August 26, 2008
MEMORANDUM TO FEDERAL AGENCY CONTACTS: End-of-Administration Consideration of RM Requirements for EGov Initiative and Inter-Agency Web Portals.
This memo directs agencies involved with managing or providing content for cross-functional or multi-agency web portals to definitively declare the individual agency taking ownership of the records management responsibilities of the portal and/or website. The responsible agency must notify NARA of the ownership decision by October 15, 2008. The notification should include a declaration that the agency agrees to the responsibility of implementing appropriate records management procedures. NARA has provided in the following paragraphs links to guidance that assists in the evaluation, determination, and execution of appropriate records management actions. Notifications should be addressed to this office, and sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the current Administration, significant web portals have been developed as a result of the E-Government Initiatives, lines of business and other interagency activities (e.g., science.gov). In response to questions that have been raised over records management responsibilities for web sites related to NARA's decision to not conduct an End-of-Administration web harvest (see http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/memos/nwm13-2008.html), it is important to reaffirm the responsibility to appropriately manage documentation generated by the operation of these web portals beyond the end of the Administration.
NARA's web records management guidance defines web-related documentation as either content or administrative (see http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/policy/managing-web-records-background.html#federal). It will be necessary to continue managing either of these types of records beyond the end of the current Administration, particularly the administrative records generated by the operation of the web portal program office. In order to do so, and per NARA's FAQ interpreting its web guidance for application to portals (see http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/initiatives/web-tech.html), it is essential for a single party to assume responsibility for appropriately scheduling web portal documentation records If the party responsible for scheduling determines that there is a business need to maintain any of the portal's content records, NARA has delineated potential methods of capture. (see Appendix B of http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/initiatives/web-content-records.html).
We also encourage you to consult your agency's web program manager and the Webcontent.gov web site for additional guidance and best practices in managing web content.
PAUL M. WESTER, JR.
Modern Records Programs