Directive focuses on improving the archiving and management systems for email and social media
In an effort to “improve performance and promote openness and accountability by better documenting agency actions and decisions,” U.S. President Barack Obama issued an agency-wide government mandate in late 2011 requiring that every agency within the executive branch conduct a full evaluation of its record management programs and practices within 120 days. These evaluations, which will specifically focus on electronic records including email and social media, will also force a closer look at programs that are currently using or developing cloud-based services. The goal will be to not only ensure that secure, efficient, and cost-effective social media and email archiving and management systems are in place, but that they can handle the rapid growth of electronic communications predicted in the future.
The recent White House mandate states, “Greater reliance on electronic communication and systems has radically increased the volume and diversity of information that agencies must manage…. If records management… [is] not updated for a digital age, the surge in information could overwhelm agency systems, leading to higher costs and lost records.”
A mandate to improve E-discovery?
While the term ‘E-discovery’ is not included in the memorandum, many legal industry experts speculate that this new mandate is rooted in improving E-discovery response time and the costs associated with the thousands of cases the US government is involved in each year.
According to Robert Hilson, staff writer for the ACEDS (Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists), “The mandate will have widespread, long-standing influence on the agencies and the records they gather in all parts of the country and all places where US foreign missions, military facilities or organizations like the Peace Corps are present. The mandate’s effects will be followed closely by the thousands of persons, companies and other organizations that tangle with Uncle Sam in courts throughout the 93 judicial districts and in the specialized courts that deal with things like taxes and patents.”
Are reforms coming to an agency near you? ArcMail can help.
Once the evaluations have been completed, the National Archives and the Office of Management and Budget will have an additional four months to provide specific requirements that each agency must meet in successfully reforming their records management policies and practices. For those agencies in need of a partner to help, ArcMail is the answer. Our cost-effective data and email archiving solutions are specifically designed to meet the strict compliance guidelines for government agencies, including flexible options for securely archiving email and social media like instant messages and Salesforce™ Chatter™ in the cloud.