Skip to Highlights
Highlights

Since 2001, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has been working to develop the policies and plans to build the Electronic Records Archives (ERA), a major information system that is intended to preserve and provide access to massive volumes of all types and formats of electronic records. Senate Report 108-146 directed GAO to provide a progress report on NARA's development of the ERA system. Specifically, GAO's objective was to determine the agency's progress in implementing recommendations from previous assessments.

Skip to Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Archives and Records Administration To reduce the risks associated with NARA's efforts to acquire ERA, the Archivist should direct the ERA program director to design and implement a process to ensure that recommendations in verification and validation reviews are addressed and incorporated into acquisition policies and plans.
Closed - Implemented
Since 2001, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has been working to develop the Electronic Records Archives (ERA). ERA is a major information system that is intended to preserve and provide access to massive volumes of all types and formats of electronic records. In September 2004, we reported on NARA's progress in developing the ERA system. We reported that the program lacked a process to ensure that the results of verification and validation reviews of policies and plans were incorporated into final versions. We recommended that the Archivist direct the ERA program director to design and implement a process to ensure that recommendations from verification and validation reviews are addressed and incorporated into acquisition policies and plans. We noted that such a process reduces the risk that acquisition policies and plans do not meet industry standards. In August 2006, we reported that NARA had developed and implemented standard operating procedures to ensure that reviewers' recommendations are addressed in the final versions of ERA's acquisition policies and plans. Specifically, acquisition policies and plans are assessed by an independent verification and validation contractor, who reviews them against applicable industry standards and prepares a report with results and recommendations. After the policies and plans have been revised and recommendations incorporated, they are returned to the independent verification and validation contractor to ensure that all recommendations have been incorporated. NARA applied these procedures in its revisions to key ERA policies and plans, including the acquisition strategy and configuration management plan. Making program policies and plans compliant before contract award is important to ensure that NARA has information it needs to manage the acquisition and that the contractors have sufficient information on which to base the design of ERA.

Full Report