National Archive & Records Administration Reports on Government Record Keeping
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The Natonal Archive & Records Administration has released the first of three reports on Government record keeping. The reports overarching finding is that while "the quality and success of recordkeeping varies considerably across the agencies studied," federal record keeping is lax, and there are no consequences for Federal employees due to lax records management. The researchers attribute this laxity to the fact that (of the 11 agencies surveyed) there is no standard process for "managing, storing and disposing of electronic records and systems." The reports also notes that, "managing e-mail has become a major RM [Records Management] problem." The Agency is soliciting public comment on the report until January 31, 2002. The report, entitled "Current Recordkeeping and Records Use Within the Federal Government," describes its fourfold purpose:

  • to report its survey results of Federal employees’ views and perceptions regarding records creation, maintenance and use, and disposition within their agencies
  • to compare and contrast the perceptual information collected by the survey team with the factual records systems data collected by the other NARA teams and to identify agreements and disparities
  • to identify situational factors that help explain the observed variations in the quality of Federal agencies’ Records Management programs
  • to use the information collected by the various survey teams and the concept of situational factors, to provide NARA and the agencies with some effective intervention options for improving the quality of Federal Records Management

The survey and report are the combined effort of NARA staff and ouside researhcers/consultants.

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