As a deadline to meet the requirements set out in Memorandum-19-21 (M-19-21), some federal agencies are struggling to meet the remaining requirements. However, during a virtual FCW summit on September 21, Laurence Brewer, records manager for the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA), said the agency is aware of these challenges and is ready to have these conversations. , but there is currently no plan. for an extension of time.
“We recognize that agencies are feeling some stress because of the impact of the pandemic on those agencies working to meet M-19-21 requirements,” Brewer said. “COVID-19 has had significant impacts on these efforts. As if there had been limited access to archives, and [agencies] were unable to transfer the recordings on time. We all planned to digitize records. But we couldn’t do it. So we know that there has been an impact on the ability of agencies to meet these target requirements.
Before the pandemic, federal agencies were making progress in digitization to meet the December 2022 deadline set M-19-21, a joint note presented by the NARA and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). But when the pandemic struck, federal agencies were forced to work from home, faced with limited access to registration centers and the records they needed to digitize.
However, NARA cannot independently review the requirements of M-19-21. NARA and OMB should discuss the possibility of an extension before any decision is made.
“It’s going to take a few discussions with the OMB, but we’re ready to have these discussions and see what we can do to introduce some flexibility to where we are at because of all the pain we have felt working through this. the pandemic, ”says the brewer. But there are no plans to expand or plans to discuss an expansion at the moment, he added.
There are still four target requirements in M-19-21. First, federal agencies must manage all temporary documents electronically or store them in business document storage facilities. Second, all agencies must shut down agency-operated document storage facilities and transfer inactive temporary documents to federal document centers or commercial document storage facilities. Third, NARA will no longer accept transfers of permanent or temporary recordings in analog format and will only accept recordings in electronic format and with the appropriate metadata. And finally, federal agencies will manage all permanent records in an electronic format with the appropriate metadata.