NARA submits Records Management Profile

The National Archives and Records Administration has finished its draft of the Records Management Profile and submitted the 70-page document to the CIO Council for possible inclusion in the Federal Enterprise Architecture framework.

Mark Giguere, information technology planning and policy lead for NARA's Office of Records Service, said records management, like security and privacy, cuts across all federal lines of businesses.

In the years to come, 'there will be a tighter coupling between electronic records management and enterprise architectures, as a means of managing IT deployments in federal agencies,' Giguere predicted yesterday at the Storage to Knowledge conference, held by PostNewsweek Tech Media, which publishes GCN. A FEA records management profile could help insert the records management into the IT infrastructure.

'There is a recognition in the FEA [Program Management Office] that cuts across all line of business,' Giguere said. The FEA framework, overseen by the Office of Management and Budget, is a series of reference models. OMB uses the FEA as a framework to better manage federal IT dollars.

NARA developed the records management profile at OMB's request. The Council's Architecture and Infrastructure Committee will review the document and, if acceptable, submit it to OMB. Giguere said the agency has called this profile 'the 20 percent solution.' The profile is a full recommendation, but needs to be extended, he said.

'What the deployment of this profile will do will be [to] more tightly integrate RM into the IT infrastructure,' Giguere predicted. 'Once the software development community and integrator community see this tighter coupling, it will result of a greater degree of standardization in records management capabilities across federal agencies.'

NARA has a number of other initiatives to help standardize records management processes at agencies. It is developing a request for information about components-based records management software, Giguere said. As part of its E-Government records management initiative, NARA has been working on nine components, called the Records Management Service Components. The agency wants to gauge if there is interest in the industry to commercialize these reusable components so other agencies may use them.

'We're moving towards [component-based architectures] but we're far back on the learning curve,' Giguere said.

NARA also is planning to extend its Electronic Records Archives so it can be used by other agencies, Giguere said. Agencies will be able to use this system not only for permanent records but also records with finite lifespans, though that will not be an initial capability of the system, he said.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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