A group of not-for-profit and think tank organizations, led by ARMA International, announced on January 23 the establishment of a coalition to support the federal government’s efforts to modernize its records management infrastructure and promote private sector information governance best practices.
The group calls itself the Coalition for Public Sector Information Governance Leadership. According to Liz Icenogle, ARMA’s director of government affairs, the coalition will be looking for ways to share education and training resources with senior agency officials and federal records management professionals as they work to comply with the President’s 2011 Memorandum on Managing Government Records.
That memorandum, and the subsequent implementing directive from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), initiated a multi-year process for creating a more efficient and cost effective framework for managing government records.
In particular, the implementing directive requires federal agencies to manage both permanent and temporary e-mail records in an electronically accessible format by the end of 2016; and by the end of 2019 to preserve all of the government's permanent electronic records created after that date in a digital format for transfer to NARA.
The coalition will also seek to provide a forum for the practitioners to learn more about the private-sector best practices from industry leaders. Future efforts, they say, may also involve education and training of state and local professionals working on public sector information governance challenges.
“With the support of the private sector, we believe that federal agencies will be better able to meet their legal and regulatory responsibilities with regard to managing information,” Icenogle said. “Beyond just facilitating a transition to a digital government, we want to increase awareness about the benefits of creating an information governance mindset and standards of conduct with respect to records and information management policies and procedures.”
In addition to ARMA International, the coalition’s members include the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), the Information Governance Initiative (IGI), the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), and Professional Records and Information Services Management (PRISM International).
"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, IGI’s Co-Chair. “We thank ARMA International for organizing the Coalition and look forward to actively participating.”
The coalition’s launch, which was reported in Government Executive and the Federal Times, was positively received by NARA, which is tasked with developing federal government-wide records management policies and procedures.
“Since the issuance of the Managing Government Records Directive in August of 2012, we have consistently reached out to the private sector for input and support,” said Paul Wester, NARA’s chief records officer, in a statement to Government Executive. “With the recent enactment of the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014 calling on all agencies to transfer permanent electronic records to NARA in electronic form to the greatest extent possible, we will need continued assistance from nongovernmental organizations like those in this coalition.”