OMB issues FEA Records Management Profile

With the release of Version 1.0 of the Records Management Profile of the Federal Enterprise Architecture, the Office of Management and Budget and the CIO Council hope agencies now have a tool to consistently apply records management practices, policies and procedures across their organizations, and define records management in each stage of the systems development lifecycle.

OMB's Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office, the CIO Council's Architecture and Infrastructure Committee and the National Archives and Records Administration issued the cross-cutting profile late last month.

The Records Management Profile is the second profile to cut across all five reference models'business, performance, technical, service component and data. OMB issued a security and privacy profile in September 2004. A Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office working group also is working on a Geospatial Profile.

'This is a useful way to communicate and begin providing an explanation of how all the various NARA electronic records management activities are related in coherent manner,' said Mark Giguere, IT lead for policy and planning for NARA, who also helped write the profile. 'We have a vision and a strategy to tie these things together. That is its primary function right now.'

Agencies will comment on the Version 1.0 and Giguere said the CIO Council will determine the next steps, which could include implementation guidance.

The RM working completed the profile'with help from Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. of McLean, Va., and SRA International of Fairfax, Va.'in about 10 months. Giguere attributes the quick turnaround to adapting the lessons learned the contractors gained from helping to create the Security and Privacy Profile.

The profile identifies four objectives:
  • Uses the FEA as a common framework to identify records management requirements

  • Identify records management issues and requirements, and link them to their implementing technologies and business processes

  • Build records management requirements into agency IT governance processes for capital planning, EA, business process design and system development lifecycle

  • Establish a concise and coherent body of records management resources.

'Currently, the RM Profile is a high-level concept,' the document said. 'Agencies should use the profile to identify records management issues, risks, benefits and challenges during business process and IT investment planning. The profiles provide an understandable, consistent, repeatable, scalable and measurable methodology using relevant FEA reference model information to help business owners establish an appropriate set of records management controls.'

The profile includes an overview of how each reference model addresses records management, and how agencies can use various RM resources to improve their programs.

In the document, the authors said agencies should consider three things when applying the profile:
  • Redesigning business processes or consolidating to a line of business

  • Planning new systems of records or

  • Enhancing existing systems.

The profile also includes three scenarios that demonstrate possible applications of the profile to help agencies use the document.

'The most immediate impact of the profile will be the incremental steps agencies will take toward standardization of how they implement the Federal Records Act,' Giguere said. 'Anything we can do to reduce the degree of freedom associated with the FRA implementation is a good thing in my mind.'

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