Federal Records Management: Elements and Issues


Andrew Bae (Editor)
Lon Pastuch (Editor)

Series: Government Procedures and Operations
BISAC: POL028000

All federal departments and agencies create federal records “in connection with the transaction of public business.” The Federal Records Act requires executive branch departments and agencies to collect, retain, and preserve federal records, which provide the Administration, Congress, and the public with a history of public policy execution and its results. Increasing use of e-mail, social media, and other electronic media has prompted a proliferation of record creation in the federal government. The variety of electronic platforms used to create federal records, however, may complicate the technologies needed to capture and retain them. It is also unclear whether the devices and applications that agencies currently use to create and retain records will be viable in perpetuity—making access to federal records over time increasingly complicated, costly, and potentially impossible.

In recent years, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) reported records management deficiencies at federal agencies. NARA, which has government-wide records management responsibilities, found 45% of agencies were at high risk of mismanaging their records. Agencies’ inabilities to comply with federal record-keeping laws and responsibilities may make it difficult for NARA to predict future federal archiving needs because officials may not anticipate the true volume of records, nor will they know the variety of platforms used to create those records. This book provides an overview of the process of retaining and preserving federal records in a digital environment; and the challenges of managing electronic records. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Retaining and Preserving Federal Records in a Digital Environment: Background and Issues for Congress
(Wendy Ginsberg, CRS)

Information Management: The Challenges of Managing Electronic Records. Statement of Valerie C. Melvin, Director, Information Management and Human Capital Issues, Government Accountability Office. Hearing on “Federal Electronic Records Management: A Status Report”

Common Questions About Federal Records and Related Agency Requirements
(Wendy Ginsberg, CRS)

Access to Government Information In the United States: A Primer
(Wendy Ginsberg, CRS)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 113th Congress
(Wendy Ginsberg, CRS)

The Presidential Records Act: Background and Recent Issues for Congress
(Wendy Ginsberg, CRS)

Managing Government Records Directive
(The Office of Management and Budget and the National Archives and Records Administration)

Preserving the Past to Protect the Future: The Strategic Plan of the National Archives and Records Administration 2006-2016
(U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)


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