NARA releases draft requirements for electronic records project

The National Archives and Records Administration last week took the first step toward completing its mammoth Electronic Records Archives project, releasing a draft requirements plan.

To get comments from industry and federal users, NARA has posted the draft plan on and listed it in the Federal Register, said Dan Jansen, a NARA project manager for ERA.

'We want to give industry as much information as early as we can so they can prepare to bid on the procurement,' Jansen said. 'We also want to touch the potential users of the new system and have then tell us how comprehensive the requirements are from their point of view.'

NARA plans to release a draft request for proposals by the end of June and a final RFP later this year, he said.

The draft requirements conform to the broad requirements NARA wants to accomplish by creating the new system. It does not detail specific hardware or software nor does it prescribe any type of application to solve the problem of archiving electronic documents, Jansen said.

NARA will use the comments as well as those from its six user and industry groups to put together the final RFP, he said. The agency expects to pare the initial bids to a pair of vendors that will compete in a second-round competition. NARA will ask both vendors to write specifications for the system and then design a system that takes into account authenticity, verification and longevity of electronic records, Jansen said.

Comments on the draft requirements are due May 14. NARA has posted them online.

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