OMB Directs Agencies to Make All Records Electronic

A new memo from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), issued June 28, directs agencies to make all Federal records electronic by the end of 2022, and pushes them to close paper storage facilities in support of “the transition to a fully electronic government.”

In addition, the memo requires agencies to manage all permanent electronic records electronically, for eventual transfer to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), by the end of 2019, similar to existing requirements for email records. By 2022, agencies will need to manage all permanent records electronically and maintain proper metadata to transfer to NARA.

“Agencies are encouraged to consider cost-effective opportunities to transition related business processes to an electronic environment in support of the [President’s Management Agenda] and Reform Plan,” the memo states.

To accelerate the move away from analog records, agencies will need to apply for exemptions to keep analog records, and those without exemptions will need to close records storage facilities in favor of commercial records storage facilities.

Implementing the move will be NARA and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). NARA will revise regulations and guidance by 2020 to support electronic recordkeeping, and will reject transfers in analog formats by 2022, while OPM will update position classifications for archivists and records management jobs to include electronic records as a needed skill.

At the agency level, each agency will need to designate a senior agency official for records management at the assistant secretary level or higher, designate an agency records officer, and train records management personnel.

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