The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) draft FY 2018 – FY 2022 Strategic Plan sets a timeline for modernization and digitization of federal records. It is indisputable that if the plan is successful, requirements for state, county, and local governments will soon follow.
On the federal level more than 500 million pages of records are scheduled to be digitized with NARA no longer accepting non-electronic records by the end of 2022. It is important that federal agencies ensure that they will be prepared to meet the new deadline and the local and state governments begin to consider conversion practices.
Among the consideration for the transition are:
- Optimizing storage space – The cost of real property dedicated to paper record storage is expensive and creates unnecessary risks. Additionally, the staff time needed to search, locate, and retrieve paper records is extensive compared to electronic search and recovery.
- Inventory stored records, both permanent and temporary – Records received by a government entity must be classified, recorded, and in many cases retained, increasing the investment cost in storage space and employee time.
According to NARA guidelines, “automating records management will not only reduce the burden of records management responsibilities on individuals but will make…government records and information easier to access…”
An additional consideration for records management is improved metadata tagging and analytics to simplify search and recovery, manage and track inventory, identifying risks, and projecting future needs.
(summarized from Nextgov.com)