The Inadequacies Highlighted by NARA Records Management Survey

NARA is the National Archives and Records Administration, and they are in charge of all records for all federally associated agencies. The data presented by the NARA records management division shows that a majority of government agencies need more effective data and record archiving methods and that they are at average to high risk of lacking effectively archived data. The survey conducted asked about 270 agencies to fill out a form about their records management policies, and from this only 93% of agencies responded.

In some cases, the risk of not having proper archiving methods was high according to the results of the NARA records management division survey. The departments standing lowest in the survey include Transport, Education, Justice and Agriculture. Most (90%) agencies presented at least a moderate risk of inadequate recordkeeping with scores below 90.

The recordkeeping policies of most agencies failed when it came to electronic data. Most agencies do not have a compliant electronic record keeping system and most of the agencies cannot, or do not, use this system to capture email messages because these messages are incompatible with the record keeping systems they are currently using. NARA insists on electronic record keeping and believes that printing and filing of email messages is an inadequate retention method. When it comes to making records easily accessible to NARA and other regulating organizations, a majority of federal departments believe that the storage of all electronic data on a computer is as good as archival software.

Often records management personnel are not consulted while making data archiving plans, which is a matter concern. Neither can the record management staff recommend the most efficient way of archiving records, nor do they have a say in the software to be used for archiving and record saving process. The inefficient system is a result of leaving such decisions to personnel who have nothing to do with the actual process of…

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