December 31, 2019 is the date, initially set in 2016, when agencies must manage all permanent records electronically with a goal of sending them to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in an electronic format. Are we ready? The Federal News Network brought this to our attention in their article, “NARA building in, not bolting on e-records standards.”

According to Courtney Anderson, senior electronic records policy analyst at NARA, “The goal of this initiative [FERMI] is to help agencies more easily obtain electronic records management services and solutions. We have been working on this since October 2015 and what we did when we started this is asked agencies what they need from us. What we heard a lot of is NARA does a good job of telling agencies what they need to do through our policies and guidance, but they need more help with the how, the practical tools for managing their electronic records.”

NARA’s efforts in developing e-records standards have resulted in agencies having fewer challenges to manage financial, human resources or other administrative records.

Melody K. Smith

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