October is American Archives Month! We’re celebrating the work of archivists and the importance of archives with a series of blog posts about the electronic records. Today’s post comes from Elle Benak of the National Archives History Office.
On November 28, 2011, President Obama signed a memorandum issuing an executive branch–wide order that all government agencies must reorganize and improve their records management by transitioning to systems that could properly manage electronic records.
The goal of this memorandum was to create a records management system that would “improve performance and promote openness and accountability by better documenting agency actions and decisions.” Improving records management was also seen as a way to minimize expenses.
In the memorandum, Obama stressed that well-managed records allow agencies to analyze programs, operate efficiently, save money, and share knowledge with other agencies as well as the general public.
In short, they are the backbone of an open government.
President Obama recognized the need to transition from paper recordkeeping to a digital system. In his memorandum, he called for a framework that can organize the electronic communications and systems that have “radically increased the volume and diversity of information that agencies must manage.” Continue reading