DoD 5015.2-STD, April 2007) for use by all Federal agencies. This bulletin also advises agencies that new records transfer requirements in DoD 5015.2-STD version 3 comply with NARA's instructions for transferring permanent electronic records to NARA. The NARA endorsement of version 3 of the standard will remain in effect after the expiration date of this bulletin, until superseded or canceled by a future NARA Bulletin.

2. What is the background to this guidance?

In April 2007, DoD issued 5015.2-STD version 3 incorporating requirements for RMAs to export electronic records and directly transfer them to NARA. Previously, NARA endorsed DoD 5015.2-STD, versions 1 and 2 for use by all Federal agencies. NARA also reviewed and endorsed the software certification testing process used by DoD's Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) to certify records management applications (RMAs).

3. What does this NARA endorsement mean?

We recommend that agencies use the DoD standard and the DoD-certified products as a baseline when selecting an RMA to manage the agency's electronic records. NARA has evaluated the standard and has determined that products certified to version 3 comply with the relevant provisions of the Federal Records Act and NARA regulations with respect to the creation, maintenance and use, disposition of Federal records, and the transfer of electronic records to NARA.

4. Does NARA's endorsement of version 3 mean that agencies must upgrade their RMA software?

NARA's endorsement of version 3 does not require agencies to upgrade their existing RMA software. Agencies should evaluate version 3, in the context of their current business environment, to determine if the additional requirements provide benefits to agency programs. Our endorsement approves the current DoD standard as one possible approach to managing electronic records.

5. How are agencies using DoD 5015.2-STD certified records management application(s) for electronic records management?

Following are examples of how agencies are using RMAs to facilitate electronic records management:

a. Managing records from desktop applications where the electronic version of the record will be the recordkeeping copy.

b. Maintaining electronic records in a format suitable for recordkeeping purposes.

c. When automating a business process that necessitates the records to be collected, organized, and categorized to facilitate their retrieval, use, disposition, and preservation, including records generated in e-Government processes, if records management capabilities have not otherwise been built into the design of the system.

6. Is further information available?

a. Careful planning and implementation is critical to the success of installing an RMA. The Toolkit for Managing Electronic Records provides guidance resources from NARA and other organizations that can assist agencies in planning, procuring, developing and implementing RMAs. The Toolkit is available on the NARA web site at Specific examples of RMA-related resources in the Toolkit include:

  • Recommended Practice: Developing and Implementing an Enterprise-wide Electronic Records Management (ERM) Proof of Concept Pilot at

  • Recommended Practice: Evaluating Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Electronic Records Management (ERM) Applications at

  • A Survey Of Federal Agency Records Management Applications (RMAs) at

  • NARA's Lifecycle Management Division provides assistance and advice to agency records officers of agencies headquartered in the Washington, DC, area and the Records Management staff in NARA's regional offices provides assistance and advice to agency records officers of agencies headquartered in the field. Your agency's records officer may contact the NARA appraiser or records analyst with whom your agency normally works for support in carrying out this bulletin. A list of the appraisal and scheduling work group and regional contacts is posted on the NARA web site at

  • The Records Management staff in NARA's regional offices provides assistance to agency records officers across the country. A complete list of NARA regional facilities may be found at

  • More information on the DoD 5015.2-STD and certification process are available at

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