Federal Manager's Daily Report

Federal officials involved in compliance with a directive to submit electronic records to the National Archives and Records Administration are highly confident that the requirements will be met on time even though only limited progress has been documented, a study has found.

The report, based on a survey of 150 decision makers in a poll, found that only 3 percent viewed their agency’s progress as poor or very poor in meeting requirements for electronic records management under OMB memo M-12-18, while 93 percent said they are very confident or somewhat confident.

However, only 33 percent transferred all eligible records to NARA in 2018, it found, in line with NARA’s annual report covering 2017 that found only 22 percent of agencies transferred eligible electronic records to NARA in that year. Most commonly cited barriers include excessive numbers of records, lack of staff and other resources and overall difficulty in management the work, while lack of appropriate oversight, mismanagement and compliance/data concerns also were mentioned.

The report said the efforts further are hampered by an “overreliance on manual processes” for a digital project including reliance on end users rather than automation to classify records; and by project managers lacking knowledge and oversight of information and business systems across the enterprise. Also, nine-tenths of agencies are using proprietary information systems to create, store and transfer information, which “may indicate a lack of modernization and difficulty in establishing standard processes for records disposition.”

The study was conducted by AvePoint Public Sector, a provider of information services.