National Archives and Records Administration Requirements for Digitizing Federal Records Requirements

No later than June 30, 2024, all permanent records in Federal agencies must be managed electronically to the fullest extent possible for eventual transfer and accessioning by the National Archives and Records Administration – NARA.

Starting on July 1, 2024, agencies will be required to digitize permanent records created in analog formats before transfer to NARA. Digitization and transfer must be made in accordance with NARA regulations and transfer guidance, including metadata requirements.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently published the final rule for digitizing permanent federal records. This new rule, known as 36 CFR § 1236 Subpart E, became effective June 5, 2023. The federal government is undergoing a digital transformation and this new rule is a significant step towards achieving that goal.

As a part of this initiative, NARA and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued two crucial memorandums, M-19-21 (Jun-28, 2019) and M-23-07 (Dec-23, 2022). These memos highlight the importance of modernizing and transitioning to digital processes and workflows in the federal government to enhance efficiency, transparency, and accountability.

In line with these memorandums, NARA added the new Subpart E to its records management regulations to provide standards for digitizing permanent records. The goal is to enable federal agencies to dispose of source records when appropriate and according to the Federal Records Act amendments of 2014. This is an important step towards achieving the government’s goal of digital transformation.


Michael Herzog
Author: Michael Herzog

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