Records Managers

NWM 16.2010

April 20, 2010

MEMORANDUM TO FEDERAL AGENCY RECORDS CONTACTS: Annual NARA Records Management Self-Assessment

I am pleased to announce the release of NARA’s first annual Records Management Self-Assessment report for FY 2009. The report is now available on the NARA web site at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/resources/self-assessment.html.

In September 2009, NARA notified all Federal agencies that they were required to complete a self-assessment of their records management programs to determine how effective they are in meeting their statutory and regulatory requirements for records management.The self-assessment provides information about agencies’ compliance with Federal records management regulations in 36 CFR Chapter XII, Subchapter B.The self-assessment questions derive from these regulations and other related NARA guidance.  Each year we cover general records management issues and a special topic; the focus in FY 2009 was on e-mail management.

Nearly 90% of Federal agencies responded to the self-assessment. While we are encouraged by the high response rate, there is cause for concern in the findings. We found that 79% of agencies are at either a High (36%) or Moderate (43%) level of risk in their records management programs as a result of non-compliance with records management requirements. For e-mail management and electronic records management in particular, the findings indicate that Federal agencies are falling short in carrying out their records management responsibilities. As follow up to this report, NARA will work with Congress, OMB, and Federal agencies to address these concerns and improve records management performance across the Government.

As we move on to the 2010 Records Management Self-Assessment, which will begin in May, I hope that you will review this report and use it as a tool to evaluate your records management program and make improvements where needed.

If you have any questions about the self-assessment process or the results, please contact your appraiser who can provide any additional information you might need.If you do not know who your assigned appraiser is, you will find a list of the appraisal and scheduling work group and regional contacts on the NARA website at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/appraisal/.

PAUL M. WESTER, JR.
Director
Modern Records Programs

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