This draft strategic plan has been superceded by the final, approved strategic plan which is available here:

DRAFT FY 2018 - FY 2022 Strategic Plan
September 11, 2017

Strategic Goal 3. Maximize NARA’s Value to the Nation

Maximize NARA’s Value to the Nation recognizes that public access to government information creates measurable economic value, which adds to the enduring cultural and historical value of our records. We are reforming and modernizing records management policies and practices across the Federal government to support the transition to digital government. NARA will drive public and commercial re-use of historical government data and records to create measurable economic activity.

3.1 By FY 2019, NARA will conduct inspections of records management practices at 10 percent of Federal agencies per year, to ensure that Federal email and other permanent electronic records are being managed in an electronic format.

NARA must provide its customer agencies with the policy, guidance, and training necessary to appropriately manage records in their custody. NARA must also provide its stakeholders with reasonable and independent assurance that those agencies are complying with relevant laws and regulations.

NARA conducts on-site inspections of other agencies’ records management practices to help those agencies strengthen their recordkeeping programs and ensure that records are being managed appropriately. NARA conducts inspections according to established procedures, publishes findings and recommendations in written reports, and requires agencies to respond with corrective actions that are tracked through completion. NARA has conducted 18 inspections since 2011. NARA’s goal is to complete a total of 26 inspections in FY 2019.


  • Review compliance issues identified from completed inspections and revise baselines as needed for future inspections.
  • Develop procedures to evaluate Federal electronic records and recordkeeping systems.
  • Stand-up a unit dedicated to inspecting agency electronic recordkeeping systems.

Contributing Programs: Agency Services.

3.2 By December 31, 2022, NARA will, to the fullest extent possible, no longer accept transfers of permanent or temporary records in analog formats and will accept records only in electronic format and with appropriate metadata.

NARA and most Federal agencies currently maintain separate policies, practices, and physical infrastructures for managing records in traditional (analog) formats compared to electronic records. This structure is costly and complex, which increases the risk that permanently valuable records in either format may not be appropriately retained. NARA must take decisive action to transition Federal recordkeeping to a fully-electronic environment to promote efficiency, increase access to information, and allow NARA and Federal agencies to focus resources on meeting the challenges of managing electronic records.

After December 31, 2022, NARA will no longer accept new transfers of analog records for storage by the Federal Records Centers Program (FRCP) to the fullest extent possible. NARA will continue to store and service all records received by the FRCP by that date until their scheduled disposition date. Once those records reach their disposition date, NARA will accept the permanent records into the National Archives in their original (analog) format.

Beginning January 1, 2023, all other legal transfers of permanent records must be in electronic format, to the fullest extent possible, whether the records were “born electronic” or not. After that date, agencies will be required to digitize permanent records in analog formats before transfer to NARA.


  • Establish appraisal, scheduling, and pre-accessioning processes that reflect modern electronic records management.
  • Redesign records management training to assist agencies in building a records management workforce that is skilled in electronic records and data management.
  • Establish clear policy on digitizing permanent records and the appropriate disposition of analog originals.
  • Work with agencies and the private sector to build capacity for mass digitization of analog records and transition storage of temporary analog records to the private sector.

Contributing Programs: Agency Services; Research Services; Legislative Archives, Presidential Libraries, and Museum Services; Office of Innovation.

3.3 By FY 2025, at least 15 external sources will be using NARA data sets from the National Archives Catalog as a primary source.

NARA collaborates with stakeholders, the public, and private organizations to make historical records available to the public. NARA currently delivers large sets of records to the public through third-party websites, including Wikipedia, the Digital Public Library of America, and non-profit genealogy sites. NARA must increase the number and variety of platforms and organizations that use NARA data sets to allow for deeper public engagement with the data and stimulate economic activity through the use and re-use of government information.


  • Enhance NARA’s Application Programming Interface (API) to improve public access to large datasets in the National Archives Catalog.
  • Build new public-private partnerships that allow for a broader range of uses of NARA data sets.
  • Develop collaborative relationships with other cultural institutions to attract new private investment in web applications that use and re-use government information.

Contributing Programs: Office of Innovation