Presidential Memo Demands Improved Records Management

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A recent memo issued by the office of the President of the U.S. has created quite a bit of buzz around the document imaging and records management software markets. The memo basically calls for improved records management within federal government agencies and sets out deadlines of one-month, three months, and six months, for making things happen.

From the “Purpose” section of the memo:  “This memorandum begins an executive branch wide effort to reform records management policies and practices…..  Greater reliance on electronic communication and systems has radically increased the volume and diversity of information that agencies must manage.” The second part is certainly a pitch we have heard many ECM vendors make in recent years.

From the “Agency Commitments” section: “Within 120 days of the deadline for reports submitted pursuant to section 2(b) of this memorandum, the Director of OMB and the Archivist, in coordination with the Associate Attorney General, shall issue a Records Management Directive that directs agency heads to take specific steps to reform and improve records management policies and practices within their agency.” Sounds like they’re serious.

My take: It seems like the federal government is serious about laying out improved RM plans. This would seem to present a great opportunity for software vendors in our market. However, at least from my perspective and understanding of the federal government’s financial situation: it would behoove anyone selling into this RM space to come to the table armed with ROIs, because I didn’t see anything in the memo about funding.

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