A presidential memorandum issued this week has called upon federal agencies to take advantage of digital archiving methods that may allow for improved accuracy and efficiency in government records management.
According to the Washington Post, the National Archives and Records Administration stores approximately 475 million pages in digital records each year, but even that number falls short of federal goals. To speed progress, the Obama administration has set a March deadline for the head of each government agency to submit plans for improving records management programs.
"When records are well managed, agencies can use them to assess the impact of programs, to reduce redundant efforts, to save money and to share knowledge within and across their organizations," the statement explained. "In these ways, proper records management is the backbone of open government."
Obama administration officials have also noted that continued inaction in this domain could lead to more significant problems down the line. According to Federal News Radio, project coordinators are encouraging agencies to gain competency with archiving email and social media postings now to prevent lost records and rising costs in the future.