GSA Introduces Tool for Agencies Moving Toward Fully Electronic Record Keeping

To assist agencies in the push toward fully electronic record keeping, the General Services Administration (GSA) has teamed up with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to create a new market research tool to help agencies identify the vendor services that are most suitable for their records management needs. The new Electronic Records Management (ERM) portal is located on the GSA Discovery Site.

The new ERM tool offers information on vendors for 11 different records types including, but not limited to, social media, desktop application, cloud services, different forms of digital media, and databases.

After selecting their record type, agency users can access an interactive keyword search tool and use various check boxes to identify the solutions most applicable to their needs.

The tools landing page notes possible benefits of this program include:

  • Contractors have already been vetted for technical, performance, and fiscal responsibility.
  • Discounted pricing, terms, and conditions are pre-negotiated.
  • Schedule orders count toward small-business goals.
  • Contractors under Special Item Number (SIN) 51 600 have certified that they are capable of meeting NARA’s ERM requirements, helping to ensure records are reliable and authentic, have integrity, remain useable, and include the necessary content and context. Vendors certify which of the 11 ERM Elements they can provide.

According to NextGov, the NARA and GSA have collaborated in the past as well to create ERM products and services for agencies. The partnership is part of an ongoing effort to increase use of electronic records.

“[We’re] getting out of that mold where records management was a paper process that was predicated on storing thousands and thousands of boxes, and that old model of what records are,” said Arian Ravanbakhsh, supervisory records management policy analyst in NARA’s Office of the Chief Records Officer, told NextGov earlier this month. “The new approach is going to be electronic and digital.”

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