By December 31, 2022, all federal agencies in the United States government are required to move to an online document storage system. This comes from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which has stated that after that date, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will no longer accept paper documents.
This decision was formally announced by the OMB in June of 2019, but plans had been coming together for the transition for over a year by that point.
Why the Change?
According to a memo released by the OMB, “The Federal Government spends hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and thousands of hours annually to create, use, and store federal records in analog formats. Maintaining large volumes of analog records requires dedicated resources, management attention, and security investments that should be applied to more effectively managing electronic records.”
So what does this mean for your government office, and what steps can you take to ensure that you’re in compliance by the due date? We’ve broken down the timeline for the change and included some helpful guidelines for making the transition to paperless records.
Timeline for the Change
The overall goal is for agencies to ensure that records are created, kept, and managed in electronic format with appropriate metadata. Agency-operated storage facilities for paper and other analog records should be closed by the end of 2022, and any remaining documents moved either to a Federal Records Center run by NARA or a commercial storage facility.
- By the end of 2019, Federal agencies were required to manage all permanent records in an electronic format. Metadata was not required yet, and temporary documents were not included in this mandate.
- During 2020, the NARA revised records management regulations and guidance to support the transition to paperless. Also, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) revised job descriptions for positions like archivists and records management to include electronic records tasks, assignments, and responsibilities.
- By the end of 2022, all non-excepted Federal agencies will be required to manage permanent and temporary records in electronic form. After December 31, 2022, NARA will no longer accept documents that are not in electronic format, including appropriate metadata.
According to the OMB, this transition will ease the burden on taxpayers by allowing them to conduct business with the government electronically instead of through the mail or in person.
How Can Go Find It Help?
Government agencies on the federal, state, and local levels can ease this transition by taking advantage of Go Find It’s suite of document management solutions. Our software can create new documents (including from templates), allow you to control who has access, and even allow for legally-binding electronic signatures.
Our security protocols meet the strict standards for government documents, and additional security measures are available for more sensitive material. Choose between hosting your records in the cloud, in onsite servers, or a hybrid solution. Our cloud storage system is hosted by Microsoft Azure with redundant servers, allowing 24/7 access to your files.
Best of all, Go Find It will reduce the time and effort required to manage government documents.
Electronic Document Solutions for Government Agencies
The 2022 deadline will be here before you know it. Is your agency ready? Browse our site, take a look at our robust features and software options, and see what Go Find It can do for your government agency. The move to an online document storage solution has never been easier.