Access and Feeds

Records Management: NARA Moves Closer towards All-electronic Records Management

By Dick Weisinger

The US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is moving the federal government closer to using a centralized electronic records archive (ERA) system.

NARA’s ERA 2.0 is their next-generation cloud-based archival system. The ERA Digital Object Repository (DOR) will maintain object versioning, auditing, and reporting. After the end of 2022, NARA will no longer accept physical records from agencies and agencies will also no longer be able to maintain their own separate records archival systems.

Laurence Brewer, NARA’s Chief Records Officer, said that “it is going to be an improvement on how agencies interact with the National Archives, to make sure that they can transfer records and do it in a secure way, and to ensure that the information is protected.”

The software that composes the ERA 2.0 system is designed to be modular. NARA is collaborating with the General Services Administration (GSA) on the Federal Electronic Records Modernization Initiative (FERMI) to create an array of digitization tools that will for the base for the system.

Sheena Burrell, deputy CIO at NARA, said that “it’s vital for NARA, for the federal IT infrastructure, to modernize and accommodate that increase. As agencies adopt Cloud Smart initiatives, it’s also imperative that we’re able to accommodate whatever cloud strategy that they have when they’re storing their records. The connection between NARA’s cloud and other agencies’ clouds will make the records more accessible without delays.”

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