Federal IT Workers Struggle to Meet Digital Record Deadline
The study asked federal records management officials to assess their agency’s likelihood of meeting the presidential directive for digital records.With just days to go before a key deadline to digitize and streamline their records management practices, almost half (46 percent) of federal agency records and information management professionals do not believe, or are unsure if, the requirements are realistic and obtainable, according to a survey by data backup specialist Iron Mountain and MeriTalk. The presidential directive requires agencies to identify all permanent records in existence for more than 30 years, as well as report on progress toward managing those records in electronic format. Survey respondents believe that successful compliance with the directive will deliver additional benefits, including improving accessibility in records search (50 percent) and increasing the overall efficiency of agency operations (45 percent). Other major benefits cited by respondents were making search, eDiscovery and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) response practices easier (38 percent), increasing government transparency (33 percent) and decreasing the cost of records and information management (33 percent).
However, while 55 percent of the survey respondents believe the directive will improve compliance with federal records management statutes and regulations, this optimism is tempered by agency skepticism that they will be able to comply with the approaching Dec. 31 deadline.