Federal agencies now have until Dec. 31, 2019 to implement plans for managing all permanent records in an electronic format.

This deadline for meeting M-19-21 compliance, which applies to all permanent electronic records, is a considerable step forward from previous requirements. To be successful, agencies must undergo a digital transformation to positively affect people, processes and technology.

By 2022, agencies must also manage temporary records the same way. This mandate applies to all electronic records, regardless of where they live. Although this law applies mostly to Senior Agency Officials for Record Management (SAORM), and Agency Records Officers, it’s essential that all government employees take proactive measures to safeguard records per this new policy.

Failing to transfer physical information prior to the Dec. 31, 2022, cut-off could have significant financial impact to agencies, both from a digitization perspective, but also an ongoing storage and management perspective.

Meeting NARA’s 2022 deadline goes beyond just managing the storage of physical records. It also compels agencies to modernize their technologies and processes to eliminate the necessity of creating physical records. Instead, agencies should be cultivating methodologies to ensure that any newly developed records originate and are managed digitally throughout their entire lifecycle.