White House Requires Agencies to Implement Electronic Recordkeeping Reply

E-Commerce News provided by BuckleySandler LLP for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

September 12, 2012

On August 24, the Office of Management and Budget and the Archivist of the United States issued a directive that requires all executive offices and federal agencies to eliminate paper and implement electronic recordkeeping for all records, regardless of security classification. The directive, which was required by a November 2011 Presidential Memorandum that outlined an effort to reform federal records management policies and practices, seeks to improve agencies’ compliance with federal records management statutes and regulations. The directive states that by the end of 2013, each agency must develop a plan to achieve electronic management of all permanent electronic records by the end of 2019. By the end of 2016, all agencies must manage email records in an electronic system that supports records management and litigation requirements. The National Archives and Records Administration will revise transfer guidance for permanent electronic records, issue new email management guidance, and support research in applied technologies to facilitate electronic records management. The Archivist will facilitate the initiative by leading a group of federal entities and private sector leaders in information technology, legal counsel, and records management to solve electronic records management challenges.

The White House orders change from paper to electronic records Reply

It’s good news for the future of electronic records and for the environment. Last Friday, August 24th, the Obama administration issued a Memo ordering Federal Agencies to “eliminate paper and use electronic recordkeeping” in handling classified and unclassified records. Agencies must also prove “compliance with Federal Records Management Statutes and Regulations.”

In an attempt to promote higher transparency, efficiency, and accountability, as well as reduce costs, Agencies have until 2019, or less than seven years to ensue the necessary technology and process transformations. Email records will need to be managed in a system that supports litigation requirements and has the ability to “identify, retrieve, and retain the records for as long as they are needed.” In addition, proper training needs to be provided to records management employees.

This is no easy task given not only the costly technology investment that needs to be undertaken but also the need to better understand the applicability and flexibility around electronic records laws, which would enable the ease of implementations by each Agency.

To learn more about how organizations and the public can get involved in improving electronic records, register for the upcoming Electronic Signature and Records Association Annual Conference on November 14 and 15 in Washington DC or contact us at esra@esignrecords.org.

Continue the conversation with us on Twitter @esignrecords.org.

By Vitoriana Morais, ESRA Communications Director