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IGI JOINS OTHER INDUSTRY LEADERS TO ADVANCE PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION GOVERNANCE

The IGI is proud to announce that they have joined with leading non-profit and industry think tank organizations to form the new Coalition for Public Sector Information Governance Leadership. The Coalition will work to support the federal government’s efforts to modernize its records management infrastructure and implement information governance (IG) practices that have proven effective in the private sector.

Federal agencies are currently working to implement the initiatives outlined in the President's 2011 Managing Government Records Memorandum and the 2012 implementing directive issued jointly by NARA and OMB. By the end of 2016, agencies must manage both permanent and temporary e-mail records in an electronically accessible format. Starting in 2019, agencies must preserve all of the government's permanent electronic records in a digital format for transfer to NARA. These efforts are important to helping the federal government function more efficiently and to protect the privacy of the government’s constituency. The IGI is proud support for these efforts.

Joining the IGI in the coalition are the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), ARMA International, the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), and Professional Records and Information Services Management (PRISM International). Together, the coalition will work to together to provide a strong resource for records management and IG efforts in the federal government.

"The Information Governance Initiative enthusiastically supports the mission of the Coalition, which includes assisting the National Archives and federal agencies in their efforts to transform federal recordkeeping practices in the digital age,” said Jason R. Baron, Co-Chair, IGI. “We thank ARMA International for organizing the Coalition and look forward to actively participating.”

The coalition will support the federal government in a variety of ways.

  • Private sector best practices that can be applied to the challenging world of the public sector, allowing federal agencies to leverage the lessons hard won by private sector IG professionals.
  • Forums to allow IG professionals in the federal government to work together to discuss what has worked, and what hasn’t, in their organizations.
  • Training for IG professionals to help them navigate their way to full compliance with the federal directives.

The IGI is proud to be part of this effort to help IG efforts in the federal government. There is a lot of potential for both the private and public sector to learn from each other and the formation of the coalition is a strong step in creating a more universal approach to IG.

 

JASON R. BARON DISCUSSES NEW RECORDKEEPING LAW THAT UPDATES HOW THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HANDLES ITS RECORDS

In a recent article published by ARMA International, Jason R. Baron (IGI Co-Chair) discusses the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014 which were recently signed into law by President Obama. According to Jason, the law has “provisions aimed at modernizing and improving the recordkeeping and information management practices at federal departments and agencies.”

Among the provisions included in the new law are an update to the federal definition of a “record;” vesting the U.S. Archivist with the authority to make binding determinations on what constitutes a record; and the codification and statutory authorization for aspects of the Archivist’s 2012 Managing Government Records Directive. The IGI previously provided a public comment on the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) draft automated Electronic Records Management (ERM) report and plan under that latter directive.

Click here to read Jason’s article in full.

 

JASON R. BARON HONORED FOR OUTSTANDING PUBLIC SERVICE

The IGI is excited to announce that Jason R. Baron (IGI Co-Chair) is being honored for his achievements and contributions in the public service. He is the most recent recipient of the D.C. Chapter of the Federal Bar Association's Justice Tom C. Clark Award for Outstanding Government Lawyer. Baron’s list of achievements is long and includes, most recently, service as the Director of Litigation for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). To read more about Baron’s tremendous contributions, click here.

Excerpt:

“Jason’s extraordinary record of 33 years of distinguished federal service, including his role in landmark litigation involving White House e-mail, and most recently his leadership in advancing the Obama Administration’s trailblazing initiatives in records and information management, are nothing short of remarkable,” said Bennett B. Borden, a partner in the firm’s Commercial Litigation Section and Co-Chair of the firm’s Information Governance and eDiscovery Group.

Thank you, Jason, for your service and congratulations for an honor well deserved!

 

THE IGI HAS COMMENTED ON NARA’S DRAFT AUTOMATED ERM REPORT AND PLAN

The Information Governance Initiative has prepared and submitted a public comment on the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) draft automated Electronic Records Management (ERM) report and plan. Under the Section A3.1 of the Managing Government Records Directive which requires federal agencies to “manage all permanent electronic records in an electronic format,” NARA is to develop a plan outlining suitable options for automating ERM to reduce the burden associated with it. NARA requested comments on its draft report and plan. Click here for more details.

Given the importance of NARA’s efforts to preserve our nation’s historical record and provide access to that record, as well as IGI’s commitment to public advocacy for information governance, we decided to provide comments.

We believe NARA has taken a significant step forward in fulfilling Goal A3.1 through issuance of the Draft Plan dated March 10, 2014. First, NARA has recognized that the "processes and tools that agencies currently use to manage electronic records are not adequate to support consistent compliance with the Federal Records Act." Second, NARA has further recognized that "most agencies are relying on individual staff members to capture and categorize their electronic records, if they are managing electronic records at all. The document goes on to note that "[e]nd users find it burdensome to manage their electronic records if that means touching each file and making a separate recordkeeping decision about each one." Third, NARA recognizes that the availability of records management application software on the market "has not led to universal use of these tools in agencies even for types of records that RMAs can manage; the problem of achieving consistent management of all agency electronic records remains unsolved in spite of this technology." Fourth, NARA has identified the fact that "[p ]romising tools for automation already exist," and that "[t]he advanced search space, including machine learning or predictive coding as used in eDiscovery, is one of several promising areas for records management exploration."

Each of the four points listed above represent an enlightened view of the challenges and opportunities present at the current time to optimal recordkeeping in the public sector space, and in our view, the Draft Plan therefore represents a signal achievement, indicating that much progress has been made in terms of the public policy discussion since issuance of the President's 2011 Memorandum and the 2012 Directive itself.

- Excerpt from the Information Governance Initiative’s Comment on NARA’s Draft Automated ERM Report and Plan

The IGI also commented on the Draft Plan’s failure to adequately take into account the budgetary timelines faced by agencies facing deadlines for implementation, and urged NARA to revisit its timeline and accelerate it due to the urgent need for agencies to act. The IGI also advocated for more transparency in the commenting process to foster open dialogue about the various proposals. In addition, IGI recommended that more emphasis be placed on requesting views from the private sector, so that the government can benefit from private industry’s experience to more effectively tackle issues at the intersection of technology and public policy.

For a complete listing of IGI’s remarks, click here to view IGI’s comment drafted by Jason R. Baron (IGI Co-Chair).

 

IGI ENCOURAGES COMMENTS ON NARA’S AUTOMATED ERM REPORT AND PLAN

The Information Governance Initiative is drafting a public comment on the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) draft automated Electronic Records Management (ERM) report and plan.

By 2019, the Managing Government Records Directive requires federal agencies to “manage all permanent electronic records in an electronic format.” Click here to view the directive. As part of that directive, under Section A3.1, NARA is required to “[i]nvestigate and stimulate applied research in automated technologies to reduce the burden of records management responsibilities” and develop a plan outlining suitable options for automating ERM. NARA has prepared a draft report outlining the goals of the project, its activities to date, and options it is considering for ERM. It has also outlined a draft plan for implementation.

NARA has requested comments from experts both within and outside the federal government to evaluate and build out their current plan. The experience of those within the IGI community positions our members to offer precisely the insights and guidance necessary to assist NARA in a successful development and implementation of an automated ERM plan. IGI therefore encourages our members to review NARA’s call for comments and respond directly to NARA. The request for comment and draft report and plan can be found hereComments are due by April 25, 2014.

 

JASON R. BARON INTERVIEWED IN THE ARTICLE: AGENCIES GOING ‘CLOUD FIRST’ FACE A RECORDS RIDDLE

IGI Co-Chair, Jason R. Baron, was interviewed by Richard Walker in the recent article, “Agencies Going ‘Cloud First’ Face a Records Riddle,” published at InformationWeek Government. Click here to read the article.

According to Baron, federal agencies attempting to comply with the Obama Administration’s directive to shift to cloud computing would be well-advised to address their electronic recordkeeping obligations upfront or risk failing to meet key and impending e-recordkeeping deadlines. The "Capstone” approach, introduced by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in August of last year, one option for addressing these concerns, is discussed.

Excerpt:

Agencies that aren't spending enough time on electronic records requirements at the beginning of the process of migrating to the cloud for email may have difficulty meeting these deadlines, said Baron.

"Otherwise you're building what amounts to a slow-motion train wreck, where you've got this cloud and you've got a million emails somewhere in there and that's all very good. But at the end of the day, when the agency wants [to forward email records] to NARA, it may not have deleted any email or differentiated between what's permanent and what's temporary. You need to think about these issues on the front end."