NARA Report Finds Federal Agency Records At Risk

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently announced the release of the 2010 Records Management Self-Assessment Report. The report indicate that 95 percent of those Federal agencies that responded are at high to moderate risk of compromising the integrity, authenticity, and reliability of their records.

These agencies risk improper management and disposition of records or, in some cases, they are saving their records but not taking the necessary steps to ensure that they can be retrieved, read, or interpreted.

In May 2010, NARA issued the mandatory annual records management self-assessment (RMSA) to Federal agencies. This followed the pilot self-assessment that was completed in 2009. The goal of the self-assessment is to determine whether Federal agencies are compliant with statutory and regulatory records management requirements. Of the 270 agencies that received the self-assessment, 93 percent (251) responded.

“Non-compliant records management undermines the ability of Federal agencies to efficiently conduct their business; undermines Government accountability and citizen’s rights and interests; and jeopardizes the historical record,” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. “This is unacceptable to the National Archives as the institution charged with safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government. It is also unacceptable to everyone interested in effective records management, from Federal Records Officers, to researchers, and to members of the public.”

The report may be downloaded from NARA’s website at: http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/pdf/rm-self-assessmemt.pdf

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