White House Reform Plan Incorporates NARA Recommendations

On June 21, the White House published “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” endorsing goals in the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to stop accepting paper records by the end of 2022, and to achieve fully electronic records management and public access across the federal government.

David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States (AOTUS), writes in his blog (AOTUS Blog):  “The result is a reform plan that complements our Strategic Plan, puts records management at the forefront of other agencies’ reform agendas, and will help drive greater efficiency and effectiveness while making the Federal government more responsive to the American people.”

As incorporated by the White House, the recommended “Transition to Digital Government” seeks to reduce the costs and inefficiencies of paper-based records management and public-access services by:

  • Ending NARA’s acceptance of paper records by December 31, 2022, to force agency resources into implementing the fully electronic environment;
  • Coordinating between NARA and executive-branch agencies to develop guidance, technical assistance, and services required for the digital transition;
  • Engaging the General Services Administration (GSA) to support implementation by connecting agencies with commercial digitization services available in the private sector.

In addition to input from NARA, the White House reform plan supports expanding the implementation of e-records management processes begun by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The PIDB looks forward to any next steps that NARA must take to implement digital solutions affirmed by the White House reform plan, as costs and inefficiencies mount, and outmoded analog systems struggle with the unrelenting deluge of electronic records at every executive-branch agency.

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