Archiving RFP will come in out of the cold

Reynolds Cahoon

By year's end, the National Archives and Records Administration plans to take a big step toward helping agencies face their colossal electronic-records dilemma.

CIO Reynolds Cahoon told lawmakers earlier this month that NARA will release a request for proposals by January to build the Electronic Records Archives system.

The ERA solicitation's development follows meetings with more than 72 companies, which led NARA officials to realize that a long-term fix requires the creation of a digital archives, he told the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census.

NARA officials' new understanding comes from two areas, Cahoon said. First, the administration's e-government program has put a greater emphasis on records management by including it at all levels of the Federal Enterprise Architecture.

And second, NARA's acceptance of the Defense Department's Records Management Applications standards for software has given agencies more than 40 commercial products to choose from that adhere to a set of common criteria.

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