Tuesday, November 9, 2010

GAO Reports on National Archives [USA]

Recently released papers by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) [USA] findings may be of interest to you. Below are the links to the two papers and US Archivist Ferriero's comments:

National Archives and Records Administration Needs to Implement Key Program Elements and Controls

The GAO found NARA has not effectively implemented information security controls to sufficiently protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information and systems that support its mission. NARA did not fully implement access controls, which are designed to prevent, limit, and detect unauthorized access to computing resources, programs,
information, and facilities.

To read the report go to: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d1120.pdf

[Shortly after this appeared, the Washington Post reported, Federal agents raided the home of a former National Archives employee and took 10-20 cases--it was not stated what materials were in the boxes and the former NARA employee was not arrested. To read the article See:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2010/10/agents_raid_home_of_ex-nationa.html]

The effectiveness of NARA's oversight has been improved by recent increases in its oversight activities: NARA has conducted its first government wide records management self-assessment survey, resumed agency inspections after a long gap, and expanded its reporting (including giving more complete information about specific agencies).

Oversight and Management Improvements Initiated, but More Action Needed

These efforts have provided a fuller picture of government wide records management: in particular, NARA found that almost 80 percent of agencies were at moderate to high risk of unlawful destruction of records.
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d1115.pdf

Archivist Ferriero's comments in a press release may be found at:
http://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2011/nr11-13.html

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-large
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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