Federal agencies move to electronic records, what to expect in 2022


Agencies must meet new electronic registration targets in 2022, as part of a shift to a “paperless government”.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 2019 Memorandum for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies: Transition to Electronic Records urged agencies to move to a “paperless government” as the next step in their modernization journey.

The government faces multiple challenges with paper records, such as burdens on labor and the high costs to manually create, use and store non-electronic information. Citizens and taxpayers also face difficulties with the requirement to submit documents in person or by mail, as opposed to online portals. The move to electronic records can improve data discovery and storage, assignment delivery, and customer service.

“The President’s Management Agenda (PMA) established 14 Inter-Agency Priority Objectives (CAPs) and recognized that a powerful transformation would occur at the intersection of several objectives, citing the shift to e-government – or ‘paperless’ – as a prime example that touches multiple purposes, ”wrote former OMB acting director Russell Vought and US archivist at NARA David Ferriero in the memorandum.

The memo calls on all federal agencies to ensure that records are created, maintained and managed in electronic formats, with the appropriate metadata. Under this directive, agencies must also develop plans to shut down storage facilities managed by agencies for non-electronic records and transfer those records to NARA or commercial storage facilities.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a leading electronic document modernization agency. NOAA Senior Advisor Edward Horton said earlier this year that he was working to enable a seamless and friendly transition.

“We are also in the process of developing a guidance note for the whole organization, explaining the objective, the process, as well as the key dates and milestones, and we will outline the responsibilities where possible. “, did he declare.

NARA contributes to various digitization efforts. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) worked with NARA’s National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) to ensure that critical information is quickly digitized and shared with adjudicators.

” We proposed [the centralized mail portal] at the NPRC, and we analyze all of their incoming records so that the publicly reported inventory of 500,000 of those claims can be analyzed, ”Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Veterans Benefits Administration Ken Smith said in an interview. with GovernmentCIO Media & Research. allow them not only to allocate this training and make sure that we don’t respond to requests more than once, but also to keep track of what they have and allow them to respond to any other requests that ‘they already have and are digitized. “

What to expect in 2022

To guide agencies through the implementation process, the protocol provided annual targets to begin the transition to fully e-government. As the New Year approaches, here’s what OMB and NARA expect to see by December 31, 2022:

  • Federal agencies should manage all permanent records in an electronic format and with the appropriate metadata.
  • Federal agencies should manage all temporary documents in an electronic format or store them in business document storage facilities.
  • NARA will not accept transfers of records in non-electronic formats and will only accept electronic records with the appropriate metadata.

As agencies move to electronic records, many are experimenting with new technologies to sort information stored electronically. E-Discovery’s tools allow organizations to collect data from large volumes of electronic content across the enterprise to reduce the time and cost of human examination.

e-Discovery can help agencies manage public requests for certain information, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). These demands have only increased over the past 10 years.

DHS IT Program Director Jon Anders said managing electronic records can help his office comply with FOIA, congressional inquiries and basic IT operations to support community missions. intelligence.

By digitizing its records, DHS created a roadmap with defined goals for electronic management, including workforce training and an internal audit review process.

“Our vision is to become a leader in records management within DHS and to truly foster collaboration with our internal and external partners, promoting continuous improvement, innovative tools and technology,” said Anders.

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