The Office of Management and Budget has issued new guidance requiring federal agencies to manage and store all records digitally by the end of June 2024.
In a memorandum issued jointly with the National Archives and Records Administration, the executive branch set out a timeline for the transition away from in-paper records and a date by which new records-keeping protocols must be established.
The move comes after federal agencies including NARA struggled to ensure remote access to key documents such as veterans’ service records during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to moving all records to an electronic format with the appropriate metadata, federal departments must also manage all temporary records either in an electronic format or store them in commercial records storage facilities, according to the guidance.
“Strong records management is necessary for transparency and accountability and underpins our democracy. Transitioning Federal agencies to an electronic — or ‘paperless’ — environment is a priority to enable and increase the ability of the public to engage with Government in new and more efficient and effective ways,” the memo said.
It added: “It is critical that Federal agencies move beyond paper-based processes and embrace the opportunities afforded to improve Government by transitioning fully to an electronic environment.”
OMB and NARA in the policy note also said that by June 30, 2024 NARA will issue comprehensive records regulation and management guidance, as well as standards and requirements for agencies procuring electronic records management services.