The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) announced on October 15 the beginning of a two-month Record Management Self-Assessment (RMSA) reporting period for federal agencies.
Each year, federal agencies are required to conduct and submit an RMSA to NARA to help NARA determine whether federal agencies are compliant with statutory and regulatory records management requirements. The last self-assessment, conducted for fiscal year 2012, revealed positive trends for improving recordkeeping by federal agencies.
“The number of agencies that scored in the Low Risk category continues to rise,” noted NARA about the 2012 results on its website. “Many agency records management staff now participate in the design and development of electronic systems and work collaboratively with other units on issues related to electronic records.”
The 2012 report also revealed a number of shortcomings that NARA hopes will show improvement in the 2014 report. For example, the 2012 report found that many agencies lacked a clear understanding of what constitutes internal controls, and there was a lack of senior management support, resources, and funding for agency records management programs.
This year, in addition to completing the RMSA survey by December 15, agencies are being asked, as part of the Senior Agency Official annual report, to report on progress toward meeting the goals and objectives set in the Managing Government Records Directive. The directive was issued by NARA and the Office of Management and Budget in August 2012 as a means to implement a presidential memorandum issued in November 2011 that began an executive branch-wide effort to reform records management policies and practices.
The RMSA questionnaire includes 119 questions covering sections on program activities, oversight and compliance, records disposition, controls for electronic records, compliance with the Managing Government Records Directive, and agency demographics.